BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Alysia Lee, an education program supervisor for Fine Arts Education with the state department of education, has been named the first president of the Baltimore Children & Youth Fund, according to the temporary board of directors implementing the program.

Approved by voters in 2016, the fund sets aside 3 cents of every $100 of property tax revenue to provide grants to organizations providing youth services. The fund has an annual budget of nearly $12 million.

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“I am honored to serve my city in this new role as the President of the Baltimore Children & Youth Fund. My previous work in the education, nonprofit, and youth development sectors prepared me to lead the Fund in its next steps.” said Lee.

According to her website, Lee is the founder of Sister Cities Girlchoir, a singing group that “empower girls to occupy their unique advantage in transforming our world.”

The Kennedy Center named Lee a Citizen Artist Fellow in 2019.

“Investing in adolescent girls is the number one way to create transformation on an economic scale in communities that are suffering from opportunity and access,” she said in a video message accompanying the announcement of the fellowship.

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Lee has previously managed grants in her role with the Maryland State Department of Education, the board said.

“Alysia is passionate about connecting youth and communities that are often overlooked to opportunities and resources,” said BCYF Board Chair Dion Cartwright.

The program has suffered several setbacks in recent years. In 2020, the Baltimore City Council held a hearing on the fund to express concerns about how millions in grants have been slow to get to programs where the money is needed.

A February 2020 report from the Office of the Inspector General found the original administrator of grants from the fund, Associated Black Charities, didn’t ask a grantee to provide expense justification documents for a project.

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According to the report, the grantee allegedly used $16,000 in 2018 to make building changes to a facility where they also lived.

CBS Baltimore Staff