Berkeleyans working on a community project which could use an injection of funds, not to mention the oxygen of publicity, could do worse than check out the Bay Citizen’s inaugural “Citizen of Tomorrow” award.

The Bay Citizen (an editorial partner to Berkeleyside) is hoping to identify and reward a worthwhile community project in the Bay Area, be it a group that aims to help local homeless people, provide job training, or create a pleasant outdoor space in their neighborhood.

The winner will receive a $5,000 grant, as well as a professionally produced video about the project and invitations to the Bay Citizen’s Citizen Celebration on May 18, where the award will be presented in front of an audience of community leaders.

“The only criteria for applicants is that they are local — within the 9-county Bay Area — and that they can demonstrate that they have already made an impact in tackling a significant problem in their community,” said Rose Roll, The Bay Citizen’s Director of Membership and Marketing.

Roll adds that the award is deliberately targeted at smaller nonprofits and organizations. “The spirit of the award is that we can help folks in the early phase of their cause — so they can get their project off the ground.”

The Bay Citizen was launched in spring 2010 as an independent nonprofit online news organization serving the Bay Area. “We are excited about the award because a year ago we did something similar to the people we hope will apply: we saw a problem — a lack of quality civic journalism in the Bay Area — and we went to solve it,” said Roll.

Visit The Bay Citizen website for full information about the Citizen of Tomorrow award program, including rules and an application form.

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Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...