Youth for Community Improvement, a teen grant-making committee of the Greater Worcester Community Foundation today announced the awardees of its 2017 YCI Fund program. The YCI Fund provides annual funding for a range of initiatives identified by the committee. The 2017 areas of interest were supporting refugee & Immigrant families, career readiness, college access, and mental health supports.This year, 13 grants were funded from the 20 grant applications that were received. Those organizations and programs receiving grants this fall include: African Community Education Program for its Youth Leadership Council, a facilitated program to promote youth engagement in the agency and teach leadership skills. Angels-Net Foundation, Inc. for Youth Leadership Development program, an after school program for immigrant and refugee youth to engage in planning and leadership. Bottom Line for its Worcester Campus Program, to host activities that support Bottom Line college students on their campuses. HOPE Coalition for HOPE School Chapters, supporting the launch of teen leadership programs at two Worcester high schools. Let’s Empower, Advocate, Do! (L.E.A.D) for Youth Mental Health First Aid Certification, a specialized youth training program to support and assist peers struggling with mental health challenges. Massachusetts Audubon Society for Let’s GO! at Worcester East Middle School, a series of outdoor education programs for students. Montachusett Opportunity Council for Strengthen Bystanders, a peer leadership education program for sexual assault prevention among teens. Nativity School of Worcester for support of winter and spring arts night. Spanish American Center for Leominster Youth for Change, a youth engagement program for healthy relationships, artistic expression, and community service. Student Immigrant Movement for growing SIM's Central Massachusetts Chapter, which provides political engagement and empowerment initiatives for undocumented teens and young adults. Thrive Support & Advocacy for Leadership Experience and Development (LEAD) Program, a mentorship program for youth with intellectual and developmental challenges. Worcester Community Action Council for support of the Summer Symposium, a collective training event for youth in summer jobs programs. Worcester Roots for Co-Op Connections, a career development program for youth interested in ethically-focused cooperative business opportunities.