What We Believe – About Youth Programs
We believe the single most important element in a young person’s life is often the consistent presence of a caring adult—and we believe the most successful programs serving young people establish and nurture those supportive relationships. We believe the hours after school, on weekends and during the summer are critical times for growth, learning and change—and we support programs that use those times to provide a blend of cultural enrichment, recreation, work experience and continuing education.
We favor well-run programs that include engaging activities, high expectations for the participants and opportunities for young people to serve, learn and lead.
We find that the best programs grow out of organizations that have a clear mission, reasonable goals, accountable leadership and caring, well-trained staffs.
We believe that persistence, patience, self-discipline and resilience in the face of adversity—qualities popularly known as “grit”– are important predictors of success in school and life, and we strongly encourage programs to help develop those character traits in caring supportive ways.
We believe that young people should have early opportunities for meaningful work experience. As a result, we fund internships that allow high school students to explore a variety of careers and job readiness programs that work closely with potential employers.
We like inter-generational programs because of the benefits they offer to both generations.
We have a long history of supporting programs that involve young people from poor communities with the great cultural institutions of the city.
We have a strong and growing interest in programs that engage young people in high-quality science, technology, engineering and math activities. We favor programs that offer hands-on learning, creative role models and career exploration.