Teens for Change

Teens for Change

The Teens for Change 2015-2016 grant application is now available! Teens for Change is a youth board of grantmakers that funds other youth-led social change initiatives. Interested in applying? Find the application here!

Applications are due March 18th, 2016 and can be emailed to Sydney Olberg, solberg@threeriverscommunity.org or dropped off/mailed to:

Teens for Change
c/o Three Rivers Community Foundation
100 North Braddock Ave.
Suite 302
Pittsburgh, PA


What is Teens for Change?

Hear from them directly on their interview with SLB radio.


Teens for Change (TFC) introduces you to the grantmaking process. It provides you with the opportunity to work with 15 young people to give out $12,000 to youth-led initiatives that effect systemic change in areas such as Racial justice, Disability Rights, Women’s Rights, Environmental Justice, Economic Justice, LGBTQIA rights. As a TFC board member, you have the chance to present multiple grants to local youth-led social change initiatives.

TFC board members learn about, create, and conduct an entire grant cycle from start to finish and have full decision-making power over the direction of grant funds.

What do you do as a Board Member?

As a TFC board member you learn about philanthropy and current issues facing young people. You reach out to youth doing social change work in the community and encourage them to apply for TFC grant money to carry it out.

Then, you review proposed project ideas and make decisions as a group about which project(s) receive the TFC grant. We award $12,000 in grants of various sizes to projects that impact youth.

Participation in this program helps you develop a deeper knowledge of social change and the inequalities facing youth, and learn new skills like outreach and public speaking, organizing programs, proposal evaluation and group decision-making.

Who has been funded?

Girls Bridging Communities, Teens for Change grantee

Girls Bridging Communities, Teens for Change grantee

Real Talk Performers, Teens 4 Change grantee

Real Talk Performers, Teens for Change grantee

Below are examples of youth-led social justice initiatives that have been funded by Teens for Change board members.

Amachi Ambassadors
Alliance for Refugee Youth Support and Education – PRYSE Academy
Black Political Empowerment Project, Student-led Anti-violence Summit
Braddock Youth Project
Brashear High School Students in Action
CHANGE (Children’s Hospital Youth Advisory Network)
Common Ground Teen Center
E’racism Shaler High School
Educating Teens about HIV/AIDS Inc.
Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Pittsburgh
Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network (GLSEN) Pittsburgh
Girls Bridging Communities
M-Powerment Shaler High School
Prime Stage Theater
Seeds of Hope
TeenBloc A+ Schools
Tree Pittsburgh
Youth Advocacy League

Braddock Youth Project, Teens for Change grantee

TeenBloc, Teens 4 Change grantee

TeenBloc, Teens for Change grantee


Who can apply?

High school students who want to:

1.) Work with other youth to make decisions about where money to help young people goes,

2.) Help youth and their communities,

3.) Learn as a group about grant-making, social change, and the decision-making process.

Who gets selected?

The Three Rivers Community Foundation (TRCF) will select 10-15 TFC board members that reflect the diversity of young people in Allegheny County. Youth are selected from different neighborhoods, schools, grades, academic levels, and life experiences. Students are encouraged to apply regardless of race, gender, religion, economic status, sexual orientation, physical/mental ability, ethnicity, language spoken, or immigration status.


What is the time commitment?

Board membership runs from the end of October to May. The TFC board meets on the first and third Monday each month. In April, two longer meetings are held to review grant proposals.

Teens for Change Schedule 2015-2016
Teens for Change meets on the 1st and 3rd Monday of each month from 5:30-7:30pm at East Liberty Presbyterian Church.


September 11th – Teens for Change board member applications are DUE!

September 22nd – Final notifications to applicants
October 9th – 11th – Youth Undoing Institutional Racism Training (Watch this clip to learn more about YUIR Weekend’s anti-racist youth organizing philosophy)
October 19th – TFC meeting
November 2nd – TFC meeting
November 16th – TFC meeting
December 7th – TFC meeting

December 8th-January 3rd – break


January 4th – TFC meeting
January 18th – TFC meeting
February 1st – TFC meeting: Release Request for Proposals for Teens for Change grant
February 15th – TFC meeting
March 7th- TFC meeting
March 18th- Teens for Change grant application are due!
March 21st – TFC meeting
April 4th – TFC meeting
April 18th – TFC meeting
May 2nd – TFC meeting
May 16th – Final meeting with grantees

Do you get paid?

The program is voluntary, but you receive a $100 stipend for your transportation to and from the meetings. The stipend is for board members who participate throughout the board term.

Additional Information:

This program was adapted from the Fund for Santa Barbara’s (California) Youth Making Change program.

Questions? Contact Sydney Olberg, Programs Manager at solberg@threeriverscommunity.org or (612) 886 – 5268


Teens for Change is supported by