Building Black Youth Foundation - Project Management and Grant Writing

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Building Black Youth Foundation is a non-profit organization started in 2021 that provides cultural-based learning opportunities and support for children, youth, and families ages zero to 19.

Through the Level UP remote internship program, the founder and CEO of Building Black Youth Foundation, Tasha Flemmings, partnered with Nataly Bravo to manage mission-critical projects and grant writing for needed funding to support the organization. 

A student at George Brown College, Nataly project managed several crucial foundation projects and wrote grants for organizational funding.  

Project management is a complex blend of strong leadership and communication, and Nataly delivered both. 

“She was an excellent student. She supported me so much. She was good at managing all aspects of each project. She was even able to step up and support us with some of the project meetings. She did an excellent job overall,” Tasha shared. 

Nataly continuously checked in with the team, communicated scope and project milestones clearly, and problem-solved in any way she could.

Through this experience, Nataly grew tremendously as a professional. 

“Tasha gave me great feedback on how to become a better project manager, how to manage teams, how to improve my communication, and how to develop to better serve everyone.”  

Tasha and her team provided Nataly and other Level UP students with much more than just valuable hands-on experience and clear communication. Each student received an individual developmental portfolio to help them gain future employment. 

“We also give students a mini developmental portfolio at the end of their placement. That will include a generalized job recommendation letter. We also give them an appreciation certificate and then a Building Black Youth Foundation special monument certificate, which just commemorates them for all the work that they've done,” Tasha shared. 

Tasha was very excited to have help from the Level UP program and students like Nataly. 

“It's always good to get a fresh take from students that are right in the programs and learning all the new stuff that's up to date with everything happening. Our objective was to get support from our organization, and then it turned into actual support both ways: a program where the youth could get meaningful experiences. Then we were able to get that support in helping us develop certain aspects of our organization.”

Not only did Nataly help advance the mission of the Building Black Youth Foundation, but she was also inspired to think about what she wanted from her career. 

“Working on this project confirms I like working for NGOs. I want to focus on that in my career.” 

This experience also helped her understand what it is like to work in Canada. 

“As an immigrant, I feel more prepared to work within Canadian environments. This will definitely help my future opportunities.”

Overall, Tasha believes Building Black Youth Foundation wouldn’t be where it is today without Nataly and other students from the Level UP program. 

“The Level UP program is part of why our organization is in the position we're in today. It's supported our organization in moving forward and showing our impact in what we're doing within the community, as well as supporting youth who are currently enrolled in post-secondary institutions. It's been really, really good,” said Tasha. 

The Level UP program has impacted Tasha and her non-profit so much that she doesn’t hesitate to recommend it to other business owners and would love to continue providing projects through the program. 

“I would definitely suggest it, no matter what stage you're at, whether you're new or you're fully developed, but you're just looking for new strategies and ideas; I would suggest everybody do it. I've already suggested other entrepreneurs like myself to look into the program. It's a great program, it's successful, and it's something that we're probably going to continue as long as possible. So hopefully, fingers crossed, this is something that the government can fund for a long time and keep going because the impacts are great on both sides, whether it's for the employer or the students.”

Nataly recommends the experience to her fellow peers as well. 

“It’s important to work in an organization to grow your experience. It’s difficult to find an organization that is willing to teach you when you don’t have any experience to begin with. Level UP was a valuable way to gain that experience,” she shared. 

Thank you to Nataly Bravo for sharing her experience on Riipen. To learn more about how you can get started with the Level UP remote internship program as a student or employer, visit the website here. ‍Stay updated with the latest in higher education, experiential learning, and the future of work, and subscribe to our bi-weekly newsletter, The Riipen Report.

Riipen Level UP program is funded by the Government of Canada's Innovative Work-Integrated Learning (I-WIL) Initiatives program. The opinions and interpretations in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Government of Canada.

Level UP is funded in part by the Government of Canada's Innovative Work-Integrated Learning (I-WIL) Initiatives program
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