Boston: Mayor Wu announces Youth Development Fund grant opportunity open for applications

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~ Mayor Michelle Wu and the City of Boston's Human Services Cabinet have announced that applications are now open for the 2024 Youth Development Fund (YDF), a grant program to support non-profit organizations that provide high quality, engaging programming for youth and young adults ages 14-24. The goal of this grant is to increase the variety of free youth programming in the City and provide a positive outlet for youth during out-of-school time. Applications are due by 5:00 p.m. on September 22, 2023.

Mayor Wu expressed her enthusiasm for the program, saying "Boston's nonprofits work tirelessly to serve Boston's youth, and they deserve the support they need to carry out their missions. I'm thrilled to announce that we have opened applications for the 2024 Youth Development Fund and look forward to partnering with organizations that help all of our young people connect, learn and explore in the City."

José F. Massó, Chief of Human Services, echoed Mayor Wu's sentiments, adding "This grant program is a great opportunity for the city to partner with our youth-serving organizations to ensure that young people in Boston have fun, engaging programming available to them year-round. We have seen excellent results from the YDF in past years and this year we are looking to add a capacity-building component for emerging nonprofit organizations that would benefit from this added support."

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The City of Boston is looking to support organizations through three grants with the goal of helping both larger organizations and build capacity for smaller ones: Emerging Leader Grants, Uplift Grants, and Sustaining Grants. The Emerging Leader Grant will support organizations with an annual operating budget of $75,000 or less; Uplift Grants will be given to medium-size youth serving organizations with budgets between $76,000 and $200,000; Sustaining Grants will be given to larger youth serving nonprofits with a proven track record of success in delivering high quality youth development programs.

This year's YDF grants focus on five categories of programming consistent with Mayor Wu's Connect, Learn, Explore commitment: sports (including swimming and biking), gardening/urban farming/culinary arts; arts (visual/performing); entrepreneurship/financial literacy. In FY23 alone 57 grantees served approximately 7500 youths across Boston through these programs.

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Ruth Rollins, Executive Director of We Are Better Together Warren Daniel Hairston Project commented on their experience utilizing YDF grants saying "Our efforts have led to the augmentation of support for young girls achieved through upgraded programming and trauma-informed care alongside our collaborative work with their caregivers...We remain resolute in our dedication to fostering the potential of our youth; they personify the transformative change we ardently strive to accomplish."

The City has also announced weekend events throughout September starting this weekend specifically designed for teens and young people as an additional resource providing fun safe spaces for them during out-of school time. The City is connecting with parents of young people so they know resources are available for their teens as well as encouraging them take advantage of YDF grants if applicable.

Filed Under: Government, City

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