AEO Foundation Distributes 31 Grants To Support Youth Programming In Our Communities

The AEO Foundation is 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. In partnership with our associates, the AEO Foundation works to support local youth programming in our communities. Our nonprofit partners make a real impact by delivering dynamic programming to support our next generation of leaders, and we recognize their important work and are proud to support them! Click here to learn more about the AEO Foundation Community Grants Program.

Here are some of the organizations that will receive funding from the AEO Foundation for youth programming in Spring 2023.


Breakthrough New York was awarded $10,000 in renewed support by the AEO Foundation. Breakthrough New York empowers motivated students from low-income households to graduate from college and pursue fulfilling and sustaining careers. They offer a ten-year, tuition-free program that supports 500 promising students and their families from 7th grade all the way through college. Breakthrough New York provides academic and social enrichment through their summer and afterschool programs, coaches students and families through the complex admissions processes and helps them find the best-fit school, and trains over 100 college students to teach their students and serve as their admissions coaches and mentors. 

Convenant House New York (CHNY) has 50 years of experience working with one of New York City’s most vulnerable populations – youth experiencing homelessness, age 16-24, and their dependent children. They were awarded $10,000 by the AEO Foundation in support of their Enhanced Staff Training to Better Serve Youth Experiencing Homelessness program. They provide trauma-informed care services including shelter, transitional and permanent housing; physical and behavioral healthcare; workforce development and education; anti-human trafficking services and advocacy; legal services; recreation; and LGBTQ+-focused programs. The main goal of this program is to empower young people in their care to confide in and work with trained staff around two of the main external threats to their ability to gain and maintain stable housing: (1) becoming involved in gang activity, and (2) being drawn in to commercial sexual exploitation/human trafficking. 

exalt is a non-profit organization which combines a rigorous, culturally responsive curriculum with paid internships and career development to elevate the expectations of personal success for court-involved youth ages 15-19. They were awarded $10,000 in support of their program, which  addresses the School-to-Prison Pipeline. exalt uses a 21-week core program made up of four components that teach foundational life skills, advocacy, effective court strategies, offer paid internships, and connection with an alumni-network program that offers post-graduate internships, career counseling and career workshops. 

Free Arts NYC was awarded $10,000 in support of their Teen Arts Program. Free Arts NYC empowers youth from underserved communities through arts and mentoring programs to develop their creativity, confidence, and skills to succeed. The organization is dedicated to leveling the playing field by providing access to high-quality, positive mentorship, grounded in transformative programming. Through the Teen Arts Program students are provided with an in-depth experience that allows them to create a professional visual arts portfolio, learn about careers in creative industries, and build their resume and social network through paid internships. 

Friends of Materials for the Arts was awarded $10,000 towards their fundraising efforts to support educational programs, outreach opportunities, and infrastructure improvements for Material for the Arts. Materials for the Arts is an organization that provides access to free materials to NYC arts nonprofits, public schools, and city agencies. Their goal is to keep valuable materials from entering the landfill and put those materials into the hands of professionals, educators, and students. 

Hear Your Song, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in New York City that empowers children and teens with serious illnesses and complex health needs to make their voices heard through collaborative songwriting. They were awarded $5,000 by the AEO Foundation in support of their program focusing on supporting transgender and non-binary youth receiving outpatient treatment for mental health diagnoses. 

Publicolor is an innovative educational youth development organization that empowers students facing immense life challenges for academic and career success through a multi-year project-based continuum of programs. They were awarded $10,000 in support of their Paint Club program, which partners with schools where students remain at the center of a crisis that has disproportionately affected them. The program teaches the skill of commercial painting as well as transferable work habits including time management, attention to detail, and teamwork.

Resources For Children With Special Needs d/b/a INCLUDEnyc was awarded $10,000 towards Project Possibility/Bridges, a program that works with young people ages 16-26 with disabilities, primarily from marginalized communities in all five boroughs. This program aims to  increase youth access to postsecondary opportunities, help them develop skills they need for college and employment, and catalyze career pathways. The program also focuses intentionally on disability identity, helping students gain a positive identity, embrace their strengths, and learn how to advocate for supports that will help them now and in adulthood.


Over the last decade Western Pennsylvania Diaper Bank has expanded to combat period poverty and incontinence to better support caregivers, women, and their families. They were awarded $5,000 by the AEO Foundation in support of their Period Advocacy Project & Period Product Giveaway. The program educates teens and young adults on the social and economic impacts of having a period, as well as how to contact local officials to advocate for change based on what they learned in the course. 

UpstreamPgh mission is to restore and protect the watershed ecosystem while working regionally to support and implement resilient solutions for a healthier urban environment. They were awarded $10,000 in support of their Environmental Education and Outreach Program, which aims to reach out to youth in the community and foster a new level of appreciation for the environment and the ways in which humans can positively or negatively impact it. The program will offer educational programming that pairs classroom lessons with service-learning opportunities in the restoration area. 

The Andy Warhol Museum was awarded $10,000 toward their LGBTQ+ Youth Prom. The prom is the largest affirming prom in Western PA and is open to all young people ages 13-20 who identify as LGBTQIA+ as well as their allies. The prom is one of their most popular youth programs and is a safe space where there will be dinner, dancing, and artmaking. The goal is to create a space where LGBTQIA+ youth can express themselves, build community, and have fun.

South Side Community Council – Friends of South Side Park was awarded $5,000 towards the Reforestation of South Side Park program. The mission of Friends of South Side Park is to protect, improve, revitalize and improve South Side Park. This project utilizes students from marginalized communities who are engaged with the Student Conservation Association who work together with FOSS Park to reforest parts of South Side park, which overtime has been neglected. They are currently working towards planting 60 native trees and three wildflower plants per tree to address the third layer of a healthy forest, and applying cages to the trees and shrubs planted to protect them from deer. 

The AEO Foundation awarded Sewickley Academy $7,500 in support of their program Breakthrough Pittsburgh. Breakthrough Pittsburgh is a tuition-free academic enrichment program with the mission to: increase academic opportunity for high-potential, academically-motivated underserved students and to inspire and develop the next generation of teachers and educational leaders. The program aids students in applying to colleges, obtaining scholarships, analyzing which college is offering the best package as well as looking at what each program means for their income post graduation. The program also offers teaching fellowships to college students who wish to pursue careers in education or youth-service. 

Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy was awarded $10,000 to support the 2023 Young Naturalists Program, an intensive paid internship for high school students. The internship focuses on  environmental stewardship, team building, developing a conservation ethic, and learning about careers in environmental fields. Students will gain hands-on environmental restoration and field study experience and develop self-confidence, communication skills, and leadership experience.

Miracle League of the South Hills’ mission is to create an environment of acceptance for people with disabilities and their families by promoting meaningful and authentic relationships that connect people on the baseball field as well as in the community. They were awarded $5,000 towards the Next Inning Program, which aims to remove barriers keeping children with mental and physical disabilities off the baseball field. The program encourages making new friends, builds self-esteem, and allows participants to be treated like other athletes. 

Junior Achievement of Western PA’s purpose is to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy. They were awarded $7,500 by the AEO Foundation to support the JA Equitable Access high school programming, which aims to empower youth to chart a future course and connect them to life’s realities. JA entrepreneurship programming provides a holistic approach in understanding how businesses work resulting in talent remaining in our region, inspiring our next generation of start-ups, and fueling economic growth.

Jeremiah’s Place was awarded $5,000 by the AEO Foundation in support of the JereCare Family Program. Jeremiah’s Place protects children and strengthens families by providing safe haven of respite, health, renewal and support for children when their families are experiencing a critical need for childcare. The JereCare Family Program is hoping to expand their program which offers support group meetings for young, single parents, bi-monthly events for families with themes chosen by participating parents, and the JereBear Fair which is open to the public. 

Glade Run’s mission is to empower individuals to achieve personal wellness and growth. They were awarded $5,000 in support of the PAES Lab which serves teens and young adults who have a developmental or intellectual disability diagnosis. The program aims to address the need in our community for the development of vocational aptitude and skills for individuals with disabilities.

Citizen Schools’ vision is that all students have experiences and relationships that ignite curiosity, build confidence and help them develop into the next generation of leaders, thinkers and makers. They were awarded $10,000 by the AEO Foundation to support the Maker Fellows Program, which connects K-12 students to experiential STEM learning opportunities in their communities, and introducing them to experiences and mentors in those fields who they otherwise likely encounter or have access to. 


Youth Troopers for Global Awareness was established with the aim of mobilizing and empowering youth through leadership, community development, and effective social justice advocacy. They were awarded $5,000 by the AEO foundation to support their Youth Social Justice Team – Enviro Hacks. YSJT – Enviro Hacks is a conference that will be led and hosted by youth from the YSJT team and comprised of local youth who are interested in addressing environmental racism and climate change. These youth will have a chance to hear from local policymakers and activists on issues related to recycling and understand the impact of Canada’s waste. 

Credit Valley Conservation Foundation is a registered environmental charity working to help protect and conserve the lands and waters of the Credit River Watershed. They were awarded $5,000 by the AEO Foundation in support of the Conservation Youth Corps (CYC) program. CYC provides local youth with opportunities to participate in hands-on environmental stewardship activities, learn STEM-related technical job skills, and grow into champions of conservation. 

The South Asian Yard’s mission is to empower all second-generation South Asian Canadian Immigrants through collaboration and creating initiatives to foster a sense of connection, community and belonging to the South Asian community. They were awarded $5,000 by the AEO Foundation in support of their Project Daari, which addresses the gap of mental health services and community for second-generation South Asian Canadian women, women who identify as LGBTQ, and gender diverse people ages 15 to 25 by offering 8 in-person group therapy sessions covering various subject matter.

Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation is Canada’s largest children’s rehabilitation hospital, dedicated to being at the forefront of clinical care, research, and education. They were awarded $5,000 by the AEO Foundation towards the Independence Program, a program working with a group of young adults with cognitive or physical disabilities learning how to live away from home by staying at a college residence for three weeks. TIP includes workshops on grocery shopping and preparing meals, managing money, how to safely use public transportation, how to direct an attendant for care needs and other independent living and social skills.


Raphael House of San Francisco’s mission is to help low-income families and families experiencing homelessness strengthen family bonds by achieving stable housing and financial independence. They were awarded $10,000 by the AEO Foundation to support their academic enrichment program, which aims to support children, grades K-12, in staying on track academically with the support of trained tutors. 

NatureBridge connects young people to the wonder and science of the natural world through overnight, hands-on environmental science programs for children and teens. They were awarded $5,000 by the AEO Foundation to provide scholarships for the environmental science program at Golden Gate, which will help approximately 75 underserved students. 


Ottawa Recreation Commision was awarded $5,000 by the AEO Foundation in support of their mission to improve the mental and physical health and well-being of the citizens in their community. The goal of their current project is to build “recreation equipment hubs” around local parks and recreation facilities where people can borrow recreational equipment at their leisure. They also hope to purchase communication boards for their community center and pool, which would serve as a visual tool to support communication accessibility. 

Ottawa High School Renaissance Program’s mission is to build a positive climate and culture where all students and staff feel celebrated and valued. The AEO Foundation awarded them $5,000 towards the Jostens Renaissance Global Conference. The conference is an opportunity for the program to collaborate with other schools nationwide and internationally to come up with new ways to develop a climate and culture at Ottawa High School where students and faculty feel like they are seen, valued, and cared for. 

Aviation Explorers Post 8000 was awarded $5,000 by the AEO Foundation in support of their mission to deliver character-building experiences and mentorship that allow youth to achieve their full potential in both life and work. The program the funding will directly support is their free community Young Eagles Flights program and their Post-Pathway-to Flight program. The purpose of the Young Eagles Flight Program is to introduce young kids and youth in the community to flying by providing free introductory flights and inspire them in the world of aviation. The Post-Pathway-to flight program is for post members which gives them the opportunity to learn how to fly. 


Child Hunger Outreach Partners (CHOP) mission is to create an entire generation that doesn’t know hunger through innovative and collaborative partnerships. They were awarded $12,250 by the AEO Foundation in support of the CHOP In-School and Backpack Program. The backpack program sends food home on Fridays with two breakfasts and two dinners, two fruits or vegetables, and five to ten healthy snacks to students in need. They also maintain an In-School pantry to assist teens and their siblings who are experiencing food insecurity.

CAN DO Community Foundation was awarded $2,750 by the AEO Foundation in support of Ferrwood Camperships, which would provide a scholarship to a child to attend the music camp. The music program aims to use music as a vehicle to teach respect, teamwork, responsibility, nutrition and other valuable life skills in a rustic camp setting.