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Our kids are amazing - without exception. But we know that not all children in Chapel Hill have access to the same opportunities to succeed.

All children in Chapel Hill deserve to be valued and supported in reaching their potential. However, despite boasting arguably one of the highest-achieving public school system in the country, Chapel Hill has an achievement gap significantly greater than the state average.

The Chapel Hill-Carrboro community is filled with individuals and organizations dedicated to making a difference in the lives of our youth and addressing these gaps in opportunity. Chapel Hill-Carrboro Youth Forward exists to supercharge these nonprofits and create a seamless network of services that are easily accessible to the youth and their families.

Youth Forward is a community where each child is valued and supported in reaching their potential.

We are advocates of our youth, their families, and the amazing organizations and nonprofits that are joining with them to see their dreams realized. Youth Forward supports the development of youth and strengthens the capacity of organizations in three primary ways:

Create Connections

Whether it’s through the ConnectMe! App, the Youth Forward website, or community events, such as the Youth Providers Summit that brings together over 60 nonprofit leaders to discuss how to improve services for youth in the community, we recognize that connecting existing resources is more efficient and more impactful than simply working alone.

We know that despite the amazing youth programs that exist, many are vastly underutilized because youth and their families aren’t aware of them or lack the transportation to get their reliably. Enter Youth Forward. By working with the Chapel Hill transit, the largest fare-free transit system in the US, student developers at University of North Carolina, and our nonprofit partners, Youth Forward conceptualized and developed a free, intuitive app that provides youth the ability to access information on nonprofits and their programs near them and automatically maps the easiest bus route to attend the programs. Now, youth and their families can simply enter in the activity they are interested in, the days they are available, and instantly have all the resources they need to connect to that program.

Build the Capacity of Youth Serving Nonprofits

We all know that it takes great people to make great organizations. Youth Forward supercharges the nonprofit community by providing technical assistance. Youth Forward provides the tools to strengthen their organizations that they can provide more effective services to children.

Youth Forward recently worked with nonprofits such as SKJAJA and Voices Together to develop their first nonprofit program model. By working with experienced facilitators hired by Youth Forward, these nonprofits were able to refine their program offerings and have the tools to approach funders across the country with a clear picture of their approach and impact in communities.

Financially Invest in Nonprofits

We know that no matter how much support a nonprofit has, financial resources are required to get work done. Before Youth Forward commenced it’s grantmaking, we worked with a national firm, local community leaders, and youth focus groups to develop a landscape and gap analysis of resources in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro community. Using the results of the scan, we identified gaps that needed to be filled to give every youth the best to succeed.

Since 2013, Youth Forward has granted money through the Youth Investment Fund to nonprofits in Chapel Hill-Carrboro who are addressing the gaps identified in the landscape scan (underserved populations and lack of out-of-school/summer programming). In addition to the ConnectMe! App and learning communities, we have granted out over $90,000 to nonprofits in Chapel HIll-Carrboro to fill these gaps in services over the past two years.

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