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The Rumphius Foundation Awards Grant to Waterside Workshops to Educate At-Risk Youth

BOSTON, Oct. 8, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Rumphius Foundation, a grant making institution dedicated to strengthening community, promoting education and protecting the environment, is proud to announce that their 2015 grant has been awarded to Waterside Workshops, a non-profit organization that uses vocational education as a method of promoting youth development, encouraging sustainable and healthy lifestyles, and cultivating positive change in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Since 2007, Waterside Workshops has provided job-training, classes, and recreation opportunities for some of the Bay Area's most at-risk youth while offering services to the community including a bicycle shop and repair facility, a full service wooden boat building shop, and Berkeley's only youth-run coffee shop. Located on the water's edge at the Berkeley Aquatic Park, they offer two vocational training programs to youth aged 14-24: Berkeley Boathouse and Street Level Cycles. Berkeley Boathouse replaces now-extinct woodworking programs in local high schools and takes the concept a step further by using an internship/apprentice model. Street Level Cycles is a community bicycle shop that combines a do-it-yourself studio with a youth education program, creating a space where members of the community can fix their bicycles for free while supporting local vocational training. They serve youth from diverse backgrounds but focus on the needs of foster youth, minors who have been previously incarcerated, and youth who have not excelled in the traditional learning environment.

The Rumphius Foundation grant has provided funds to launch Waterside Workshops' first bike rental program. Waterside has revitalized another old building to house the full-service community bicycle shop, Street Level Cycles. The new shop creates a space where community members can rent bikes while helping generate funds to support free programs for local youth. "The long-awaited bike rental program is a wonderful addition to our organization,' said Waterside Workshops Executive Director Amber Rich. "It is so exciting to see our youth interns fitting customers on our beautiful new rental bikes, and later in the day seeing the same customers out enjoying the San Francisco Bay Trail."

"We are so pleased to be able to contribute to this wonderful program," said Rumphius Foundation Director Candace Schuller. "Waterside Workshops' work closely aligns with our mission and we believe supporting the growth of Waterside through the establishment of the new bicycle rental program will certainly make the world a little more beautiful, and sow seeds of hope and joy in the community. We love that the program encourages youth education and empowerment, promotes outdoor activities and sustainable living, and brings the community together."

The Rumphius Foundation makes grants annually and is currently seeking grant proposals for 2016. Grants are made for activities that conform to the mission of the Foundation. Proposals for 2016 must be received by February 29, 2016. To submit grant proposals, and make donations please visit www.rumphiusfoundation.org.

About The Rumphius Foundation

Established in 2013 by Michael C. Schuller, The Rumphius Foundation is a nonprofit organization designed to help communities and educators strengthen the future of our young and the environment. Named after the children's book Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney, in which the central character seeks to make the world a little more beautiful, the foundation makes grants to nonprofit projects that promote community, education and sustainability. Through these projects, the foundation strives to remind the next generation to leave the world more beautiful than they found it. For more information on The Rumphius Foundation, please visit www.rumphiusfoundation.org.

CONTACT: Carrie Callahan carrie@nashcallahan.comSource:The Rumphius Foundation