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Rep. Sewell holds fifth grant writing workshop

More than 150 people attended Rep. Terri Sewell’s, D-AL, annual Federal Grants Workshop “Grant Writing 101” Thursday morning. This year marks the fifth year of the workshops and Kaia Greene, grants coordinator for Sewell,

said she was excited to see so many people interested in the workshop.

Prior to the event, 127 people pre-registered and as the event started others registered on the spot.

Sewell’s office hosts three workshops per year in Alabama’s seventh congressional district, with speakers and grant writing professionals ready to lend a helping hand.

Alabama’s seventh congressional district includes Choctaw, Dallas, Greene,  Hale, Lowndes, Marengo, Pickens, Perry, Sumter and Wilcox counties. The district also includes portions of Clarke, Jefferson, Montgomery and Tuscaloosa counties.

“Every single year we strive to go ahead and educate our district about what grant opportunities are available,” Greene said.

Dr. Tashauna Goldsby, Dr. Jarralynne Agee, Dr. Deborah Thomas and Asia Hadley spoke to the audience on the need-to knows about grants.

“This year we wanted to make sure people knew how to write the grants and make themselves the most competitive,” Greene said.

How to find eligibility, best research strategies, how to avoid common pitfalls and how to locate grants were some of the topics discussed during the workshop.

Educating the constituents is the main focus of these events, and Greene said knowing what types of grants are out there is important, but knowing the qualifications is even more imperative.

“Every single grant will have what a distinct list of what you can and should be doing, and who is eligible to apply,” she said. “That’s probably the biggest part.”

Greene said the workshops started after high demand.

“We started getting a lot of requests very early on for assistance with grants,” she said. “Once that demand started being known in our office we went ahead and created a grants coordinator position, and started hosting workshops all throughout the seventh congressional district.”

Not only are grant writing beginners welcome, but people of all experience levels are welcome to attend the workshops.

“Some people are master grant writers already and they just want a couple letters of support and a few new ideas,” Greene said. “I look forward to working with the people who are already established, and the people who are trying to get their foot in the door and figure out where to begin.”

The outreach team has played a pivotal role relaying the needs of the community to the team so that the workshops are successful.

The next workshop will be in October in Tuscaloosa.