The Fund for Santa Barbara

Youth Making Change

Youth Making Change (YMC) is a teen-led grant-making program, launched in 2008, providing
young people with the opportunity to engage directly in organized philanthropy (giving grants). Each YMC Board (one meets in Santa Maria and one meets in Santa Barbara) gives out $15,000 in grants to projects led by youth that impact young people in

Santa Barbara County. YMC board members are teens ages 13-19. They create and conduct an entire grant cycle from start to finish and then share what they have learned as grant-makers and philanthropists with their communities. Each YMC board is led by two Youth Facilitators who are previous YMC board members. Facilitators assist the board in meeting its objectives; as well as provide an experienced youth perspective on the grant-making process. Since 2008, YMC has awarded $157,500 to 90 youth-led groups throughout Santa Barbara County. Youth Making Change is a program of the Fund for Santa Barbara, inspired by the Santa Barbara Foundation's Katherine Harvey Fellows Class of 2006-2007.


Join the YMC Board

Download application HERE

Due Friday, May 22, 2015 before 5pm.

What do YMC board members do?

Board membership runs from July to May of the following year. YMC members meet twice a month for the school year to plan and carry out a grant cycle. First, members learn about philanthropy and grant-making. They also learn about current issues facing young people in Santa Barbara County and share their own perspectives and opinions. They reach out to youth in the community to encourage them to plan a project and apply for money to carry it out. Board members receive grant applications from youth-led groups and review proposed project ideas. They conduct interviews of applicants and make decisions as a group about which projects to support. Each board has $15,000 to give to youth-led groups trying to improve the lives of young people in the community. After making their grants, YMC Board members conduct follow up site visits and give support to funded groups. They also fundraise for next year’s YMC. Board members develop important leadership skills and experience including meeting planning and facilitation, outreach and public speaking, program planning, proposal evaluation and group decision-making.

YMC Member Requirements

  • Be between the ages of 13 and 19 as of 8/1/15
  • Live or go to school in Santa Barbara County
  • Attend an all day training on Sat. August 1, 2015
  • Attend meetings twice a month, 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. from August 2015 to May 2016*
    • Mtgs in Santa Maria: 1st & 3rd Wednesdays.
    • Mtgs in Santa Barbara: 1st & 3rd Thursdays.
  • Read and discuss grant applications & share your opinions
  • Work with a diverse group of teens, be a leader and have FUN!

*Other meetings include one additional Saturday meeting. There is also some independent work between meetings.

Who gets selected? The goal is to establish a board that reflects the diversity of young people in the county. Youth are selected from different neighborhoods, schools, grades, academic levels, and life experiences. Youth are encouraged to apply regardless of race, gender, religion, economic status, sexual orientation, academic status, physical/mental ability, ethnicity, language spoken, or immigration status.

$300 STIPEND Participating in YMC is voluntary, but you do get a $300 stipend for your participation in recognition of your time commitment. The stipend is based on participation throughout the board term.

Download YMC Board Application PDF here

Download YMC Board Application WORD doc here

Applications Due Friday, May 22, 2015 before 5pm.

Return application to:

Santa Maria Drop off: 120 East Jones Street, Suite 120 Santa Maria, CA  93454

Santa Barbara Drop off: 26 West Anapamu Street, Santa Barbara, CA  93101

FAX: 805-965-0217     Email:


Congratulations to the 2014/2015 YMC Grant Recipients

— YMC South —

Dos Pueblos H.S. Social Equality Club / S.A.S.S.Y. (Student Activists Serving and Supporting Youth) – $1,890
Funding to facilitate multiple events and campaigns geared towards positive social change

Kids Helping Kids / Low-Income Youth AP Test Scholarships - $2,010
Funding to provide Advanced Placement test scholarships to low-income youth at San Marcos High School

PeerBuddies / Peer Buddy Volunteers - $2,500
Funding to pair low-income teens with special needs with teen Peer Buddy volunteers who teach them social skills in the community

San Marcos H.S. Entrepreneurship Academy / Facilitating Growth in Foster Youth - $2,950
Provide educational resources, field trips, counseling opportunities, and team and art projects for foster youth

Santa Barbara H.S. Teen Sustainability Coalition / Creating a Sustainable Future Through Aquaponics - $1,900
Funding to create an aquaponics system at Santa Barbara HS for science and other classes to utilize in their curriculum

SBPAL Youth Leadership Council / 5th Annual Big & Little PAL Spring Break Mentoring Camp - $2,500
Support for a youth camp to develop leadership skills, provide peer-mentoring, instill a sense of civic pride and responsibility, and enhance self-esteem

PermAction / Low-Income Housing Sustainable Assistance - $1,250
Support to provide jobs for youth, while mitigating for the drought and assisting low income residents to become more environmentally sustainable

— YMC North —

Allan Hancock College Dream Club / Youth Opportunity Movement - $ 2,460
Funding for a project to give support to students that are at-risk of not continuing their higher education

Allan Hancock College Gay Straight Alliance / Safe Spaces & Queer Education Campaign - $1,150
Support to revamp the AHC "Safe Spaces" Campaign, create an LGBTQ newsletter and put on a social event for the public

Ernest Righetti H.S. Gay Straight Alliance / Pride Threads - $1,440
Funds to raise awareness of the LGBT+ community through the form of representative clothing

Ernest Righetti H.S. Latinos Unidos Club / "We are Multicultural" Conference - $2,000
Funding for a youth-led conference that promotes cultural awareness and embraces diversity in the community

Jovenes Activos de Ñuu Savi / Stop the Discrimination Against the Indigenous - $2,700
Support for presentations about the Mexican Indigenous community to stop the discrimination against them

Lompoc Youth Commission / TOTAL (Teaching Our Teens As Leaders) Conference 2015 - $2,000
Funding for a youth leadership conference designed for Lompoc teens by Lompoc teens, to address issues related to teens today

REAL: Responsible, Encouraging, Assistant Leaders / The REAL Project - $1,250
Support to develop leaders amongst homeless youth, encourage and teach peers, welcome others, and educate the community about homelessness

Santa Maria H.S. AVID Class of 2018 / College for All - $2,000
Support to motivate high school peers not in AVID to attend college


Apply for a YMC Grant

Get up to $3,500 for your youth-led project

Applications are available in August. Funds are granted for use February through July of the following year.

(la solicitud en español se encuentra abajo / application in spanish is below)

Basic Guidelines (see full 14/15 guidelines here):

  • Projects must be youth driven. Youth ages 12 – 24 should be leaders in all aspects of the project.
  • Teens in the community must benefit from the project, not just the planning team.
  • Project must attempt to fix a problem affecting youth by providing a solution.
  • Projects must be located in Santa Barbara County.
  • Youth-led groups must have a sponsoring organization, such as a school or community-based organization.

YOU CAN USE YMC MONEY FOR (but not limited to):

  • Postage, printing, copying and design costs;
  • Materials or supplies for a program, like art supplies, software, books, etc.
  • Items needed for an event, like sound equipment rental, awards, food, prizes, CD's, etc.
  • Stipends for youth planners to carryout the project – a stipend is an amount of $$ that you get for your work on the project;
  • Trips outside of Santa Barbara County that explicitly support your work inside the county through a clear follow-up plan.


  • Projects that are planned & led solely by adults;
  • Projects that are designed solely to raise money for your group;
  • Trips/activities that take place outside of Santa Barbara County and include NO follow up in the county;
  • Stipends or salaries for adult allies;
  • Overhead (general) costs of the sponsor organization [Overhead costs are things like the gas bill, the phone bill, or monthly rent].

For a list of past YMC Grant recipients click here!

Grants are disbursed in February and must be used by July 31st.

Need Help Planning Your Project? We want to help!

  1. Download a YMC Action Planning Guide here!
  2. CONTACT US to set up a time when we can talk to your group about things like how to choose an idea, create a time line for your project, write your essay, or fill out your budget.

For more information contact Cristina at 805-922-1707x200 or

For the YMC 14/15 Grant Application w. Instructions click here!

For your convenience, the following links will take you to MS Word versions of the YMC application. These versions may be downloaded and completed on your computer, but signed hard copies must be submitted by the deadline:

For a word version of the YMC 14/15 Grant Application, click here.



La solicitud de YMC es disponible en agosto. Los fondos se otorgan entre febrero y julio del siguiente año.

!Consigan hasta $3,500 para su proyecto dirigido por jovenes!


Youth Making Change (Jovenes Haciendo Cambio) o YMC, es un programa dirigido por adolescentes que otorga becas. Empezó en el 2008 para darle la oportunidad a adolescentes que participen directamente en la filantropía organizada (dar becas). Cada Mesa de YMC (uno se reune en Santa María y otro se reune en Santa Bárbara), reparte $15,000 dólares en becas para proyectos dirigidos por jóvenes que impactan a los jóvenes en el Condado de Santa Bárbara. Miembros de YMC son adolescentes de 13-19 años de edad. Crean y llevan a cabo un ciclo de otorgación becas y luego comparten lo que han aprendido como filántropos en sus comunidades. Cada Mesa de YMC es dirigida por dos jóvenes facilitadores que son miembros anteriores de YMC. Los facilitadores ayudan a que cumplan sus objetivos, así como dar una perspectiva jóvenes con experiencia en el proceso de dar becas. Desde el año 2008, YMC ha otorgado $130,000 a 75 grupos dirigidos por jóvenes en todo el Condado de Santa Bárbara. YMC es un programa del Fund for Santa Bárbara, inspirado por la clase 2006-2007 de Katherine Harvey Fellows de la fundación, Santa Barbara Foundation.

Requisitos Basicos:

  • El proyecto tiene que ser dirigido por jóvenes. Jóvenes de 12 a 21 años de edad tienen que ser los lideres en todos los aspectos del proyecto.
  • Jóvenes en la comunidad deben beneficiarse del proyecto, no solo el equipo planeando.
  • El proyecto debe enfocarse en un problema social que enfrentan jóvenes o realizar una necesidad real para la gente joven en el condado de Santa Barbara.
  • El proyecto se tiene que llevar a cabo en el condado de Santa Barbara.
  • El proyecto tiene que tener a una organización que los respalde como una escuela o organización comunitaria.

¿Necesitan ayuda para organizar su proyecto? Queremos ayudar!

1. Descargue una Guía para Planear Acción YMC aquí!
2. Contactenos para encontrar un tiempo en que podemos hablar con su grupo acerca de su planeacion como la forma de elegir una idea, crear una línea de tiempo para su proyecto, escribir su ensayo, o llenar su presupuesto.

Para mas informacion o si gustan ayuda en preparar su solicitud, comuniquense con Cristina al 805-922-1707x200 o

Para tu comodidad, el siguiente enlace te llevará a la version de MS Word de la aplicación YMC. Esta version se pueden descargar y completar en la computadora, pero una copia de papel con firmas originales debe ser entregada antes de la fecha de plazo:

Para obtener una copia en MS Word de la Solicitud de Beca 14/15, haga clic aquí.


Youth Making Change Testimonials

YMC Member:
“I enjoyed finding out some of the needs in the community and seeing the programs people have started to deal with them”

Parent: “I watched my daughter gain more self-esteem and become more assertive. She knows her voice is important and now takes steps to make sure she is heard”

Community Member: “The thing I love about this program: it makes it clear that our youth are NOT the future leaders of the world. Rather they are the leaders NOW. YMC allows youth the opportunity to lead, to get other youth involved in learning about and applying for grants, and allows our youth-led community development programs additional funding to better impact our youth.”


Grant Report Form

A final report is required July 31st or when the funds have been spent whichever comes first.  These reports include a financial statement detailing expenses and a narrative of the project’s impact, effectiveness, problems, and plans to continue.

For a MS Word version of the YMC Grant Report Form click here.


For more information contact Cristina Gonzalez, Regional Program Manager, at the Fund for Santa Barbara at 805-922-1707 or