Who We Are

YEF is a program of Urban Services YMCA, a branch of the YMCA of San Francisco. YEF is proudly funded by the San Francisco Children and Youth Fund. YEF runs programs and creates opportunities which empower San Francisco’s youth to be citywide change-makers and celebrates their outstanding leadership. YEF offers resources and support to San Francisco youth by providing direct access to funding and fostering opportunities for community collaboration.



The Youth Empowerment Fund believes:

  • Youth should be making decisions that affect their lives
  • Youth possess the knowledge and ability to be effective leaders in their communities

  • Youth should have access to resources in order to create their own programs and opportunities​




In November 2000, San Francisco voters approved Proposition D, the Children’s Amendment, which reauthorized the Youth & Children’s Fund through June 2015. As a part of the amendment—through funding and support of programs in San Francisco that give youth authentic power—The Youth Empowerment Fund challenges traditional youth development agencies and programs that see youth purely as receivers of services with limited voice and power. In November 2014, San Francisco voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition C, which will ensure funding for the Children and Youth Fund, and its Youth Empowerment Fund allocation, through 2041.

Grants & Funding

YEF awards $125,000 annually in mini-grants supporting projects initiated and led by youth citywide. Young people in San Francisco can apply for funding up to $10,000, three times a year, to fund their unique ideas and vision addressing important community issues and need. Have a project that could benefit from a YEF mini-grant?

School Year Funding | Up to $10,000
Projects during October - May
Application Deadline: Second Friday in September

Spring Funding | Up to $5,000
Projects during January - June
Extended Application Deadline: Second Friday in November 

Summer Funding | Up to $2,500
Projects during June - August 
Application Deadline: First Friday in April

For questions on how to fill out a mini-grant application or more information, email info_yefsf@ymcasf.net.

Community Funders

Community Funders are responsible for the review and disbursement of YEF Mini-Grant Funds. Community Funders read & score mini-grant applications, interview applicants, and use a consensus model to make funding decisions. As youth-funders and resources to their peers, Community Funders are responsible for following mini-grantee progress, hosting a youth-leader event and supporting the training of participants in YEF’s Youth Giving Project. Additionally, Community Funders serve as YEF Advisory Board Members and facilitators for Youth Advocacy Day.


Meet The Community Funders

  Rodolfo Sevilla        ​   Grace Thwin

  Erika Morris                Juan Taraya III

  Alexander Ortiz          Ryan Kim


Patrick Miller

A passionate, transformational, developer of community leaders dedicated to equipping young people with the fundamental knowledge to identify and pursue their passion and purpose. At the Y, Patrick is excited about creatively developing and implementing comprehensive programs for youth and young adults, contributing to their professional and personal success. His focus is to foster high collaboration, healthy relationships, and community building.


Jessica Kravin

Program Coordinator

Jessica is a dedicated youth development professional with 10+ years of leading teams of teens and 15+ years of experience with the Y. With YEF, she is excited to be supporting young adults through empowering themselves and their communities. Her focus is on creating a safe, collaborative environment to allow youth to develop skills that will help them be successful as they become adults.