Grants available for youth-led projects aimed at creating positive change

Riley’s Way Foundation has opened its Call For Kindness program, asking youth ages 13-22 from across the U.S. to submit their ideas for projects rooted in kindness, empathy and inclusivity. The Call For Kindness, now in its fifth year, offers youth the chance to participate in a leadership development fellowship and win up to $3,000 to fund a project that strengthens their local, national, or global communities.

“It’s been incredibly inspiring to see the range of projects young people are leading in their schools and communities,” said Dr. Christine O’Connell, executive director of Riley’s Way Foundation. “Their passion, resolve, and leadership remind us that the hope for the future lies in great part with the ideas and actions of today’s youth.”

Young people are invited to submit a new or existing idea, managing everything from prevailing social justice issues to pressing community-based needs. As many as 36 youth-led projects will receive awards. This year, a separate category will consider 10 projects focused on environmental justice, as the climate crisis and other environmental problems require critical attention.

Additionally, Riley’s Way will continue to support a dance and arts category, the Yuriko Kikuchi Arigato Award, (“Arigato” means “thank you” in Japanese) in honor of Yuriko, the pioneering dancer, choreographer, and keeper of Martha Graham’s flame.

“Becoming a Riley’s Way Call For Kindness Fellow has meant that even if things get hard, I’m not alone, and have all these resources if I need anything,” shared 2022 Call For Kindness Fellow Ryan Syed, founder of SAYA’s Project Loving Me.

Past projects have addressed a range of issues, including the mental health and well-being of vulnerable communities, education equity, the tech industry’s demographic gap, homelessness and food insecurity. The complete list of Call For Kindness projects can be found here.

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