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Awardees of the 2017 Youth Opportunity Fund

Youth Opportunity Fund

Total of $142,000 will fund 11 programs to support youth

Today Mayor Murray announced the 11 awardees of the Youth Opportunity Fund, a $142,000 fund to support programs that provide positive youth development activities for young people.

“Providing youth, particularly youth of color, enriching experiences has been a key focus of my administration and the Youth Opportunity Cabinet,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “These youth programs, ranging from media production to starting your own business and cultural education, will provide young adults life-changing exposure to new skills, personal development opportunities, and pathways to higher education and careers.”

2017 Youth Opportunity Fund Awards:

  • $15,000 to Somali Family Safety Task Force to support 10-12 East African youth ages 14-20 through a 12-week program with a peer mentoring component. College preparedness, introduction to STEM, potential fields for employment, and environmental awareness will be among the subjects covered.
  • $15,000 to Good Shepherd Youth Outreach to implement the 13-week Standing Tall Mentoring Program at South Shore School for 15 African American males ages 11-14. The program’s components include future employment options, academic engagement, mentoring, and active involvement in community engagement projects.
  • $15,000 to Multi-Media Resource & Training Institute to implement a 10-week media program for East African, Black and African American men ages 18-24 years of age. The program will teach media production, media literacy, critical thinking and leadership and job readiness skills.
  • $8,200 to Community Passageways for an entrepreneur training program for five young men who have been or are currently court-involved. The program will build on participants’ strengths and include training in mechanics and auctions and on starting a business, in addition to ongoing mentoring.
  • $12,075 to Reel Grrls to teach youth career skills, media production, poetry and spoken word for up to 20 students at Chief Sealth High School.
  • $13,450 to Somali Community Service of Seattle for refugee/immigrant youth ages 18-24 to plan, implement, and participate in workshops and community forums with the Seattle Police Department, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, and Seattle Public Schools. The workshop will include community and school safety issues and conflict resolution.
  • $9,267 to The Backpack Academy to provide landscape training to youth of color up to the age of 24. The program will include entry level training for youth interested in working in the field of landscape and design.
  • $15,000 to Hella Black Hella Seattle for three internships for the podcast “Hella Black Hella Seattle” that will focus on training youth of color in marketing, editing and broadcasting.
  • $10,233 to Filipino Community in Seattle for a collaboration with Youth Theater Northwest to provide theater workshops for middle and high school students, culminating in a play based on a Filipino folktale.
  • $14, 978 to Latino Community Fund for a peer, train-the-trainer program for Latinx youth in South Seattle that will focus on health, environmental justice, education and civic engagement.
  • $14,475 to Urban Native Education Alliance to produce a program for Native American youth ages 9-14 that offers culturally-based athletic activities. These activities will improve health and self-esteem, strengthen youth’s connection with Native traditions, culture, and community, and improve life skills.

The Youth Opportunity Fund is a part of the City’s Youth Opportunity Initiative which is focused on ensuring that all youth in Seattle have access to the opportunities and resources needed to allow them to thrive and successfully become an adult. Key elements toward achieving this goal include education, employment, safety, health, and positive connections. The premise of the Fund is that positive youth development is an important antidote to negative or harmful behavior which can too often result in young people being unsafe or involved in the criminal justice system.

The Youth Opportunity Fund is administered by Seattle Department of Neighborhoods and Human Services Department. For more information about the Youth Opportunity Fund, please visit