Founded in 1994, Youth As Resources, (YAR) is a youth-led grant making, community organizing and leadership development organization that helps youth address their most critical community problems through organizing to make change.
As mandated by our by-laws, YAR is governed by a majority youth Board of Directors currently comprised of 23 youth (ages 14 – 24) and 2 adults.
Through the efforts of youth on our Board each year over 250 of our peers are involved in creating community organizing initiatives supported by YAR funds.
YAR has two grant cycles a year, one in the Spring and one in the Fall. As a result of recent YAR grant making a students from Douglass High School visited Cuba and are teaching their peers what they learned and youth in McElderry Park have launched a youth council to address issues around opportunity with the longer term vision of opening a neighborhood youth center.
Since 1994, YAR has completed 42 funding cycles distributing well over a half a million dollars to 421 youth-led community strengthening projects and to support efforts for institutional change.
Through our Task Force Initiative, each year, approximately 300 youth are trained as community organizers, grant writers and program planners.
YAR organizes groups from the ground up to develop strategies by providing peer-to-peer training and assistance on community organizing, project planning and grant writing. An outreach team (called Task Force) is comprised of out-of-school and in-school YAR leaders who have been trained to carry out these activities and workshops year-round in schools, after school programs, summer programs and community sites. Task Force members assist other youth in identifying their most pressing issues and developing community organizing strategies that make a lasting change. Task Force members also provide ongoing support through the stages of program implementation. Task Force members receive a stipend for their work which allows us to increase the hours we commit to YAR while doing work that we are passionate about and in which we excel.
Currently, approximately 25% of the grants provided are to groups that YAR has organized and trained through our community organizing strategy.
YAR trains and supports the next generation of non-traditional philanthropic, community and civic leaders. Former YAR youth leaders include many non-profit and youth development executives and managers, teachers, a social worker, an Emmy award winning journalist and community leaders.
Youth As Resources engages young people in Baltimore City, primarily in the inner city, in community organizing, organizational governance, leadership and grant making.
We believe in using our power to change policies and practices that impact our community and institutions by organizing to make change in our communities and institutions and by controlling philanthropic dollars to make grants to our peers to develop and carry out community organizing strategies that address the root causes of problems.
Adults involved in foundations and philanthropy analyze community problems and their causes and decide how to best allocate resources in order to sustain community change often without the involvement of youth, who are often the most adversely affected. YAR youth Board members fill this gap, by providing grants and support to our peers to turn their community organizing ideas into sustainable strategies and projects. As a result, Baltimore neighborhoods and institutions are strengthened, and youth get hands on training in leadership, grant making, community organizing and critical thinking.
We couldn’t do it without you! Youth As Resources is currently supported by: The Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Fund for Change, Associated Jewish Charities — Macht Philanthropic Fund, the Baltimore City Public School System, the Baltimore Community Foundation, the Family League of Baltimore City, the Jane and Worth B. Daniels, Jr. Fund, the Betty Lee and Dudley P. Digges Memorial Fund, Disability Rights, Maryland, and individual and Board contributions.