Diversified Insurance Solutions has awarded its first 2015 SPARK Grant to Project Ujima. The $5,000 award will be used to fund a Hip Hop Therapy program during Camp Ujima, a six-week summer camp designed to help at-risk youth build their confidence and self-esteem, develop a strong peer support system, build positive social skills and avoid adverse behaviors.
“The youth we serve at Camp Ujima have been affected by violence. The Hip Hop Therapy is an innovative, mental health based intervention that lets the children and teens express their feelings using music, poetry and body movements,” says Brooke Mortag, manager, Project Ujima, Children’s Hospital Community Services. “The SPARK Grant will allow us to bring a Hip Hop Therapy facilitator to camp this summer.”
Project Ujima strives to promote safe, violence-free communities while empowering youth victims of violence and their families to improve their quality of life. Services provided include crisis intervention and case management, social and emotional support, youth development and mentoring, and mental health and medical services referrals.
Project Ujima addresses the needs of youth victims of violence who come to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin’s emergency room. Since it began in 1996, the program has been successful in reducing the violence recidivism rate to less than one percent among youths who have used Project Ujima’s services.
“Stopping the cycle of violent crime is imperative to the ongoing health of the Milwaukee area,” says James McCormack, founder and chairman of Diversified Insurance Solutions. “We’re excited to provide funding for an innovative therapy that connects with children and helps them work through and recover from the emotional trauma that violence inflicts.”
SPARK Grant Background
This year from February 1 to September 25, tax exempt, nonprofit organizations can submit a SPARK Grant request at www.DiversifiedSPARK.com. Over the course of nine months, $30,000 will be awarded to six nonprofits to positively impact the community and people they serve.
Diversified is looking to fund new or existing programs that use fresh ideas to address a community need or problem. The company’s giveback program is interested in supporting specific initiatives, events or actions that can be accomplished with a $5,000 grant or in conjunction with other funds.
“We launched SPARK two years ago and, once we saw the impact we could have, we decided to extend it for another year,” explains McCormack. “In the past, our SPARK grants have made nature accessible to special needs children, provided intense reading assistance to teenage boys who were significantly behind grade level and helped launch a safe and loving summer camp for foster children.”
Diversified Insurance Solutions is one of Wisconsin’s largest, full-service insurance brokers, providing employee benefits, risk management and business insurance to area companies. For more information, visit www.div-ins.com.
Children’s Hospital Community Services is the state’s largest private, not-for- profit provider of child welfare services. From offices and family resource centers throughout the state, Community Services offers activities and programs in out- of-home care; counseling and case management; child abuse prevention services; and child advocacy centers.