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Our Grantees

Thrive is proud to support some of the nation’s leading youth-serving organizations aligned with our strategic direction. We are excited to work with fifteen organizations  focused on high impact, intensive, caring adult engagement with disadvantaged youth. These organizations link with local schools and have paid staff who work directly with youth, guiding them in their roles as caring adults.

Through this “demand-driven” relationship, we partner with our grantees to bring to life innovative solutions and tools to help maximize the presence and impact of caring adults in the lives of youth. We believe this unique foundation-grantee relationship will bring together Silicon Valley innovation  – design-thinking principles and leveraging technology – and the on-the-ground knowledge, skills and experience of those working with our nation’s disadvantaged youth.

Fall 2015 Cohort  The grants for our second grantee cohort began in November of 2015 and will conclude in 2017. (*See 2015  Grants Announcement here . )

Boys & Girls Club of the Peninsula
Untitled-2 East Palo Alto/Menlo Park/Redwood City, CA http://www.bgcp.org/
The Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula provides low-income youth with the expanded learning time opportunities they need to graduate from high school, and be ready to succeed in college and career. In addition to providing young people a safe place and positive relationships, they partner with schools to have greater impact on their participants’ academic success. Over the past seven years, 90% of the Club’s members graduated from high school with a plan for post-secondary education or training. “Julia, now a college graduate describes the impact of her Club mentor. “Ruby was from my neighborhood and understood my challenges. Despite my hardships, Ruby never let me feel self-pity: She gave me the confidence to be a leader and meet future mentors. I learned to own my childhood as a success story rather than a burden.”
Community Youth Center of San Francisco
url San Francisco, CA  cycsf.org/

Community Youth Center of San Francisco empowers and strengthens high-need Asian and Pacific Islander youth and their families by providing comprehensive youth development through education, employment training, advocacy, and other supportive services. They seek to empower youth to reach their highest potential as individuals with a positive self and cultural identity. More than 5,000 youth participate in its programs and services annually and more than 80% reach one of their desired outcomes such as graduation from high school or job readiness.

Facing arrest for burglary and the possibility of prison, Tom enrolled at the Club. He attended school workshops and support groups – observed a curfew, checked in daily and did community service. John and 21 other high-risk youth were known as “One Breath,” coached by the staff who provided mentoring, leadership development and guidance. Today, Tom has found confidence and self esteem and is attending college.

Harlem RBI
253718_591045240925680_1944029475_nHarlem, NY harlemrbi.org/

Harlem RBI (Harlem, NY) uses the power of teams to coach, teach and inspire youth to recognize their potential and realize their dreams. They offer a unique brand of youth development in which every child plays on a baseball or softball team while engaging in academic and enrichment activities. Harlem RBI services 1,600 youth in East Harlem and the South Bronx.

One youth’s story: Jason grew up in East Harlem, across from where the Harlem RBI Field of Dreams is today. As he recalls: “It was like a dream – a bunch of adults showing up in the middle of a place where kids ran wild.” Jason, admittedly, had a short temper. He had a great batting average, but a bad attitude, and even worse grades. Jason persisted with the support of Harlem RBI coaches and tutors, and he enrolled in college, with the help of a Harlem RBI scholarship. Today, Jason is a police officer in Washington, D.C. and started a similar program for inner-city kids in D.C.

LA Brotherhood Crusade, Inc.
BC_remix-2 Los Angeles, CA brotherhoodcrusade.org/
LA Brotherhood Crusade, Inc. (Los Angeles, CA) is a purpose- and outcome-driven organization that improves academic, social-behavioral and economic outcomes for high-risk, low-income, underserved and disenfranchised youth and their families. Through trauma informed support, caring adults help young people overcome life barriers such as substance abuse and gang affiliation so that they can change their life trajectory and narrative and become change-agents with respect to the issues that impact them and their communities. Youth that are facing dismissal or academic probation who join the Crusade succeed in re-engaging with school and go off academic probation. One youth’s story: Anika awakened from her coma wondering why her suicide attempt had failed again. She saw no hope for her future and believed there was nothing for which to live. One of ten siblings with no father, no household income and daily moves from hotel rooms to street corners, Anika’s world was devastated when her grandmother, the only stable force in her life, prematurely died in her presence. One day at her high school, Anika saw some of her classmates gathering with Brotherhood Crusade, featuring young women as well. Anika approached to learn more and immediately enrolled in Brotherhood Crusade’s mentoring program. In the weeks that followed, Anika excelled quickly and was even selected as a Leaders Up’s job candidate. She is now on track to graduate and pursue college.
Project GRAD
514949537_1280x720 Sylmar/San Fernando/Mission Hills, CA www.projectgradla.org/
Project GRAD (Sylmar/San Fernando/Mission Hills, CA) believes in the transformative power of a college education to ignite the full potential of first generation students, their families and their communities. Embedded in a cluster of Los Angeles school district middle and high schools, Project GRAD Advisors and programs fill a critical gap by providing more than 800 low-income students with the necessary academic enrichment, social emotional skills and college knowledge and experiences needed to make it to and through college. One youth’s story: Max is a rising 10th grader who struggled in his first year of High School. In 9th grade, he was failing most of his classes; his Project GRAD Advisor Elizabeth encouraged Max to attend a four-week summer program at Los Angeles Valley College. Max balked at taking the class. He wasn’t interested in reading two chapters a night, taking daily quizzes, or working on group projects with his classmates. In the second week of classes, things changed. Max realized that he was enjoying sociology, and began earning perfect scores on his quizzes. He became a class leader in the group discussions and projects and improved his relationships among his peers. He commented to Elizabeth, “if this is what college is all about, I am definitely going to start working harder, because I really want to go to college!” Elizabeth is looking forward to working with Max in the coming years, and helping him to achieve his dream of graduating from college.
Reality Changers
 1252_1 San Diego, CA realitychangers.org/
6. Reality Changers (San Diego, CA) seeks to transform lives, schools and communities by providing youth from disadvantaged backgrounds with the academic support, financial assistance and leadership training to become first generation college students. Their programs help low-income youth become 1st generation college students and guide high-performing 12th graders to the nation’s top colleges. One youth’s story: At age fourteen, Eduardo faced three felony charges. His judge, however, gave him a choice: up to six years of incarceration or participate in Reality Changers. Eduardo’s decision was easy; facing such new academic rigor was not. Nonetheless, Eduardo accepted the challenge. Within a month, he doubled his GPA to a 3.8. By the following summer, he enrolled in a college-level mechanical engineering course at UC San Diego’s Academic Connections. “The judge gave me one chance to prove that I was not the same kid that the cops arrested,” Eduardo smiled, as he received his certificate for completing the class. “Now I can’t wait to go back and show him that I’m the first person in the history of my family to earn college credit!”
Wyman’s Teen Outreach /Teen Leadership Programs
unnamed Ferguson/St.Louis,MO wymancenter.org/

Wyman Center, Inc. (Ferguson, St. Louis, MO) enables teens from disadvantaged circumstances to lead successful lives and build strong communities. They use a three-pronged approach to achieve this mission: they empower teens, equip young adults and change communities. Wyman uses an evidence-based prevention program that builds social-emotional skills, and decreases risk behaviors in at-risk youth by using a positive development approach. Every one of Wyman’s teens all graduate from high school on time and more than 90% enter a post-secondary institution.

One youth’s story: Quentin was a shy teenager when he first joined Wyman, having lost his father when just a toddler. Bryan, Quentin’s mentor at the Center, guided Quentin to see beyond what he thought his limitations were and helped him take ownership of where he wanted to go in life. Today, Quentin is attending Louisiana State University’s College of Engineers where he is studying to become a petroleum engineer.

Fall 2014 Cohort 

The grants for our first grantee cohort under the new strategic direction began in November of 2014 and will conclude in 2016. (*See our 2015  Grants Announcement here . Information on this cohort coming soon!)

The Brotherhood/SisterSol (BHSS)
The Brotherhood/SisterSol (BHSS) provides comprehensive, holistic and long-term support services to youth. BHSS programming focuses on issues such as leadership development, educational achievement, sexual responsibility, sexism and misogyny, social justice, and Pan-African and Latino history. Their Rites of Passage program is a 4-6 year experience, delivered through daily after school programming and other activities offered year-round that empowers youth through discovery and discussion of history, culture, social problems, and the political forces surrounding them. BHSS is locally based with a national reach as they publish assorted curricula and collections of their members’ writings; train educators from throughout the nation on their approach; and advise on educational policy across the country and in New York City.
Colorado UpLift
Denver, CO  coloradouplift.org

Colorado UpLift’s vision is to break generational cycles of poverty and dysfunction and build the next generation of leaders, emphasizing staff-student relationships and student peer leadership leading to measurable impact and results. UpLift offers a comprehensive solution to the issues faced by urban youth, who participate in four components of programming – In School,  After School,  Adventure and Post-Secondary.

Friends of the Children

Friends of the Children is a nationwide organization that breaks the cycle of generational poverty through salaried, professional mentoring. Friends selects the highest risk children and commits to working with those children from kindergarten to graduation. Friends works through chapters and affiliates, and also shares their expertise with other organizations who want to use the Friends of the Children model.

Girls Inc. of Alameda County
Girls Inc. of Alameda County inspires 8,000+ underserved girls and their families to be STRONG through healthy living, SMART through academic achievement and BOLD through independence. The approach is comprehensive; the impact is transformational. Girls Inc.’s award-winning programming and continuous access to strong adult role models helps girls of all ages to achieve academic success, healthy positive lifestyles, and an expanded sense of what is possible.
Latin American Youth Center (LAYC)
Latin American Youth CenterWashington, D.C.
Latin American Youth Center (LAYC) empowers a diverse population of youth ages 11-24 to achieve a successful transition to adulthood through multi-cultural, comprehensive, and innovative programs that address youths’ social, academic, and career needs. Promotores (case managers) provide intensive, 1:1 mentoring and case management (meeting 1-2 times weekly for 4-5 years) who build a relationship of trust before applying interventions or making referrals for specific services.
Self Enhancement, Inc (SEI)
 Self enhancement inc
Portland, OR  selfenhancement.org
Self Enhancement, Inc. (SEI) is dedicated to guiding underserved youth to realize their full potential. Working with schools, families, and partner community organizations, SEI provides support, guidance and opportunities to achieve personal and academic success. SEI brings hope to individual young people and enhances the quality of community life.
Youth Guidance
YG Chicago, IL

Youth Guidance creates and implements school-based programs that enable at-risk children to overcome obstacles, focus on their education and, ultimately, to succeed in school and life. Youth Guidance’s Becoming a Man (B.A.M.) program is a dropout and violence prevention program for at-risk male students in grades 7-12. The curriculum B.A.M. counselors utilize helps the youth with regulating and controlling their emotions, helps them reframe their situation so they can make better decisions to effect positive change in their lives, and gives them tools for coping with stress and challenge.

Youth Radio
677564 >Oakland, CA              youthradio.org
Driving Youth Radio’s work is this vision: equal opportunity for all young people within a diverse media landscape, a technologically advanced marketplace, and economically vibrant communities. Youth Radio’s mission is to secure those opportunities for youth contending with the biggest obstacles by launching them onto career and education pathways with a strong foundation of technical and professional skills. Youth Radio engages low-income youth in six months of intensive digital media and technology training. Graduates of the training are eligible for paid internships at Youth Radio, where they work alongside professional journalists, producers, and technologists to produce Peabody Award-winning media, develop technology, and teach their peers. All participants receive wraparound support services throughout their time at the organization.


Previous Thrive Grantees

Prior to the ‘cohort’ approach to the grant making, Thrive supported various research projects to answer the question, “What helps a young person to thrive?”. The findings of this research lead to the development and implementation of our Step-It-Up-2-Thrive curriculum. Twelve youth-serving organizations were awarded multi-year grants to implement the curriculum towards guiding youth onto a thriving trajectory as defined by the curriculum. Of those grantees, five continue to carry out their work to complete the final year of their grants. See below for more information about these organizations.

4-H: California


Davis, CA
Years Funded: 2010-2015
4-H: California supports young people to reach their full potential as competent, confident leaders of character who contribute to and are connected to their communities. In the 4-H club program, a group of youth and two adult volunteers meet regularly throughout the year. Youth design and participate in their own programs and activities and they learn essential skills that young people will use throughout their lives. 4-H: California has designed i-Thrive as its signature staff development model and is in the third year of its plan to integrate Step-It-Up-2-Thrive components in its county-based Leadership Project, 4-H clubs and summer camps. The innovation will eventually reach 16,000 staff and volunteers, and 24,000 sixth through twelfth grade youth annually.
Big Brothers Big Sisters
Irving, TX  www.bbbs.org
Years Funded: 2011-2014
As the largest volunteer-supported mentoring network in the United States, Big Brothers Big Sisters provides young people facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported, one-to-one relationships that change lives for the better. Volunteer mentors (Bigs) are matched with youth mentees (Littles) and they meet weekly, over a 12-18 month match period. In its drive to better impact a child, Big Brothers Big Sisters is piloting a Step-It-Up-2-Thrive innovation, across ten chapter sites. The new staff development model offers explicit training on ways to develop youth-generated sparks and goals, and two Big-Little workshops. The Federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention is funding, with additional funding support from the Thrive Foundation for Youth, Dr. David DuBois of the University of Illinois at Chicago and Dr. Tom Keller of Portland State University, to conduct a randomized controlled study of Step-It-Up-2-Thrive’s impact on the mentor-mentee relationship. The assumption is that the intervention will enhance skills of Bigs and Littles and reduce youth delinquency rates.
Camp Fire: National
Kansas City, MS   www.campfireusa.org
Years Funded: 2012-2014
Camp Fire National Headquarters is a national youth development organization, with 60 councils in 28 states plus the District of Columbia serving more than 140,000 children, youth and families annually. Since 1910, Camp Fire has had a long and respected history of adopting innovative, research-based programs that build compassion, competence, and leadership in youth. Camp Fire National Headquarters and its councils cultivate community building, supports academic readiness and honors diversity. Nationally, Camp Fire has implemented Step-It-Up-2-Thrive across 30 councils through camp/environmental education; out-of-school-time; and Teens in Action (service-learning and leadership program). By 2015, this effort will expand to reach our more than 140,000 participants.
Girl Scouts: Northern California
Alameda, CA www.gsnorcal.org
Years Funded: 2010-2015
Girl Scouts of Northern California (GSNorCal) serves 47,000 girls, in grades K-12. Our mission is to build girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place. Girl Scouting empowers girls to explore and grow through troop activities, camps, workshops and program events. Through our grant from the Thrive Foundation, we integrate Step-It-Up-2-Thrive concepts to enrich our Girl Scout Leadership Experience programming. We share this enhanced programming across our nationwide network of Girl Scout councils. Another program which benefits from Thrive Foundation funds is Journey Kits. Informed by Step-It-Up-2-Thrive content, these kits are used to train volunteers and provide girl curriculum to volunteers in the field. Journey Kits include explicit techniques and tools for volunteers working with youth in supportive, versus directive roles, to grow youth skills and attributes to thrive. These programs support the girl-led learning and learning by doing activities foundational to Girl Scouting.
World Vision USA
Seattle, WA
Years Funded: 2012-2015
World Vision USA works with children, families, and their communities to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. The organization’s USA program, the Youth and Community Engagement Ministry, builds the capacity of faith-based community organizations to successfully grow leadership and critical-thinking skills of youth living in distressed communities. Its 20-week Youth Empowerment Program helps groups of young people develop their capacity to become social change agents. Youth develop leadership skills, tackle local issues and gather locally and then nationally to make a series of policy recommendations to local municipal and congressional leaders. In its second year of a Thrive partnership, World Vision USA is using Step-It-Up-2-Thrive as a critical tool to nurture the social and emotional development of youth leaders and promote positive youth and adult partnerships. Over three years, the organization will weave Step- It-Up-2-Thrive deeply into its existing curriculum reaching close to 8,000 youth (ages 14 -18) in communities across the country.
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