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Youth Making Change

Organization Mission

Youth Making Change is a project of the Fund for Santa Barbara (The FUND). The FUND provides resources to organizations and projects in Santa Barbara County involved in promoting progressive social change at the grassroots level, educating the community about social and economic conditions and organizing people to confront fundamental problems affecting their lives. Historically, social conditions have improved most dramatically when those who have been denied power and justice have come together to form coalitions and confront problems and this is why the FUND operates with the motto “Change, Not Charity”.

Social Change Project:

Youth Making Change (YMC) is a teen-led grant-making and leadership development program that provides youth with the opportunity to engage directly in organized philanthropy (grant giving). YMC empowers local youth activists to lead and make decisions based on self-determination and the social justice principles of the Fund. Our two boards, one in Santa Maria and the other in Santa Barbara, are both led by teens ages 13-19.

The youth board conducts outreach and encourages youth groups that address the most pressing needs for youth in Santa Barbara County to apply. They each give out $15,000 in grants to youth-led projects that strive to bring positive change for youth in the community. Since 2008, YMC has awarded over $275,000 to 130 youth-led groups throughout Santa Barbara County.

The Fund is celebrating the 10 year anniversary of Youth Making Change. Help us ensure continued youth-led CHANGE NOT CHARITY work and youth engagement in Santa Barbara County! Youth Making Change is a program of the Fund for Santa Barbara and is inspired by the Santa Barbara Foundation’s Katherine Harvey Fellows Class of 2006-2007.

The thing I love about this program: it makes it clear that our youth are NOT the future leaders of the world. Rather they are the leaders NOW. YMC allows youth the opportunity to lead, to get other youth involved in learning about and applying for grants, and allows our youth-led community development programs additional funding to better impact our youth.

- Community Member