New York Life Foundation awards $1.8 million in 'Aim High' grants to out-of-school-time programs to help middle school students transition to 9th grade.

New York Life | June 14, 2022

  • Largest grants to date bring awards total to $7.95 million over program’s six years. 
  • Grantmaking focuses on supporting racial and social justice initiative and sustaining programs as they address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

NEW YORK — The New York Life Foundation and the Afterschool Alliance today announced $1.8 million in new grants to 40 youth development organizations across the United States. The grants will fund organizations to support middle school youth during the out-of-school-time (OST) hours. Over the six years of the Aim High program, this current group of grantees is the largest to date both in number of grants and in total dollars awarded bringing the total to $7.95 million.

The Aim High grant program is part of the New York Life Foundation’s ongoing investment in OST programs to help middle school youth in under-resourced communities reach the 9th grade on time and better prepared for high school.  

Awards are going to OST organizations in 22 states and the District of Columbia including: Alaska, Arkansas, California (3), Connecticut (2), District of Columbia (2), Delaware, Florida (4), Illinois (2), Maryland, Massachusetts (2), Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York (5), Ohio (2), Oregon, Pennsylvania (3), South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia (2), Washington, and Wisconsin.

The grants will help sustain programs for middle school students in the face of the many challenges the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have on children and OST programs. In addition, of the 40 grants, 20 focus on supporting OST programs' racial and social justice equity related projects.

The Foundation increased this year's overall Aim High program budget by 20 percent in response to the challenges of the pandemic and the ongoing need to support racial and social justice work.

“The pandemic has created enormous challenges both for students and for the out-of-school-time programs serving them," said Marlyn Torres, senior program officer, New York Life Foundation. “Students face the challenge of catching up academically and reacclimating socially after the upending disruptions caused by the pandemic. OST programs are a lifeline for working parents and children."

Research shows that participation in high-quality afterschool, expanded day, and summer programs leads to greater academic achievement, better school attendance, and more engaged students. “We're honored to be able to partner with the New York Life Foundation on the Aim High initiative," said Afterschool Alliance Executive Director Jodi Grant. "Afterschool and summer learning programs are working heroically to meet the needs of young people today, providing a space for young people to connect, build positive relationships, and accelerate learning. These supports are all the more critical in the wake of the pandemic, and the resulting crisis in youth mental health and disruptions in academic learning. These grants will help 40 particularly deserving organizations in that work. We congratulate all the recipients and commend the New York Life Foundation for its commitment and generosity."

The 2022 Grant Winners

Twenty organizations were awarded one-year grants of $15,000

  •  See Stories, Anchorage, Alaska
  • Camp Common Ground, Inc., Oakland, California
  • Boys & Girls Club of Pasadena, Pasadena, California
  • Ebony Horsewomen Inc., Hartford, Connecticut
  • INTEMPO Organization Inc., Stamford, Connecticut
  • Pace Center for Girls, Jacksonville, Florida
  • Connect to Greatness, Inc., Lantana, Florida
  • Instituto del Progreso Latino, Chicago, Illinois
  • Middle Grades Partnership, Baltimore, Maryland
  • Geeking Out Kids of Color, Salem, Massachusetts
  • Better Tomorrows, Camden, New Jersey
  • Wise Fool New Mexico, Santa Fe, New Mexico
  • Learning Through an Expanded Arts Program (LEAP), New York, New York
  • The Peter Westbrook Foundation, New York, New York
  • Cincinnati Squash Academy, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • ArtSmart, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • The Village Group, Georgetown, South Carolina
  • The Podium Foundation (Podium RVA), Richmond, Virginia
  • Boys to Men Mentoring Network of Virginia, Rockville, Virginia
  • Richard Wright Public Charter School for Journalism and Media Arts, WashingtonDC

Ten organizations were awarded year grants of $50,000 payable over two years:

  • Life Skills for Youth, Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Elevate New England, Lowell, MA
  • South Sudanese Foundation, Moorhead, Minnesota
  • Bronx Lacrosse, Purchase, New York
  • We Amplify Voices, Columbus, Ohio
  • North 10, Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Urban Affairs Coalition (UAC) / YOACAP, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • SHADES of Development, Knoxville, Tennessee
  • East African Community Services, Seattle, Washington
  • Little Lights Urban Ministries, WashingtonDC

Ten organizations were awarded grants of $100,000 payable over two years:

  • Mission Graduates, San Francisco, California
  • The Latin American Community Center, Wilmington, Delaware
  • South Florida After-School All-Stars, Inc., Miami, Florida
  • Overtown Youth Center, Inc., Miami, Florida
  • High Jump, Chicago, Illinois
  • Urban Neighborhood Initiatives, Detroit, Michigan
  • The Noel Pointer Foundation, Brooklyn, New York
  • NewYork-Presbyterian, New York, New York
  • Adelante Mujeres, Forest Grove, Oregon
  • Centro Hispano Inc., Madison, Wisconsin

In addition, 16 organizations will this year receive the second-year disbursement of their two-year grants awarded in 2021. Those programs are:

  • Boys & Girls Club of McGehee, McGehee, Arkansas
  • Entrusted Legacy, Bakersfield, California
  • Heart of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California
  • Ocean Discovery Institute, San Diego, California
  • The Wooden Floor for Youth Movement, Santa Ana, California
  • After-School All-Stars Tampa Bay, Tampa, Florida
  • Project: VISION, Inc., Chicago, Illinois
  • Chicago Youth Programs, Chicago, Illinois
  • Oakridge Neighborhood, Des Moines, Iowa
  • Developing Kingdoms in Different Stages, Detroit, Michigan
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids Youth Commonwealth, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Granite United Way, Manchester, New Hampshire
  • Epic Theatre Center, Inc., Astoria, New York
  • Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Children's Defense Fund, Marlboro County, South Carolina
  • The Dance Institute of Washington, Inc., WashingtonDC

Since 2013, the New York Life Foundation has invested more than $68 million in national middle school OST efforts. Information for prospective applicants is available at, including the application and eligibility requirements and previous winners. Potential applicants should direct questions to the Afterschool Alliance at

About the Afterschool Alliance

The Afterschool Alliance is a nonprofit public awareness and advocacy organization working to ensure that all children and youth have access to quality afterschool programs. More information is available at

About the New York Life Foundation

Inspired by New York Life’s tradition of service and humanity, the New York Life Foundation has, since its founding in 1979, provided over $390 million in charitable contributions to national and local nonprofit organizations. The Foundation supports programs that benefit young people, particularly in the areas of educational enhancement, childhood bereavement and social justice. The Foundation also encourages and facilitates the community involvement of employees and agents of New York Life through its Volunteers for Good program and Grief-Sensitive Schools Initiative. To learn more, please visit

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Media contact

Lacey Siegel
New York Life Insurance Company
(212) 576-7937

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