Anchorage Youth
Development Coalition

Youth Matter Grants

Youth Matter Grants are mini grants given to youth-led projects to build safety, foster supportive youth-adult relationships, and make a difference in the community. Mattering matters! When youth know that they matter to their community, they are less likely to engage in risky, unsafe behaviors, and more likely to display higher levels of connectedness and mental wellbeing. 

Creating projects that make a difference: Your proposal must focus on one of three specific themes: wellness, transportation safety, and underage drinking prevention. You will also define the community you wish to impact,  and what difference you’d like to make within that group.  You must demonstrate a commitment to incorporating best practices for achieving high quality programs.  If funded, AYDC will offer training and supports to build a project that will address the above goals and make a difference!

Grant funding limits: Each project is limited to a maximum of $5,000.

Our Focus: Projects are intended to support youth-led initiatives that make a difference in the community. Projects will receive higher scores that involve youth in leadership roles, in decision-making, and project proposal development and implementation.

Applications are currently closed. Please check back this fall for details about the next round of Youth Matter Grants. In the mean time, you can check out our most recent Youth Matter Grant projects down below!

Goals for Projects

We are looking to support projects that address the following goals:


Youth want to live in a community that is both physically and emotionally safe, allowing them to be themselves.

Support, Respect, 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 impactful opportunities and service- or civic-based activities. Meaningful engagement includes opportunities for service- or civic-based activities and involvement in decision-making, leadership, and project implementation.

Youth Matter Grant Project Showcase

1 – 2  minute video infomercial on social media

Permit and licensed driving youth ages 14-18 (our target audience) will be more aware of the negative impacts of texting and talking on the phone while driving. They will be more motivated to make a better choice to include putting their phone down until they get to their destination.

We included a Google Form survey that was anonymous to ask questions of youth 14-18 about their feelings before and after watching the video. Overall, I feel like our video had a positive impact, especially with the short amount of time it has been posted.The majority of the responses showed that youth saw what was wrong, what they could do to correct behaviors, and 100% of the responses said that they are making the commitment to drive safer.

"Our project empowered youth to make a difference ... They're change-makers!"

- Alaska Coalition of BIPOC Educators Youth Matter Grant Participant

Safe Driving Messages for Youth

Series of videos and internet/social media platform interactions that tell an educational, parabolic story in a fun, puzzling way. An ad spot will direct viewers to the website that continues the game. Ad and website will contain distracted driving messaging.

Teens and young adults in Anchorage (potentially  beyond) will have a more acute awareness of the deeper impact of unsafe driving and vehicular mishandling due to distracted driving.

The people who engaged with this project reported that they are more likely to drive safely without distractions and feel more comfortable advocating for safe driving in their communities.

This has been a wonderful experience and I'm interested in stretching the boundaries of the types of projects that can be done with the grant.

- Advocates in Residence Youth Matter Grant Participant


Safe Driving Messages for Youth

An audio drama that deals with issues of appropriation, colonialism and othering. By thinking about how these themes affect indigenous cultures, youth involved will have the opportunity to work through these important issues in a thoughtful and creative way.

Youth involved in the creation of this audio drama will have a better understanding of how appropriation and colonialism affect indigenous communities.

The Raven Watch audio drama positively impacted all youth involved. It increased our knowledge about colonialism and accurate representation.

ATMI youth producers led this project from start to finish. We acted as storytellers, troubleshooters and cultural ambassadors.

- Alaska Teen Media Institute Youth Matter Grant Participant


A short film that explores the realities of pandemic music education and performance as well as the value of music in the lives of youth. Share the film with 3-5 ASD high school music programs.

Youth 14-18 will have increased feelings of connection with other young people who have experienced or are currently experiencing negative effects of the pandemic. Adults will have an increased understanding of the pandemic's effects on youth musicians.

"[Survey] data shows that AYO... "increased feelings of connection with other young people who have experienced or are currently experiencing negative effects of the pandemic."
We feel [the survey] shows that our secondary goal of addressing the ramifications of life without music for many young people who need music as an outlet for stress, anxiety, and emotional wellbeing, was also met.

This was the first time Alaska Youth Orchestra's Performing Directors have taken on a wellness project like this, and the experience was exceedingly positive.

- Performing Directors Youth Matter Grant Participant



Create a toolkit on how to advocate for change locally and nationally. Create and lead a workshop on Youth Advocacy/ local and congressional advocacy. Register young people to vote on Presidents Day. And a possible meet and greet with one of our Senators.

BIPOC young people 17-24 with lived experiences of homelessness gain confidence and knowledge to advocate on decisions made by the Anchorage assembly.

"Our project was a success with the young people who participated. Referring to the pre- and post-workshop survey, before our workshop the young people were curious to learn more about advocacy. At the end of our project we were able to get feedback from the young people. They gained more confidence in advocating not only for them individually but also locally in the assembly.

"The group of individuals that helped create and facilitate the workshop are grateful for the opportunity and learned skills. The young people loved the conversation that we decided as the Anchorage Youth Task Force and CHA we will continue twice a month open conversations with the young people.

- Anchorage Youth Task Force Youth Matter Grant Participant


Create the “I am Youth Vote’ campaign designed to inspire and motivate young people to get engaged in community problem solving. Improve voter tools on our website for the 2022 municipal election and share with classrooms in 3-5 middle and/or high schools.

Increase youth age 14-18 interest in civic engagement and education programs like Youth Vote. Increase youth’s awareness of the 2022 municipal election: how to participate if they are eligible and practical ways to get involved civically even if they are not yet eligible.

We were also very successful in increasing awareness and knowledge for the upcoming election. We also saw an increase inunderstanding that there are ways to be civically engaged beyond the act of voting.
We feel [the survey] shows that our secondary goal of addressing the ramifications of life without music for many young people who need music as an outlet for stress, anxiety, and emotional wellbeing, was also met.

Youth Vote provided meaningful engagement during the development of this project by including youth in decision-making,leadership, and project implementation. We created peer-education and peer-empowerment resources specifically designed to increase feelings of youth mattering in Anchorage.

- Anchorage Youth Vote Youth Matter Grant Participant



Youth interns and organization representative will facilitate lessons, activities, and students reflections throughout a series of afterschool workshops. Maintain a weekly social media campaign to document learnings from the class.

BIPOC youth & allies at West High School become more aware of Alaska/Anchorage’s history, including seeing their diverse identities connected to Anchorage’s historical narrative. Increase confidence in their communication skills and agency to share their story impactfully.

Reflecting on the class, students reported that they have learned quite a bit, improved their communication skills, feel moreconfident giving interviews, and that the class has been a great experience so far.
We feel [the survey] shows that our secondary goal of addressing the ramifications of life without music for many young people who need music as an outlet for stress, anxiety, and emotional wellbeing, was also met.

Our youth leaders helped shape this project from the beginning of the process, starting with developing the grant application and vision for the class

- See Stories Youth Matter Grant Participant



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Anchorage, AK 99503

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