It Gets Better Project Launches 50 States. 50 Grants. 5,000 Voices with Support from AEO, American Eagle and Aerie

At AEO, we believe we have a responsibility to do better, to be better and to build a better world. We are committed to showing the world that there’s REAL power in the optimism of youth by supporting causes that matter to all of us and the world.

Since 2017, AEO and the American Eagle and Aerie brands have been a proud supporter of the It Gets Better Project and its mission to uplift, empower, and connect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer youth around the globe. This past year, online and in-store pin-pad donations at American Eagle and Aerie, combined with our exclusive Pride merchandise collection, raised $1.1 million.  We’re thrilled to share that this generosity helped to bring the It Gets Better Project’s most recent grant initiative – 50 States. 50 Grants. 5,000 Voices – to life.

Applications are now open for this exciting school-based initiative, where grants of up to $10K each will be awarded to at least one middle and/or high school in every U.S. state – including U.S. territories – and funds will support projects to uplift and support the wellbeing of local LGBTQ+ students.

“Through the generosity of our American Eagle and Aerie customers, AEO is honored to support the It Gets Better Project in launching this important grant initiative. Prioritizing LGBTQ+ youth and building more positive, inclusive communities in schools is how we can help create real change,” said Jennifer Foyle, President – Executive Creative Director, AE and Aerie. “AEO’s continued support of the It Gets Better Project is led by our shared passion for inspiring change and empowering LGBTQ+ youth, as well as fostering a safe space for everyone to be their most authentic selves.”

“Connecting LGBTQ+ youth to their community is a number one priority of the It Gets Better Project. In partnership with AEO’s American Eagle and Aerie brands, the 50 States. 50 Grants. 5,000 Voices. initiative will provide opportunities to enhance existing or introduce new programming to help LGBTQ+ youth find and connect with their community at school,” said Brian Wenke, Executive Director of the It Gets Better Project. “Our five-year partnership with AEO is the perfect example of how brands and nonprofits can work together to create meaningful change in the world.”

Interested in applying for a grant? Queer (LGBTQ+) students ages 13-18 can apply in partnership with a faculty advisor, educator, or school administrator by preparing and submitting a proposal at by March 15, 2022.