social capital noun. the value of our social networks & relationships

The 2024 SCI Youth Grant Pitch Contest Kicks Off with 12 Youth Teams

Published by Leah Mulrenan on

The SCI Social Capital Inc. 2024 Youth Grant Pitch Contest (YGPC) is officially underway, featuring a record number of 12 youth teams from both the city of Boston and Greater Boston.

In total, there are approximately 100 youth involved in the 2024 YGPC who want to support the mental health and well-being of the youth in their communities by developing a community-focused project. Though the emphasis will be on projects that support youth mental health initiatives, project ideas that support the community in other ways are welcome.

Also participating in this year’s YGPC are 29 volunteer coaches who are professionals from a variety of local startups, companies and nonprofits such as GATO, United Healthcare, Microsoft, Draft Kings, and The Network For Social Justice. Through six coaching sessions scheduled during February and March, these dedicated coaches will provide valuable mentorship to the youth teams, guiding them in the development of their community projects and pitches. 

Meet the 2024 YGPC Teams

  • Arts and Culture Committee from the Boston Mayor’s Youth Council in Boston
  • The Dreamers from the Cambridge Community Center in Cambridge
  • Neighborhood Service Project from the Moses Youth Center in Cambridge
  • Greater Love Tabernacle Youth Ministry from the Greater Love Tabernacle Church in Dorchester
  • The Mental Health Ambassadors & Pioneers from the Boston Project Ministries in Dorchester
  • Harvest Hope Foundation from La Vida Scholars in Lynn
  • Lynn Lady Leaders from the Boys & Girls Club of Lynn in Lynn
  • Mental Health Awareness Association from La Vida Scholars in Lynn
  • Wakefield Youth Action Team from the Wakefield Memorial High School in Wakefield
  • Intrepid Keystone Club from the James L. McKeown Boys & Girls Club in Woburn
  • Inclusive Eats from Inclusive Eats Inc. in Woburn
  • Unity in Action from the Woburn Memorial High School in Woburn

On Thursday, February 8th, SCI hosted a virtual kickoff event for our youth teams to meet their coaches. The kickoff proved to be a successful introduction for both the teams and coaches. One coach expressed optimism after meeting their team and stated that they anticipate having “a very supportive team,” while another coach shared feeling “really inspired by the youth” because “they were so full of energy and good ideas.” 

The goal of SCI’s Pitch Contest is to provide youth with the opportunity to decide how to strengthen their community while practicing valuable professional skills such as public speaking, project management, and community organizing. With the guidance and support of multiple professional volunteer coaches, each youth team will develop their project ideas and be in the driver’s seat of positive change. The youth teams will also have the opportunity to participate in skill-building workshops related to team collaboration, public speaking, and pitch development.  

The program will culminate on April 6th, when SCI will host the in-person Pitch Event at the Microsoft NERD Center where $14,000 of grant funds will be awarded to at least 7 of our participating youth groups. Media are invited to attend the Pitch Event. Funded youth teams will have until November 2024 to complete their respective projects and submit a project impact report.

This project is supported by Kick It for a Cause; Winning Home, Inc.; The Social Equity Access Fund; Gail O’Rourke, founder, Benefact4; the AmeriCorps Agency; Massachusetts Service Alliance and a Massachusetts state budget line item, thanks to the advocacy of State Senator Cindy Friedman. Major support for SCI Woburn is provided by Cummings Properties. 

The 2023 SCI YGPC team from La Colaborativa (Chelsea) was awarded $1,500 for their pitch to host a podcast that challenges inequities they see in their Chelsea community and in the local school systems.