The Fund for Santa Barbara

Youth Making Change

Youth Making Change (YMC) is a teen-led grant-making program 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 $187,500 to 104 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

Applications are available now and due Friday, May 20th.

Download an application here.

For all the details on being a Board Member please scroll down to bottom of page.


Congrats to our 2015/2016 YMC Grant Recipients

YOU are invited to celebrate – TWICE!
Each bilingual English/Spanish Grant Awards Celebration will feature music, appetizers, and an opportunity to hear from the grant recipients. Grant Awards Celebrations are a time to honor the work of these youth-led groups and celebrate the work of the teens of Youth Making Change.

YMC South Grant Awards Celebration:
Thursday, March 17th, 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Lobero Theatre Courtyard – 33 E. Canon Perdido in Santa Barbara.

YMC North Grant Awards Celebration:
Wednesday, March 23rd, 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Santa Maria Library, Shepard Hall – 421 South McClelland Street in Santa Maria.

RSVP: online by clicking HERE, or 805-922-1707 x200.
Venues are wheelchair accessible. Please contact us for other access needs.

YMC 2015/2016 Grant Recipients

— YMC South —

Bellas Artes / Mural Re-Painting – $1,500
Funding to repaint a 600 square foot mural with cultural imagery in Carpinteria

City of SB Housing Authority Teen Night / El Proximo Paso (The Next Step) - $3,000
Funding to host a bilingual Spanish/English college fair to provide Spanish speaking parents with information to help their children apply to college

Everybody Dance Now! / One Transformative Year for At-Risk Youth Dancers – $2,375
Funding to support year-round dance classes for three at-risk youth populations

Guardian Scholars Program S.B. City College / Resource Map, Outreach & Peer Mentoring - $1,700
Funding to create a resource map and educational support for high school juniors and seniors in foster care

MUJER de UCSB / Mujercitas Conference - $2,600
Support for a conference to motivate young Latinas from low-income backgrounds to graduate high school and pursue higher education

PeerBuddies / Peer Buddy Volunteers - $2,000
Funding to pair low-income teens with special needs with teen Peer Buddy volunteers who teach them social skills in the community

SBPAL Youth Leadership Council / 6th Annual Big & Little PAL Spring Break Mentoring Camp - $1,825
Support for a youth camp where high school students provide mentoring to underserved children to develop leadership skills, instill a sense of civic responsibility, and enhance self-esteem


— YMC North —

Boys & Girls Club SMV Keystone Club / Drop it Like it's Hot!! - $2,234
Funding to hold “Super Sessions” for teens and parents on gang and drug prevention, domestic violence and communication

Central Coast Future Leaders / Guadalupe Future Leaders - $990
Funding for a youth-led teen leadership program in Guadalupe

Latinos Unidos Club Ernest Righetti HS / 2016 Conference - $1,400
Funding for a youth-led conference that promotes cultural awareness and embraces diversity in the community

Lompoc Big Brothers Big Sisters Program / Bigs & Littles Helping Together - $ 2,326
Funding for a mentoring project where Lompoc High School students mentor elementary students at the Lompoc Boys and Girls Club

Police Activities League Key Club / Teen for Teens Support Group - $1,400
Funding for a peer-mediation teen support group helping teens with depression, stress and mental health

Project Teen Health Club Santa Maria HS / School Wellness Initiative - $2,275
Funding to create awareness of Santa Maria HS's school wellness policy and promote healthy eating

Santa Maria HS AVID Class of 2018 / Inspiring College Dreams through Film - $2,450
Funding to motivate Santa Maria HS and community youth to go to college through inspirational films and speakers

Teens in Action Campfire Central Coast / “Save the Park” Youth Events - $1,925
Funding to host youth led events in Buena Vista Park to promote positive activity and help make the park family friendly



Apply for a YMC Grant

$30,000 Available for Youth-Led Projects

Grant application available in August

Basic Guidelines from 2015/2016:

  • All aspects of the project must be led by youth ages 12 to 24.
  • The project must provide a benefit to teens in the community in addition to members of the applicant group.
  • The project must attempt to fix a problem affecting youth by providing a solution.
  • The project must be located in Santa Barbara County.
  • Youth-led applicant groups must have a sponsoring organization such as a school or community-based organization.

For a list of past YMC Grant recipients click here!

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



$30,000 Disponible para Proyectos Dirigidios por Jovenes

Solicitud disponible en Agosto

Requisitos Básicos de 2015/2016:

  • Todos los aspectos del proyecto deben ser dirigidos por jóvenes de 12 a 24.
  • El proyecto debe proporcionar un beneficio a los adolescentes en la comunidad, además de los miembros del grupo solicitante.
  • El proyecto debe tratar de solucionar un problema que afecta a la juventud, proporcionando una solución.
  • El proyecto debe estar ubicado en el condado de Santa Bárbara.
  • Grupos solicitantes dirigidas por los jóvenes deben tener una organización patrocinadora, como una escuela o una organización comunitaria.

Sobre Jovenes Haciendo Cambio

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.


Join the YMC Board

Applications are available now and due Friday, May 20th.

Download an application here.

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 a Saturday
  • Attend meetings twice a month, 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. from August 2016 to May 2017*
    - 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.


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