We Elevate California

Elevate Youth California is a statewide program supporting community leaders who are addressing substance use disorder by investing in the youth leadership development and activism of youth of color and 2S/LGBTQ+ youth ages 12-26.

Funding of $189.224 million is supporting technical assistance for grantee partners mobilizing youth leadership.

We Elevate​…

Youth Empowerment

Our funded programs foster a power-sharing environment between youth and their adult allies, where young people’s skills and ideas are valued.

Our youth are talented, capable and ready to lead.

Cultural Empathy

Our partners are working on healing and changing the environment for communities impacted by the War on Drugs.

Funded programs are designed with trauma-informed strategies and cultural humility, while centering young people’s experiences and expertise.

Systemic Change

Adult allies guiding Elevate Youth California-funded programs recognize that the War on Drugs is a direct result of systemic racism, which has led to inequity in health systems and criminalization of youth in low-income communities and communities of color.

The focus is to build a new foundation by shifting the way problems are solved.

Funding Tracks

Elevate Youth California has two funding opportunities in years 2022-2023: Standard Track and Capacity Building Track.
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Standard Track

36 months
Up to $1 million
RFA released August 2022
Focusing on policy, system and environmental change through youth activism, mentorship and peer-led support.

Capacity Building Track

30 months
$75,000 to $400,000
RFA anticipated release February 2023
Focusing on strengthening the operational, programmatic, financial or organizational structure of community-based organizations.


Our Youth are Ready to Lead

Our mission is to invest in youth from communities impacted by the War on Drugs and systemic racism for a more equitable California.

The war on drugs has led low-income communities and communities of color to suffer high incarceration rates and to a lack of opportunities for youth. We understand change can only happen when we address the issues of historic and current trauma that communities face.

Our youth are talented, capable and ready for investment.

Uplifting Youth One Action at a Time

Change happens when we work together. Elevate Youth California is a statewide program of community leaders, partners and youth investing in a more equitable California.

Meet our partners supporting youth empowerment and activism through their programs. »

Prioritizing Strategies

We support our mission by prioritizing strategies that begin with youth activism focused on impacting policy, systems and environmental change, including:

Investing in youth empowerment, leadership and development

Service provision through the cultural lens of the impacted community

Promoting population-level impacts