Wilkinsburg Youth Initiative

Partnering with local youth organizations that engage young people in our work and enhance their experiences in Wilkinsburg.

Youth initiative mini-grant program

The WCDC offers a Youth Initiative Mini-Grant Program to support groups and organizations within Wilkinsburg that support the academic and civic endeavors of our youth.

Learn more about past projects below. Stay connected with us via our newsletter and social media to receive news regarding 2022 awards. 

How it works

The 2022 application cycle for our Youth & Education Mini-Grants is open!

Applications should be submitted before 4pm on Friday, May 6th, 2022.

Applications can be printed from the link below,  or stop by the office to pick one up at 729 Wood Street.

2021 Grantees

Thank you to all of the 2021 applicants and congrats to these winners:


  • Pittsburgh Urban Christian School in partnership with The Bible Chapel – To support an all-day education and enrichment summer camp experience for 25 Wilkinsburg students in the 1st through 10th grades at no cost.
  • Wilkinsburg Baseball Association – Towards the purchase of field equipment and storage boxes and to provide uniforms for up to 200 participating youth.
  • Meshwork Press – To support a summer workshop series for young entrepreneurs. Providing the opportunity to five Wilkinsburg youth to grow their personal creative process and to participate in a showcase.
  • Creative Kidz Childcare and Arts Studio – Towards the purchase of a photo printer for the completion of student art projects.
  • Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse – To create and provide 100 DIY Creativity Kits to youth in Wilkinsburg at no cost.

2020 Grantees

Thank you to all of the 2020 applicants and congrats to these winners:


  • Meshworks Press and Small Victories Garden – Funds will support a collaboration between Meshworks Press, a letterpress, screen printing and design studio in Wilkinsburg, Small Victories Garden, a community garden whose mission is to provide food, flowers, and beauty for the Wilkinsburg, and the Wilkinsburg Youth Project (WYP), a work readiness training program for low-income youth aged 14-18. Documenting their own and their community’s lived experiences, participating youth will increase their skills in observing and documenting their observations and develop their abilities in a range of key graphic design and print making skills. The youth will use these skills to create art and design projects including community newsletters and a large-scale, colorful, collaborative and ongoing wheat-pasted mural for the Small Victories Garden

2019 Grantees

Thank you to all of the 2019 applicants and congrats to these winners:


  • Barrels to Beethoven – Funds will support Pan Camp, a week long program that takes a group of children new to the steelpan, performance, and instrumental music and teaches them steelpan technique and performance skills. Pan Camp will provides in-depth, educational context of the history, development, and production of the steelpan, while also teaching technique and music theory.
  • Wilkinsburg Baseball Association (WBA) – Funds will support new equipment for the WBA teams. A mainstay in the Wilkinsburg Community for over 50 years, the WBA serves 300 to 400 youth every year and including two girls softball teams.
  • Wilkinsburg Family Support Center – Funds will support the “Wake Up the Vote” Summer Camp, which aims to educate youth about the history and importance of voting. Youth will use this information to create excitement around voting and increase voter turnout in Wilkinsburg.
  • Pittsburgh Learning Commons (PLC) – Funds will support 10 full and 5 partial youth scholarships for lowincome Wilkinsburg youth to attend their STEM summer camps at Community Forge. 

2018 Grantees

Thank you to all of the 2018 applicants and congrats to these winners:


  • Barrels to Beethoven – Funds will support the organization’s Summer Program, which aims to engage up to 30 Wilkinsburg youth between the ages of 8 and 14 through the lens of music and making. The program will provide in-depth, educational context for the history, development, and production of the steel pan while also teaching technique, music theory, and performance skills.
  • Deliverance Baptist Church – Funds will support the Next Generation Ministry’s field trip to the National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington, D.C. The main goal of the trip will be to expose participating youth to the rich history and contributions of African Americans throughout history in an effort to inspire them to be imaginative and inventive in the ways in which they can make an impact in their community.
  • Wilkinsburg Family Support Center – Funds will support the “Wake Up the Vote” Summer Camp, which aims to educate youth about the history and importance of voting. Youth will use this information to create excitement around voting and increase voter turnout in Wilkinsburg.

2017 Grantees:

  • Ethnan Temple SDA Church: The Children’s Ministry Department at Ethnan Temple will use grant funds to support a summer-long young girls book club for local youth ages 7-11.
  • Pittsburgh Urban Christian School (PUCS): PUCS will use the funding to provide scholarships that will enable low-income students living within Wilkinsburg’s boundaries to attend their Robotics Camp this summer. Additionally, funding will help PUCS defray the general costs of operating their camp.
  • Pittsburgh Soccer in the Community: Partnering with the Borough of Wilkinsburg’s Parks & Recreation Committee, Pittsburgh Soccer in the Community will use funding to offer soccer workshops for local youth throughout the summer at Hunter Park.
  • Wilkinsburg Baseball Association (WBA): WBA will use funding to support their 2017 season as well as for maintenance at Turner Field.
  • St. Mark’s AME Church: St. Mark’s will use grant funds to support a weeklong program to teach local youth how to fish as well as basic first aid and water safety.

Past Grantees

Previous Youth Initiative Mini-Grant winners include:

  • 2016: Rebuilding Together Pittsburgh for a community restoration project in the 1300 block of Franklin Avenue, where the tragic March 2016 shooting took place; Pittsburgh Urban Christian School for five need-based Robotics Camp scholarships and general program expenses; and Union of African Communities in Southwestern PA to engage local youth in a practical, hands-on learning experience in aquaponics.
  • 2015: Pittsburgh Urban Christian School (PUCS) for Robotics Camp scholarships and the Wilkinsburg Student Union for their Youth Media Corps. Thanks to additional funding made possible by the Howard & Nell E. Miller Foundation, we were able to support even more great youth organizations in 2015:
    • Covenant Church of Pittsburgh: Spanish Summer Camp at Wilkinsburg’s Turner Elementary
    • Prince Hall Masonic Temple: Health Fair & Kids’ Fest
    • Hosanna House, Inc.: Summer Nights Event
    • The Entertainment Consortium: Summer Event
    • Wilkinsburg Baseball Association: 2015 Season
    • Greater Pittsburgh Area MAD DADS: Mini Library at Wilkinsburg’s Ferguson Playground & Fatherhood Celebration
  • 2014: Wilkinsburg Baseball Association for their 2014 season
  • 2013: Wilkinsburg High School Civics Class for Gym after Dark
  • 2012 & 2011: Wilkinsburg Community Ministry for the Youth Meal Partnership, which provides hot, nutritious meals to youth enrolled in the Wilkinsburg Boys & Girls Club summer program.
  • 2010: Wilkinsburg Boys & Girls Club for summer camp scholarships and sponsorship of a field trip to Idlewild Park.

This program has been made possible through a generous grant from the Howard & Nell E. Miller Foundation of the PNC Charitable Trusts.

Have Questions? Contact us to learn more.