Lorena Hickok Mini-Grant

Eleanor Roosevelt Ambassador Projects


Each year, the Eleanor Roosevelt Center at Val-Kill (ERVK) awards mini-grants to graduates of the Girls’ Leadership Worldwide program to support Eleanor Roosevelt Ambassador Projects. Awardees are selected based on the following criteria:

  • The alignment of the proposed project with the social justice vision of ERVK and GLW
  • The potential positive impact of the project
  • The soundness of the project plan
  • The ability of the applicant to demonstrate the impact funds will have on the success of your project
  • The applicant’s demonstrated commitment to completing the project and submitting a project status report and expense receipts to ERVK

Applicants must recruit at least one adult sponsor who will serve as a supportive coach and resource throughout the project process. Please feel free to consult with your sponsor as you complete the mini-grant application.


  1. Applicants must submit a complete application package to ERVK by December 31, 2018
    • Please use only one side of the paper.
    • Please use 1-inch margins and a 12-point font.
  2. ERVK will notify all applicants of their award status.
  3. ERVK will distribute funds to awardees based on information provided on your project timeline.
  4. Awardees must submit a brief project status report, including expense receipts, to ERVK by
    August 31, 2019.

Click here for a sample application form

Questions? Contact Summer Smith at 845-229-5302 or via email,

About Lorena Hickok

March 7, 1893—May 1, 1968
Lorena Hickok — Hick, as she was known to her friends, was born in Troy, WI, into an emotionally and economically deprived family. Her mother died when she was 12 and she left home soon after, taking jobs as a house-girl until she finished school. It was only through her hard work and determination that she became one of the most eminent and highest paid female journalists in the 1920’s. She was the first woman to become a front-page reporter for the Associated Press.

Hick first met Eleanor Roosevelt when she was covering FDR’s campaign for Governor. Their professional relationship turned into an intimate friendship. When FDR ran for president, Hick gave up her job as a professional journalist; she felt she could no longer be objective because of her friendship with the First Lady. She took a job with Harry Hopkins, becoming a roving reporter for the Federal Emergency Relief Administration. Her chronicles of the Depression were important to the social programs implemented by the Roosevelt administration. Hick was also the impetus for ER’s women only press conferences, which forced the UP to hire its first female reporter. When her job with Hopkins ended, she spent the next two years handling the day-to-day running of the National Women’s program for the Democratic Committee.

In 1955, she moved to Hyde Park and finished writing Ladies of Courage with ER. Although she was in frail health the last 10 years of her life, she managed to write and publish three children’s books (The Story of Helen Keller, an FDR bio and The Story of Eleanor Roosevelt) and the Reluctant First Lady. She survived Eleanor by six years and when she died she left all her personal papers to the FDR Library with the instruction they be opened 10 years after her death. The papers of Lorena Hickok filled 18 boxes and contained nearly 3,500 letters between she and ER. Hick died in 1968, in Hyde Park, NY and her ashes are buried at the Rhinebeck cemetery.

To keep Hick’s spirit of pioneering as a female reporter and social activist alive, the Lorena Hickok Fund was created to support the efforts of the next generation of leaders and social activists.

The Lorena Hickok Mini-Grants are made possible by JoAnne Myers, Linda Boyd Kavars and the generous
donors to the Lorena Hickok Fund at the Eleanor Roosevelt Center.


Eleanor Roosevelt: Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Article 8 Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.