BOSTON — Senate Assistant Majority Leader and Rules Committee Chairman Mark C. Montigny (D-New Bedford) is pleased to announce the first successful round of grants totaling over $150,000 from his envisioned Children's Equality and Empowerment Fund.

The Senator created the fund during the fiscal year 2018 state budget after years of earmarking several millions of state dollars to support downtown New Bedford arts and culture organizations. As those organizations continue to receive significant state support, Montigny urged a greater synergy between such arts and cultural institutions with local, underserved youth. This new initiative focuses solely on providing opportunities for the city's youth to improve wellness, development, and educational attainment.

The Senator Montigny Children's Equality and Empowerment Fund was created in the fiscal year 2018 Senate Budget through a Montigny earmark with an initial infusion of $200,000 in funds. Montigny sought local projects that could expand opportunities to underserved youth through arts, culture, technology, equipment, and after-school and summer programming.

“It is imperative that we make significant investments in our children,” said Senator Montigny. “They are our future and deserve the very best opportunities we can provide so that they may flourish and lead successful lives today and for many years to come. Children in our nation are supposed be created equal, yet too often they are not treated as such and do not have access to some of the most basic tools in the pursuit of happiness.”

The first round of awards has begun making a significant impact this summer, impacting hundreds of children.

The formal announcement will take place on Monday, August 20th at 11am at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater New Bedford, located on 166 Jenney Street, New Bedford.

Office of Senator Mark C. Montigny