Teens for Change announces 2015 grantees

Three Rivers Community Foundation’s Teens for Change (TFC) program immerses youth in social justice and enables them to not only learn about the grantmaking process, but facilitate it. Each year, a group of 10-15 young people meet from October to May to learn the distinctions between social service and social change and work to effectively implement the latter. Started in 2012, the group has given $26,500 to youth-led social change initiatives in Southwestern Pennsylvania concerning issue areas such as: Disability Rights; Economic Justice; Environmental Justice; LGBTQ Rights (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer/Questioning); Racial Justice; and Women’s Rights. TFC board members have total control and full decision-making power in the grant cycle.

Are you (or a young person you know) interested in becoming a board member? The 2015-2016 TFC application is available now!

Please join us in celebrating the following youth-led initiatives that received 2015 Teens for Change grants.


$750 – Assemble’s Teach-a-thon events support the organization’s goals of youth education and empowerment by bringing participants in different Assemble programs together to interact with and learn from each other. Students from diverse backgrounds will come together to share talents and insights with each other, helping to foster greater understanding and working to eliminate prejudice. Through this experience, students will build relationships that bridge different communities in Southwestern Pennsylvania.

Brashear High School Students in Action

$1,500 – S.I.A. is pioneering a curriculum that will engage students and police officers through the Pittsburgh Public School District’s 2015-16 Civics courses. The group notes that Brasher youth and police officers are two groups with a mutual desire to gain better understanding of the other’s perspectives. S.I.A. is studying relationships between young people and law enforcement in their community to develop an effective curriculum and facilitating service-learning and leadership.


$1,400 – The Children’s Hospital Advisory Network for Guidance and Empowerment is planning “Documenting CHANGE: A Celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act,” a symposium that will address the landmark legislation’s ongoing role in social change. The group is also creating video documentation of ADA’s past and present to raise awareness via social media. With an intersectional approach, the organization is working to increase understanding of the effects of ADA and of the power of youth.

Common Ground Teen Center

$2,000 – The Center’s ongoing Smash the Stereotypes initiative promotes awareness and advocates for policy change in human rights as they relate to young people. The mantra of Each Person is a Person of Worth drives the group’s intersectionally-focused work. Participants are trained to educate their peers and adults on disability awareness, racial justice, and LGBTQAI rights.  

Girls Bridging Communities

$1,850 – GBC offers summer camps at little or no cost across the city of Pittsburgh in order to present girls from low-income communities with opportunities for hands-on, project-based learning in STEAM fields. The programming engages girls in grades 3 through 5 as participants, those in 8th grade as junior mentors, and high schoolers as mentors and directors, providing a wide age-range with STEAM learning opportunities. The organization works to promote racial, socioeconomic, and gender diversity in these fields and across the Pittsburgh community.

Girls Bridging Communities, Teens for Change grantee

Girls Bridging Communities, Teens for Change grantee

Youth Advocacy League

$1,500 – The Youth Advocacy League conducts projects to bring youths together over issues like racial injustice, gender equality, and teen safety. Their current initiative uses cages as metaphorical representations of struggles that Allegheny County teens face. The project aims to raise awareness for the many issues that cause young people to be discriminated against and the group hopes to spread the idea to difference schools and organizations.