Youth for Community Improvement (YCI)

YCI has engaged over 200 young people from diverse ethnic and economic backgrounds since 1999, and awarded over $300,000 to over 75 nonprofit organizations in Worcester County. The only non-school, youth grant making committee in Worcester County, YCI empowers our area's young people to make important funding decisions in the community and develop grant making and leadership skills.

2019 Grantees Announced!

YCI has widened my perspective about my community and has allowed me to cultivate my passion for helping others. The program introduced me to peers from around Worcester County who have challenged my perspectives and definitively left a lasting impact of my life.

YCI Member Class of 2016 & 2017

The search for YCI Alumni is on!

If you or someone you know participated in YCI since its founding in 1999, we want to connect and learn more about how the program impacted you! 

Take Our YCI Alumni Survey!

Help us celebrate YCI's 20th year empowering young people!

YCI's 20th Anniversary Class

Esther Adu     Mia Dickmann     Daniel Jimenez     Ruth Opare-Darko 
Kristen Amoah     Ornel Djomo      Michelle Kim      Michel Salazar 
Janet Amoako      Ian Gachunga      Alexis Koduah     Livia Skende 
Balbuena Marte 
    Max Mannina      Victoria Torkornoo
Xadia Cherrie     Aracely Herrera     Simone Nelson-White      Alyvia Vancelette
              Imani Vega

Who is eligible for YCI?

Each spring, the Foundation builds a class of YCI participants who will be entering their sophomore or junior year in high school in the upcoming fall. Students are eligible to participate in YCI for two years in a row. The program requires a weekly commitment from September to December. 

If you're eager to make a difference in your community, interested in learning about nonprofits, and looking to work with your peers to effect change, YCI could be right for you!

The next YCI application cycle will open in the spring of 2020. 

Applications to the YCI Class of 2019 were  due June 3, 2019. If you have questions, contact Sarah Shugrue at 508-799-0980 or

YCI has taught me about how a community is so much more than its individual parts. It's illustrated to me how Worcester is full of many amazing organizations doing beautiful work to engage its youth and minority populations, really making this city thrive and flourish.

YCI Member Class of 2017

Being a part of YCI really helped me become a better listener and a stronger facilitator. The program also informed me about so many local programs/organizations that I had never known existed and I am so appreciative of that.

YCI Member Class of 2015 & 2016

YCI In the News

Youth Community Initiative Gives Student Activists a Voice
Bay State Parent, April 2019


Follow YCI on Instagram!

Stay up to date with the Foundation's YCI program by following them on Instagram as they document their grant making process from start to finish. 

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