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Aqua Foundation For Women awards seven grants worth $50,000 to Miami-Dade, Broward groups

aquaAqua Foundation for Women has awarded $50,000 in grants to seven organizations throughout Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

Here's the news release from Executive Director Robin Schwartz:

Aqua Foundation for Women is pleased to announce that we have awarded $50,000 in grants to seven incredible organizations located throughout Broward and Dade counties. We are thrilled to be able to engage our community by supporting the diverse and amazing projects and programs of these organizations. We are proud to announce that Gilda's Club of South Florida, Pridelines Youth Services, the Pride Center at Equality Park, SunServe, the Museum of Contemporary Art, PFLAG of Ft. Lauderdale, and Safe Schools South Florida are our grant recipients for 2012.

PFLAG of Ft. Lauderdale will be using our funds to complete the second phase of their outreach, begun last year with funding from Aqua,  into new communities that currently are without PFLAG groups. Their groups give much needed support to the families and friends of youth (and adults) who are out as LGBT.

Through Pridelines Youth Services, young LBT women will be able to experience the magic of CampOUT, a "summer" camp experience for LGBT youth, at no cost, because Aqua Foundation is sponsoring 23 young women to attend. Pridelines is developing a special track of programming just for these LBT young women, with activities that promote leadership growth, health, and more.

The Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami will be using Aqua Foundation funds to continue their successful Women on the Rise program in partnership with Pridelines and the Alliance for GLBTQ Youth, focusing specifically on LBT young women. The program exposes these youth to art exhibitions by women and develops the young women's artistic expression through numerous workshops and education events and trips. The program in particular focuses on the issues of low self-esteem and lack of role models experience by many LBT young women.

Gilda's Club South Florida will be starting, for the first time, a cancer support group just for LBT women and their partners, family, friends, and caretakers. This support group will allow LBT identified women to express themselves in a safe space with other women like themselves and receive the support they need.

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is an issue not often addressed in the LGBT community but SunServe has been working to change that, and, with funding from Aqua, will begin to offer support groups for LBT women who have experience intimate partner violence. They will also be educating the community at large about IPV and its effects on those in our community through strategic marketing and the production of a play.

In Ft. Lauderdale, the Pride Center at Equality Park will be expanding their programming for LBT women significantly with Face-to-Face workshops, 3 day long women's events, and a "Growing our Family" series. This programming will address such diverse topics as vaginal health, exercise and fitness, starting a family, transitioning, and healthy sexuality.

The successful Women-in-Training program, run by Safe Schools of South Florida, will continue to receive funding from Aqua Foundation. This incredible program provides young LBT women with intensive leadership training, instruction on public speaking and the opportunity to be part of student panels, and mentoring from LGBTQ adults and allies. Additionally, Women-in-Training will again put on the always well attended OUTlet and RelationSHIFTS events.

We are privileged to be able to participate in increasing the wellness and equality of LBT women in our community. As the new year dawns we look forward to witnessing how the programs we have funded will improve the lives of LBT women in South Florida.

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