About the process
The Washington State Department of Commerce chose to work with School’s Out Washington because of our field expertise, equity lens, grant-making experience, and capacity to lead a complex process on an unusually fast timeline. The process was designed to break down barriers to funding for grassroots organizations around the state that directly support BIPOC youth, youth in poverty, and other priority youth populations.
The RFP was released on September 23, and over 600 applications were received by the deadline on October 6. The RFP was translated into 13 languages. Technical assistance was provided by contractors who partnered with the Department of Commerce to support applicants from every region in the state.
Peer reviewers from communities throughout Washington were recruited to read and score applications.
- 112 reviewers were selected from over 200 who expressed interest
- 55% of these reviewers identified as BIPOC
- 84% reported having lived experiences/identities connected to BIPOC youth and youth in poverty
- About a dozen youth/young adults were engaged as reviewers
All reviewers were required to participate in anti-bias training and to examine the approach to application review, using the scoring rubric.
About the grantees
The COVID-19 outbreak, extended school closures, and social distancing have deepened inequities and hardships for young people across Washington. In response, youth development programs quickly adapted their services to provide supports for youth and families to whom they are deeply connected. Expanded or adapted offerings have included emergency childcare, social-emotional supports, academic mentoring, virtual programming, and basic needs supports. For many, these organizations have been a sustaining lifeline.
By providing access to essential services and pivoting to offer expanded learning opportunities online, they have helped ensure that children and young people remain safe, engaged and supported.
On average, 88% of youth served by awardees are in the Relief Fund’s priority populations (including BIPOC, LGBTQ, migrant/immigrant, youth experiencing homelessness and youth in poverty) and 48% report serving 100% priority youth.
- 83% include a focus on BIPOC youth and 90% include a focus on youth in poverty
- 84% provide expanded learning opportunities, 76% provide mentoring, and 60% provide wrap around services
- 78% serve children between ages 5-12; 86% serve youth between 13-18; and 51% serve young adults between ages 19-24