An important component of bullying prevention is to foster protective factors. By increasing protective factors, we can decrease bullying as well as reduce its consequences. National research has found that the perceptions of significance and mattering to others is related to improved mental health in both adolescents and young adults. The Youth Matter grant initiative seeks to build a community where youth feel like, and know, that they matter. Funded projects will help to improve the relationships, environment, and experiences for youth in Anchorage.
Youth Matter grants are specifically intended to support community-based projects through promoting health, wellness, and other protective factors to support youth to feel like they matter to their communities. Projects are intended to support youth-led initiatives within the 12-16 year old age range.
In Anchorage, we asked youth to share what it means to them to “matter to their community.” We heard them highlight these three areas, which are now the goals for this grant program: • Safety. Youth want to live in a safer community, not just for physical safety but also to be empowered to be themselves. • Support, Respect, and Fairness. Youth want to be treated fairly and with respect by adults. Having friendly, supportive, and positive relationships with adults provides the right role models to empower youth. • Make a Difference. Youth want to be engaged and make a difference. This may be through providing meaningful opportunities and service-based activities. Meaningful engagement also includes youth involved in decision-making, leadership, and implementing a project.
Thank you for taking the time to apply for these Youth Matter Grants. This online form needs to be filled out in one sitting. If you have questions, please reach out to Lindsey@aydc.org.