For more detailed information on our program, visit our Info Webpage!

What is the Youth Empowerment Fund?

Youth Empowerment Fund (YEF) is a program of Urban Services YMCA of San Francisco, is proudly funded by the San Francisco Children and Youth Fund. For over twenty years, YEF has created opportunities empowering San Francisco’s youth to be citywide change-makers and leaders. In the past ten years, YEF has granted over $1.3 million.


Our Vision

Here at the Youth Empowerment Fund, we believe:

  • 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.​

Mini Grants & Funding

YEF awards over $100,000 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. 

For more information, visit our Info Webpage!

Winter Funding | Up to $10,000


  • App deadline: 9/15
  • Interviews: 10/18 & 10/23
  • Decision Announcements: week of 11/13

If selected...

  • Orientation: 12/2
  • Onboarding Deadline: 12/8
  • Projected Spending Start Date: 12/20
  • Spending Deadline: 3/31
  • Project End Date: 4/5
  • Grantee Celebration: 5/17

Spring Funding | Up to $10,000

  • App Deadline: 2/2
  • Interviews: 2/28 & 3/4
  • Decision Announcements: week of 3/18

If selected...

  • Orientation: 3/23
  • Onboarding Deadline: 3/29
  • Projected Spending Start Date: 4/10
  • Spending Deadline: 5/31
  • Project End Date: 6/5
  • Grantee Celebration: 5/17

Summer Funding | Up to $2,500

  • App Deadline: 4/5
  • Interviews: 4/24 & 4/29
  • Decision Announcements: week of 5/6 

If selected...

  • Orientation: 5/11
  • Onboarding Deadline: 5/17
  • Projected Spending Start Date: 5/29
  • Spending Deadline: 6/21
  • Financial End Date: 6/24
  • Project End Date: 8/5
  • Grantee Celebration: 5/17

Do you have a project that could benefit from a YEF mini-grant? 


*Note: We are currently in the process of updating the grant application. You can expect to have access the the new application in mid-August.

For any questions, please contact Jessica Kravin at

Be A Community Funder

Community Funders are the heart and soul of YEF. As youth-funders and resources to their peers, Community Funders work together to track mini-grantee progress, host a youth-leader event, and support the training of participants in YEF’s Youth Giving Project.  

For more information, visit our Info Webpage!

We’re looking for driven and passionate individuals who are ready to make a difference in their community. Apply for the job today!


  • Be a young person in high school between 15-17 years old 
  • Live in OR go to school in San Francisco 
  • Must be able to obtain a work permit


  • Attend weekly meetings on Mondays and Wednesdays 
  • Review mini-grant applications, interview applicants, and make funding decisions 
  • Facilitate peer workshops 
  • Plan events and support outreach efforts on behalf of YEF 


For any questions, please contact Jessica Kravin at


I wanted to help empower youth in pursuing their dreams and ideas, while benefiting the community.

- Alex Teye

I joined YEF to help build and strengthen communities that don’t have the resources to do so, and in joining I’ve helped many communities I’m a part of outside of work.

-  Alexander Ortiz

I joined YEF because I was curious to get to see what teens are doing for their communities.

- Grace Thwin


Youth Will Create Change In Their Communities

We amplify youth voices, strengthen communities, activate youth-led change & support youth leadership.