2017 Youth Voice Awards: A Youth-Led Grantmaking Program

Deadline Extended to Monday, April 10th!

Brooklyn Community Foundation is committed to supporting the leadership and agency of youth in creating community change. The Youth Voice Awards, part of the Foundation's Brooklyn Youth Fellowship, is a youth-led grantmaking program that centers youth as decision makers on funding youth-centered and youth-led projects. The Youth Voice Awards is about elevating the powerful voices of our youth – we believe they have the solutions we are looking for and we want to support their work through grants! And in our second year, we will be giving out $15,000 to youth-led projects in Brooklyn.

Do you or a young person you know have an idea on how to make Brooklyn better for youth? Keep reading to learn more!

We envision a world where young people are free and their self-determination guides our world to be more just and equitable. Youth Voice Awards will support Brooklyn’s young people working in the following justice pillars. We have listed an example of a project under each to get your creativity going and to give you a sense of the types of projects we are looking for.

  • LGBTQ Justice: Creating a safe space for LGBTQ identified youth at your mosque, church or temple
  • Economic and Housing Justice: Creating a community art project that tells the stories of people living in your neighborhood and the impact gentrification has on them
  • Public Health and Reproductive Justice: Hosting a Self-Love or Community Health Fair in your neighborhood where people can learn about ways to take care of themselves and connect to community resources
  • Food and Environmental Justice: Starting a Cooking Club at your school where students learn to make healthy meals and snacks on a budget
  • Immigrant Justice: Planning a film series in your school or community that showcases the voices of undocumented and immigrant youth
  • Education Justice: Creating a big sib/little sib mentoring program where upperclassmen at your high school mentor youth at your local middle school  
  • Racial and Gender Justice: Planning a day of action at your school where all students meet to talk about identity and the impact our identities play in our lives

We believe that these justice pillars intersect and connect with each other, which means your project may fit in one or more of these categories.

Youth Voice Awards recipients get financial support for projects ranging from $500 − $3,000.

To be eligible to apply, youth applicants must:

  • Be 14-24 years of age
  • Have a partnership with a Brooklyn-based nonprofit organization or a school that can serve as your sponsor *If you do not have one, please reach out to us and we can help connect you with a Community Partner to help host your project*
  • Be a resident of Brooklyn

Youth Fellows will review applications using the following criteria, prioritizing projects that:

  • Fit into one or more of the justice pillars, outlined above 
  • Position youth as leaders, decision makers and agents of change right now, in their communities
  • Help young people deepen historical and cultural understanding of their experiences and community issues
  • Engage young people in political education, awareness and/or organizing
  • Have a neighborhood-based and community-driven approach
  • Promote safe(r) spaces for young people to build, create and MAKE CHANGE!

Priority consideration will also be given to projects that are led by directly affected youth, youth of color, LGBTQ young people, or immigrant youth. 


  • MARCH: Application Opens: Sunday, March 5, 2017. Applications Due: Monday, April 10, 2017
  • APRIL: Youth Fellows Review Applications
  • MAY: Youth Voice Awards Announced and Awarded at Youth Voice Awards Celebration
  • SUMMER - FALL 2017: Projects take place in Brooklyn! After award recipients are selected, it’s time to make the Youth Voice Awards come to life in the community. Recipients will be responsible for carrying out their projects during this time.

Please complete and submit the online application by Monday, April 10, 2017 at 5PM. 

Begin the Online Application


Here are the questions asked on the online application. Applicants will also be asked to submit a project budget.


  1. Tell us about yourself: Who do you admire/ What do you like to do/ What are 3 words to describe you? (100-200 words)
  2. Why did you want to apply for the Youth Voice Awards? (100-150 words)
  3. What is one dream or hope you have for young people in Brooklyn? (50-100 words)


  1. What is your project about and what are some ways you hope your project will make Brooklyn better for young people? (200-300 words)
  2. Why is this project personal for you? (100-200 words) 
  3. Briefly describe the programs you provide/intend to provide. Be specific to how many people will be involved/how often your program will meet. (200-300 words)
  4. Explain why you feel there is a need for this project. What makes it unique? (150-200 words)


  1. Give a brief timeline of your project. What will you do first, second, third? (150-300 words)
  2. What are some of the challenges you think you will face in making your project happen? Are there specific areas of support/guidance you are looking for? (150-200 words)
  3. Fill in the blank: My project is _______________. My project sparks change in Brooklyn by _________. (25-50 words)

Please share the mission of the organization you plan to partner with. What history of working with youth have they demonstrated and what support will you need from them in order to make your project a success? (150-200 words)

Below is a sample budget that you can adjust for your project. We know your expenses are still in process and if selected, we will work with you on your budget. For now, think about the materials and expenses you would absolutely need to make your project happen.




Outreach materials (100 copies x .50 cents)


Flyering in community

Large poster paper for signs (20 sheets x $1)


Materials for workshops

Markers (2 packs)


Materials for workshops

10 disposable cameras ($7.95 x 10)


Cameras for photo documentary process

Snacks for participants ($25/session x 5 sessions)


Snacks for workshops

Photobook printing (60 copies x $12 each)


Final gallery showing

Refreshments for gallery opening (50 people)


Final gallery showing

Space rental


Final gallery showing





Thank you for your interest in the Youth Voice Awards!
Remember to complete your online application by
5PM on Monday, April 10, 2017