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:

2018-19 Youth Leadership Grants: Grants support community-based organizations that position youth as long-term leaders in their communities. 


  • 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
  • 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   
  • *Brownsville Community Culinary Center: $30,000 to support the culinary training and apprenticeship program for young people, ages 18-34, from Brownsville. Brownsville
  • 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
  • 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


  • ARTs East New York: $25,000 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
  • Hook Arts Media: $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 Community Mural Project: $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    
  • 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
  • *viBe Theater Experience: $30,000 to support programming that engages girls and young women of color to write, create, publish, direct, and perform personal collaborative theater and music. Boroughwide


  • Active Citizen Project: $25,000 for Project EATS, 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        
  • Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger: $20,000 to support the Green Teens sustainable farming paid apprenticeship program for Brooklyn youth ages 15-24. Bedford Stuyvesant
  • 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


  • Alex House Project: $35,000 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
  • Sanctuary for Families: $20,000 to support the establishment of the Mishkan Project, a peer support group and work development program 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


  • The Ali Forney Center: $35,000 to support the Youth Advocacy Internship Program for homeless LGBTQIA youth of color. Citywide
  • Audre Lorde Project: $35,000 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
  • *Brooklyn Community Pride Center: $35,000 to support the Pride Path Program to connect underemployed Brooklyn LGBTQ+ young adults, ages 18-24, to paid professional development, internships, and employment opportunities. Boroughwide


  • CAMBA: $25,000 to support Brownsville In, Violence Out, a community-based youth development and gun-violence reduction program. Brownsville
  • 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
  • Neighbors in Action: $30,000 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
  • 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 (KAVI): $35,000 for the hospital-based violence interruption program and in-school and community-based discussion groups and workshops. East New York, Brownsville, Flatbush


  • 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
  • *IntegrateNYC: $25,000 to support the leadership and capacity of students working to end segregation in New York City public schools. Boroughwide
  • *Participatory Budgeting Project: $30,000 to support a pilot project to expand engagement and participatory budgeting in high-need Brooklyn public high schools in Central Brooklyn. Boroughwide, Bedford Stuyvesant, Crown Heights
  • Resilience Advocacy Project: $30,000 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
  • *Youth Advocacy Corps: $25,000 to support YAC’s core youth advocacy programs: the Youth Advocacy Summer Institute and Mental Health Awareness Project. Boroughwide, East New York