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 Activists: 10-month fellowship for young Brooklynites interested in social justice, advocacy, and grantmaking. Participants lead their own grant program and youth-focused conference.

  • Youth Voice Awards: Small grants program to address neighborhood or school-based challenges proposed by young people in Brooklyn, overseen by our Brooklyn Youth Activists.

Our Investment:

2020-21 Youth Leadership Grants: Grants support community-based organizations that position youth as long-term leaders in their communities. 

  • Alex House Project: To provide pregnancy and parenting groups for teens and other young, low-income, first time mothers and fathers in Red Hook. Red Hook      

  • The Ali Forney Center: To support the Youth Advocacy Internship Program for homeless LGBTQIA youth of color. Citywide

  • ARTs East New York: To support the Public Art Apprenticeship Program and Young Artist Institute for young people interested in the arts as a tool for social change. East New York*

  • Audre Lorde Project: To support youth-led programs and advocacy for LGBTQIA people of color that build leadership and organizing skills, reduce surveillance policing, and promote safer communities. Boroughwide

  • Black Women's Blueprint: 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    

  • Brownsville Community Culinary Center: To support the culinary training and apprenticeship program for young people, ages 18-34, from Brownsville. Brownsville

  • Building Beats: To support DJ and music programs that teach entrepreneurial, leadership, and life skills to young people of color. Boroughwide*

  • CAMBA: To support Brownsville In, Violence Out, a community-based youth development and gun-violence reduction program. Brownsville

  • The Campaign Against Hunger: To support the Green Teens sustainable farming paid apprenticeship program for Brooklyn youth ages 15-24. Bedford Stuyvesant

  • Center for Anti-Violence Education: For comprehensive anti-violence, empowerment, and leadership programming for young people, including the expansion of services for LGBTQ homeless youth and service providers. Boroughwide

  • Churches United For Fair Housing: For youth development programming focused on housing-related issues and other challenges impacting low-income communities of color. Bushwick

  • Footsteps: 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

  • Fifth Avenue Committee: For a leadership and advocacy program for NYCHA youth. Gowanus, Red Hook

  • Global Action Project: 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: For after-school programming that aims to increase exposure to local and international human rights and social justice issues. Boroughwide

  • Girl Be Heard: For multidisciplinary arts opportunities designed to engage young women in social justice education and develop their leadership skills. Boroughwide

  • Girls for Gender Equity: To advance advocacy strategies led by girls and young women of color and gender expansive youth of color focused on issues including gender based violence, sexism, and racism. Boroughwide

  • Groundswell Community Mural Project: 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

  • H.O.L.L.A (How Our Lives Link Altogether): For a social justice education, leadership, and organizing program for low income youth of color focused on trauma recovery and healing. Boroughwide

  • IntegrateNYC: To support the leadership and capacity of students working to end segregation in New York City public schools. Boroughwide

  • Kings Against Violence Initiative (KAVI): For the hospital-based violence interruption program and in-school and community-based discussion groups and workshops. East New York, Brownsville, Flatbush

  • Made in Brownsville: For a community-based creative agency and community design center that provides a gateway for young people to learn marketable skills in STEAM, access higher education, achieve economic mobility, and become civic leaders. Brownsville*

  • Neighbors in Action: To support Youth Organizing to Save Our Streets and Justice Community Plus, two of the Center’s holistic, anti-violence and work readiness youth development programs. Crown Heights, Bedford Stuyvesant

  • Sanctuary for Families: For a peer support group and workforce development for Ultra-Orthodox young women who have been rejected by their families due to histories of abuse, addiction, sex trafficking, and other forms of gendered violence. Citywide

  • STEM from Dance: To support a cohesive learning experience in which dance is used to introduce girls of color to computer science. Boroughwide*

  • Theatre of the Oppressed NYC: 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: 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

  • United Community Centers: 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

  • UPROSE: For community organizing, public education, and leadership programs for youth that advance environmental sustainability and resiliency. Sunset Park, South Slope, Gowanus

  • viBe Theater Experience: To support programming that engages girls and young women of color to write, create, publish, direct, and perform personal collaborative theater and music. Boroughwide*

  • Youth Advocacy Corps: To support YAC’s core youth advocacy programs: the Youth Advocacy Summer Institute and Mental Health Awareness Project. Boroughwide, East New York

*Partially funded by ELMA Music Foundation