The application deadline for next year’s Youth Making Change Boards is coming up in less than a week — don’t miss out! Be a part of the next generation in philanthropy.

The Fund for Santa Barbara’s YMC program is seeking applicants for the 2011-2012 Youth Making Change Boards. Are you (or do you know) a young person who wants to make positive change in the community? We are looking for energetic and opinionated young people.

Applications are available now and are due by Tuesday, May 31. Click here to download an application or pick one up from either the Santa Barbara or Santa Maria office.

What Is Youth Making Change?

The program is a year-long, youth-led grant-making program launched in 2008 to provide young people with the opportunity to engage directly in organized philanthropy. Board members are youths ages 13 to 19.

What Do YMC Members Do?

YMC board members learn about philanthropy (giving money) as a tool to address issues facing young people in Santa Barbara County. They reach out to youth in the community to encourage them to plan a projects and apply for money to carry them out.

Board members review proposed project ideas and make decisions as a group about which projects to support. Each YMC board (one in Santa Barbara and Santa Maria) gives out a total of $10,000 in grants of various sizes ($500 to $5,000) to projects that impact youth. Through this process, YMC board members develop important leadership skills. By analyzing challenges facing youth and considering solutions, YMC board members learn skills like meeting planning and facilitation, outreach and public speaking, program planning, proposal evaluation and group decision-making.

Who Can Apply?

Santa Barbara County youths ages 13 to 19 who want to:

» work with other youth to direct funding to support youth-led work

» help youth and their communities

» learn about grant-making, program planning and group decision-making

» gain leadership experience, work in groups, express opinions and have fun!

Who Gets Selected?

The goal is for each 15-member board to be reflective of the youth in the county. Youths are selected from different neighborhoods, schools, grades, academic levels and life experiences. Youth are encouraged to apply regardless of race, gender, religion, economic status, sexual orientation, physical/mental ability, ethnicity, language spoken or immigration status.

What’s the Time Commitment?

The minimum commitment includes one all-day training and two two-hour meetings every month from July 2011 until May 2012. There are also two four-hour events plus two additional Saturday meetings. There is also some independent work between meetings.

Do You Get Paid?

The program is voluntary, but you do get a $300 stipend for your participation in recognition of your time commitment.

For more information, contact program manager Cristina Gonzalez at 805.922.1707 or

— Geoff Green is executive director of The Fund for Santa Barbara.