Philadelphia Foundation’s Youth-in-Philanthropy Program Awards $72,000 in Grants to Philadelphia Nonprofits

YOUTHadelphia grant recipients included seven nonprofits serving young adults in the areas of mental health, sexual health, education reform and youth leadership

PHILADELPHIA, PA – Philadelphia Foundation is pleased to announce its Youth-in-Philanthropy program, “YOUTHadelphia,” has awarded $72,000 in grants to seven Philadelphia nonprofits addressing pressing issues for young adults.

YOUTHadelphia, a group comprised of Philadelphia teens ages 14-18, identified mental health, sexual health, education reform and youth leadership as focus areas for this year’s grant awards. Overseen by the leadership of Philadelphia Foundation, YOUTHadelphia engages youth in grantmaking activities and provides leadership development opportunities, as well as a forum for youth dialogue and action.

“The YOUTHadelphia program offers teens tremendous opportunities to exercise civic leadership through philanthropy,” said Pedro A. Ramos, President & CEO, Philadelphia Foundation. “The areas of impact they’ve identified through these grants are not only personal and meaningful to them, but are critical areas of need for all young adults of our city.”

In its 16th year of grantmaking, the YOUTHadelphia program has awarded more than $1.1 million to Philadelphia nonprofits. The 2020 youth advisory committee met weekly beginning in October to select grant recipients. The 13-member committee represents a diverse cross-section of Philadelphia teens, from both private and public schools.

Funding priorities were identified through research conducted with the help of Edwin Mayorga, assistant professor of educational studies at Swarthmore College. The participants received training in communications led by, Mina Ado formerly of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and financial accountability from Philadelphia Foundation staff members. They also discussed the role of fundraising in philanthropy with youth involved in the Teen Giving Project of the Jewish Federation of Philadelphia. Outreach/recruitment and site visit best practices were introduced by YOUTHadelphia Program Advisor Aurora Sanchez and Philadelphia Foundation staffers.

2020 YOUTHadelphia Grant Recipients:

The Youth Art & Self-Empowerment Project (YASP), received $23,000 in support of its youth-led work to end the practice of trying and incarcerating young people as adults. YASP empowers incarcerated and formerly incarcerated young people through a combination of artistic expression, political education and community organizing. It strives to motivate young people to challenge the laws that led to their incarceration and encourages them to express their voices creatively with the world at large.

Big Picture Alliance, received $11,500 in support of the Via Lux Teen Media Collective, a youth-led collective that produces films about important stories shaping the lives of young people and engages the public through screenings, broadcasts and social media. The program provides youth the tools to represent themselves, the platform to reach their audience, and the pathway to explore careers in film & media – cultivating a creative community of young leaders that use their art to advocate for dialogue and social change.

Lil’ Filmmakers Inc., received $11,500 in support of its mission to train young underserved artists to use media and the arts as a tool to overcome societal and personal barriers and prepare them for arts and media careers.

The Attic Youth Center, received $11,500 for the Thrive Project, a community-building program designed to empower Queer Youth and their peers to address their health and well-being, including the intersections of race, culture, identity, and social issues impacting their lives; utilizing a behavior intervention strategy to highlight the importance of sexual health and to foster self-awareness, goal setting, behavior change, and resiliency.

Girls Inc. of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, received a $6,000 grant in support of the Girls Inc. Ambassador Club, a leadership and career readiness program for over 25 girls ages 15-18. The yearlong program meets to address youth-selected topics such as social media literacy, mental health awareness, career exploration and post-secondary planning. This grant will allow the addition of a comprehensive healthy sexuality curriculum to the Ambassador program.

New Options More Opportunities (NOMO), received $5,500 in support of its mission to help children and youth from challenging and vulnerable circumstances develop the assets necessary to make healthy life choices, set realistic goals, act with determination and ultimately build vibrant successful lives for themselves through direct contact and relationships with caring and positive adult role models.

Rebel Ventures, a high school student-run nonprofit food business based in Philadelphia, received $3,000 in support of the Rebel Market. The Rebel Market is a new healthy school store concept run by students in schools, with the goal of providing healthy and delicious snack options to students and meaningful job opportunities for high school youth.


Founded in 1918, Philadelphia Foundation strengthens the economic, social and civic vitality of Greater Philadelphia. Philadelphia Foundation grows effective philanthropic investment, connects individuals and institutions across sectors and geography, and advances civic initiatives through partnerships and collaboration. A publicly supported foundation, the Philadelphia Foundation manages more than 1,000 charitable funds established by its donors and makes over 1,000 grants and scholarship awards each year. To learn more, visit

YOUTHadelphia 2020 members include Jamir Babb (The Workshop School), Angelina Duccilli (String Theory School), Christine Fang (Friends Select School), Annika Hagen (Central High School),  Felicia Linfeng Liu (Friends Select School), Luke Macri (St. Joseph’s Prep), Ellis Moore-Smith (homeschooled), Jared Nesbitt (Monsignor Bonner & Archbishop Prendergast Catholic High School), Mahalia Trudeau-Williams (The Crefeld School), Taj Walter (Science Leadership Academy), and Brenae Warner (Academy at Palumbo).

YOUTHadelphia annually distributes grants through the Fund for Children, which was established through contributions by the Philadelphia Eagles and the Philadelphia Phillies when they built their new stadiums. Grants are made to organizations within the city of Philadelphia serving young people.