Youth Leadership

Investing in Young Leaders from Under-Resourced Neighborhoods

Our Goal: 

Expand opportunities for transformational youth development and authentic leadership

Our Strategy:

We support community-based organizations that offer transformational programming to youth. These programs position youth as long-term leaders in their communities and give them the tools to challenge institutional barriers that limit opportunities and potential. We focus on continuous investments in neighborhoods where quality programs are rare or non-existent. 

  • Neighborhood-Based Opportunities: Support for comprehensive youth development programs (i.e. after school enrichment, arts, sports and recreation, mentoring, college and career readiness) in high-need neighborhoods.

  • Brooklyn Youth Fellowship: 10-month fellowship for 20 youth paired with top youth-serving nonprofits in Brooklyn. Fellows work as a group and gather monthly to advise on our strategy.

  • Youth Voice Awards: Small grants program to address neighborhood or school-based challenges proposed by young people in Brooklyn. Grant requests will be reviewed by Brooklyn Youth Fellows.

2016-17 Youth Leadership Grants: $960,000 to 32 Nonprofits


  • Green City Force: $40,000 for a service and training program that aims to create ladders to careers in the green economy for NYCHA youth, focused on development of two urban farms. Red Hook, Brownsville
  • *Myrtle Avenue Revitalization Project: $20,000 to support an entrepreneurship and mentoring program that connects NYCHA youth with their first jobs at small businesses along Myrtle Avenue. Fort Greene, Clinton Hill
  • Bridge Street Development Corporation: $25,000 for a civic engagement and internship program for youth interested in public service, service learning, leadership development, and activism. Bedford Stuyvesant, Brownsville, Clinton Hill, Fort Greene
  • Brooklyn Community Services: $30,000 for a project that engages young people, primarily immigrant youth, in activities to help them develop job skills, improve their academic performance, and become community leaders. Coney Island   
  • Red Hook Initiative: $40,000 to provide job readiness and leadership training, part-time employment, academic support, and services to assist young people toward graduation, college, and career. Red Hook
  • United Community Centers: $40,000 to support the operation and management of one of the city’s largest youth-led farms as well as a sexual health-focused peer education program. East New York
  • University Settlement Society of New York: $20,000 for a program offering low-income youth a safe space to discover a positive sense of self and community and develop leadership skills to inspire others to collaborate toward community change. Fort Greene, Clinton Hill


  • Dance Theatre Etcetera: $25,000 for in-school, after-school, and summer-based multi-disciplinary arts programs serving low-income youth of color, with a focus on overage, under-credited students and disconnected youth. Red Hook
  • Groundswell: $35,000 for school year and summer programs that engage youth from underserved communities in public mural making as a means of social change while developing their leadership and creative skills. Boroughwide
  • Ifetayo Cultural Arts Academy: $30,000 for the creative, educational, and vocational development of Black and Caribbean youth in Central Brooklyn. Bedford-Stuyvesant, Crown Heights, Flatbush   
  • *Reel Works: $25,000 for documentary filmmaking and media production programs for youth, including school-based program with four middle and high schools in Brownsville. Boroughwide, Brownsville
  • Theatre of the Oppressed NYC: $25,000 to engage court-involved youth as actors and playwrights in a comprehensive theatre-for-social justice program that uses real life stories of the youth actors. Boroughwide           
  • *Truthworker Theater Company: $20,000 for a theater program that uses first person narratives to bring the stories of young people impacted by incarceration to the forefront and drive awareness of the need for policy reform. Boroughwide


  • *Alex House: $25,000 to provide pregnancy and parenting groups for teens and other young, low-income, first time mothers and fathers in Red Hook. Red Hook          
  • Black Women's Blueprint: $35,000 for a partnership with student organizers to pilot campus-based transformative justice practices that hold harm-doers accountable and support sexual violence survivors in their healing and development. Crown Heights           
  • *Girl Be Heard: $35,000 for multidisciplinary arts opportunities designed to engage young women in social justice education and develop their leadership skills. Boroughwide
  • Girls for Gender Equity: $35,000 to advance advocacy strategies led by LGBTQ youth of color focused on issues including gender based violence, sexism, and racism. Boroughwide
  • Sadie Nash Leadership Project: $35,000 for a Brooklyn-based summer leadership institute that engages young women in political education and empowerment programs to equip them to be agents for social change. Bedford- Stuyvesant, Coney Island, Crown Heights, East New York          


  • Active Citizen Project: $25,000 for a youth leadership initiative centered at the organization’s community farm that aims to help young people improve the conditions that determine their quality of life and ability to thrive. Brownsville, East New York, Crown Heights        
  • Added Value: $20,000 for the urban farming and youth empowerment program, which hires a cohort of teens to run the farm, farmers market, and community food events as they develop leadership on food justice issues. Red Hook
  • Brooklyn Botanic Garden: $25,000 for an apprentice program through which teens work under the guidance of skilled professionals and receive mentorship from top horticulturalists and environmental educators. Boroughwide     
  • UPROSE: $35,000 for community organizing, public education, and leadership programs for youth that advance environmental sustainability and resiliency. Sunset Park, South Slope, Gowanus


  • *Audre Lorde Project: $35,000 to support youth-led programs and advocacy for LGBTQ people of color that build leadership and organizing skills, reduce surveillance policing, and promote safer communities. Boroughwide
  • The Center for Anti-Violence Education: $40,000 for comprehensive anti-violence, empowerment, and leadership programming for young people, including the expansion of services for LGBTQ homeless youth and service providers. Boroughwide
  • *H.O.L.L.A - How Our Lives Link Altogether: $20,000 for a social justice education, leadership, and organizing program for low income youth of color focused on trauma recovery and healing. Boroughwide
  • *Kings Against Violence Initiative: $35,000 for the hospital-based violence interruption program and in-school and community-based discussion groups and workshops. East New York, Brownsville, Flatbush
  • Footsteps: $25,000 to support formerly ultra-Orthodox Jewish youth transitioning into mainstream society with resources, leadership development, and peer connections. Crown Heights, Borough Park, Kensington, Flatbush, Williamsburg


  • *Churches United For Fair Housing: $35,000 for youth development programming focused on housing-related issues and other challenges impacting low-income communities of color. Bushwick
  • FUREE: $25,000 for a leadership and advocacy program for NYCHA youth. Gowanus, Red Hook
  • *Global Action Project: $40,000 for an intersectional youth organizing and activism program that uses media and storytelling to help young people, specifically immigrant and LGBTQ youth, advocate for themselves and their communities. Boroughwide
  • *Global Kids: $35,000 for after-school programming that aims to increase exposure to local and international human rights and social justice issues. Boroughwide
  • *Resilience Advocacy Project: $25,000 to provide leadership development programs, legal education, and peer-to-peer trainings for youth of color, particularly those living in ACS care or detention, focused on advocating for community change. Boroughwide