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Contact: Alexandra Fuller, Level Ground Mixed Martial Arts, 410-533-2210,

Contact: Alison Harding, Cummings Foundation, 781-932-7093,

Level Ground Mixed Martial Arts awarded $100,000 Cummings grant

Dorchester nonprofit receives 3 years of funding from Cummings Foundation

Boston, June 20, 2022 – Level Ground Mixed Martial Arts is one of 140 local nonprofits to receive grants of $100,000 to $500,000 each through Cummings Foundation’s $25 Million Grant Program. The Dorchester-based organization was chosen from a total of 580 applicants during a competitive review process. It will receive $100,000 over 3 years.

The mission of Level Ground Mixed Martial Arts is to empower youth through athletic, academic, and employment opportunities. Located in Fields Corner, the organization provides wraparound workforce development services to 30+ youth annually, and serves over 300 children, teens, and community adults through free and affordable martial arts and yoga classes each year.

The Cummings Foundation grant will allow the organization to increase the number of youth in exceptionally vulnerable demographics in its workforce development, academic, and mentorship programs. Funds will directly support wages and stipends for youth who are DCF-involved, DYS-involved, recently immigrated, undocumented, and/or out of school and unemployed.

“Words cannot express how much of an impact this grant will have on the lives of young people who need it most,” Level Ground founder and Executive Director, Alexandra Fuller, stated. “Youth within our target demographics often are disqualified from programs because they have a CORI. Others simply have not had the opportunity to develop the professional skills to be successful in a job. Our program supports youth for up to 2 years, allowing them to have ample opportunity to build skills while making a paycheck with the support of a caring staff and community of peers.”

The Cummings $25 Million Grant Program supports Massachusetts nonprofits that are based in and primarily serve Middlesex, Essex, and Suffolk counties.

Through this place-based initiative, Cummings Foundation aims to give back in the areas where it owns commercial property. Its buildings are all managed, at no cost to the Foundation, by its affiliate, Cummings Properties. This Woburn-based commercial real estate firm leases and manages 11 million square feet of debt-free space, the majority of which exclusively benefits the Foundation.

“We are so fortunate in greater Boston to have such effective nonprofits, plus a wealth of talented, dedicated professionals and volunteers to run them,” said Cummings Foundation executive director Joyce Vyriotes. “We are indebted to them for the work they do each day to provide for basic needs, break down barriers to education and health resources, and work toward a more equitable society.”

With the help of about 90 volunteers, the Foundation first identified 140 organizations to receive grants of at least $100,000 each. Among the winners were first-time recipients as well as nonprofits that had previously received Cummings Foundation grants. Forty of this latter group of repeat recipients were then selected to have their grants elevated to 10-year awards ranging from $200,000 to $500,000 each.

“Our volunteers bring diverse backgrounds and perspectives, which is so critical to our grant selection process,” said Vyriotes. “Through this democratized approach to philanthropy, they decide more than half the grants every year.”

This year’s grant recipients represent a wide variety of causes, including food insecurity, immigrant and refugee services, social justice, education, and mental health services. The nonprofits are spread across 45 different cities and towns.

The complete list of 140 grant winners, plus more than 900 previous recipients, is available at

Cummings Foundation has now awarded more than $375 million to greater Boston nonprofits.

About Level Ground Mixed Martial Arts

Level Ground empowers urban youth through transformative athletic, academic, and employment opportunities. We are the first and only nonprofit organization in the United States that leverages the popular sport of Mixed Martial Arts as a vehicle for positive youth development and community transformation. Additional information can be found at

About Cummings Foundation

Woburn-based Cummings Foundation, Inc. was established in 1986 by Joyce and Bill Cummings and has grown to be one of the largest private foundations in New England. The Foundation directly operates its own charitable subsidiaries, including New Horizons retirement communities, in Marlborough and Woburn, and Cummings Health Sciences, LLC. Additional information is available at