Local Nonprofit We Are the Next Receives Major Grant to Engage Youth

We Are the Next, a local nonprofit organization whose mission is providing opportunities for teens and young adults to engage with, better understand and influence their city, announced that it recently received a $10,000 general operating grant from the S. Mark Taper Foundation.

“We are honored to receive support from such an established foundation serving Southern California’s communities,” Executive Director Katie Rispoli Keaotamai said in a statement. “As a young organization, we are working every day to demonstrate our commitment to longevity. This is a big milestone for We Are the Next.”

Founded in 1989, the Los Angeles-based S. Mark Taper Foundation seeks to improve the quality of people’s lives by supporting nonprofit organizations and the work they do for their communities.


The grant will be used to support operating expenses as well as the growth of civic engagement programs and experiences that involve young residents with Long Beach, including its “CITY101” program, which informs youth on various aspects of adulthood and city life.

We Are the Next’s youth and community program expenses are generally supported by small program grants, sponsorships and individual contributions. The S. Mark Taper Foundation grant will assist with general operating support expenses, providing critical financial support for maintenance and enhancement of their operation, according to We Are the Next.

Learn more about We Are the Next here.

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Asia Morris has been with the Long Beach Post for five years, specializing in coverage of the arts. Her parents gave her the name because they wanted her to be a world traveler and they got their wish. She has obliged by pursuing art, journalism and a second career as a competitive cyclist. She was recently awarded first place in writing by the California News Publisher Association for her profile on local artist Narsiso Martinez.