Helping a youngster live her dream

(Filling unmet needs and working collaboratively with other nonprofits are central to the Eden Prairie Community Foundation’s mission. A good example is the Foundation’s “Youth Initiative,” launched in 2015 to provide more funding to youth-related services provided by other Eden Prairie organizations. That includes EPCF grants to the after-school scholarships that PROP provides to families in need. The following story is how one young person was helped by that Foundation-supported program.)

When Gabby Douglas won the gold medal in the 2012 Olympics, young Tiesha was inspired. She asked her parents for gymnastic classes; she wanted to be just like her idol. The classes “brought her joy; she would flip and run and you could just see the joy in her face,” says her mom Tracee.

But when a financial crisis hit their family, gymnastic classes were no longer feasible financially. Tracee had regularly come to Eden Prairie-based PROP for food, but now she needed their help with a broken down car and the loss of a job. “Working with case management was a dream. PROP’s team is extremely resourceful and helpful. I’ve been around for a while and not everyone in the helping field treats you nicely or without judgment,” said Tracee.

PROP’s youth scholarship program helps families like Tracee’s afford enrichment activities for their kids. Every year, 80 to 100 kids participate in the activities that bring them joy – from sports classes and camps to academic enrichment and babysitting classes. Thanks to the Eden Prairie Community Foundation and donors like you, just $100 per child helps dreams come true.

Recently, Tiesha was enrolled back into a new school for gymnastics, thanks to the youth scholarship program. Tracee says, “Now that she is back, she is happier than ever – gymnastics lessens the blow of what is happening in our family. It’s like every day I see the love in her heart back. PROP is a true blessing.”

Categories: Stories of Impact

Mark Weber About the Author Mark Weber has been the executive director of the Eden Prairie Community Foundation since October 2013. In this role, he enjoys meeting with Eden Prairie residents, and being an active member of the community. If you’d like to connect with Mark, call him at (952) 949-8499 or email him. You can also read Mark’s full biography.

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