Youth Development | Long Island Community Foundation

Economically disadvantaged communities have higher rates of crime and violence, and youth from these communities are disproportionately suspended or expelled from school and have higher arrest rates for minor offences than students that reside in lower needs communities. Furthermore, neighborhoods with the highest levels of poverty and violence often have limited workforce development and quality job opportunities. They often lack proper support systems and are more likely to engage in risky behavior that can have long-lasting, negative consequences. At LICF we want to help advance the well-being and economic self-sufficiency of at-risk youth (up to 24 years of age).

We fund projects that:

  • Expand opportunities for positive youth development and leadership.
  • Increase access to employment opportunities.
  • Reduce school suspensions and incarceration.
  • Support adolescent mental health and addiction treatment.

Here is a sample of what we’re able to accomplish when we combine your generosity with that of others.


Unemployment is at a historic high for black and Latino youth ages 16 to 24; their unemployment rate is nearly double the national averageSome of these young people dropped out of school and have no work experience.  Others have graduated from high school but are neither employed nor in post-secondary school.  They need a professional network that can provide guidance and open doors to compete in this current job market. With our help, the Urban League of Long Island is able to provide just that. Our funding is helping support its job-readiness program for black and Latino youth in Suffolk County.

Transformation Through Triathlon

Early adolescence is a time of dramatic change for girls: shifts in academic demands; rapid body transformations; and changes in interpersonal relationships can be overwhelming.  As a result, middle school girls often have increased referrals to mental health services, decreased academic performance and motivation, and damage to self-esteem.  Located on the East End of Long Island, i-tri: Inspirational Triathlon Racing International, started in 2010 with eight middle-school girls at risk for self-destructive behaviors. Inspired by her own transformative experience completing a triathlon, the founder helped the girls train for and compete in a youth distance triathlon.  Our support to i-tri: Inspirational Triathlon Racing International, is helping build self-esteem and healthy habits for middle school girls on the East End of Long Island.