San Antonio Youth Commission Awards Microgrants School Projects

Published on June 01, 2023

City of San Antonio Department of Human Services 

SAN ANTONIO (June 1, 2023) – In March of 2023, the San Antonio Youth Commission (SAYC), coordinated by the Department of Human Services (DHS), accepted applications for microgrants that would benefit the mental health and well-being of youth and young adults in the San Antonio area. On May 13, 2023, SAYC members voted to approve their final recommendations for microgrant award recipients.  

City Council approved an allocation to SAYC of $100,000 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to make funding recommendations for community projects that fit the specific needs of the communities they serve. SAYC members wanted to honor feedback received in the 2022 Teen Mental Health Survey through microgrants and events focused on youth impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This hands-on approach provided opportunities for young people to positively impact their learning environments by getting involved in policy-making to improve mental health support available on their school campuses,” said Melody Woosley, Director, Department of Human Services.

The microgrants garnered a tremendous amount of excitement and 147 applications were submitted by teachers and youth groups throughout San Antonio, exceeding the Youth Commissioners expectations. Applications highlighted students’ mental health challenges and the lack of resources available for calming centers and supportive services for students of all ages, elementary through high school, demonstrating the need in our community.

The SAYC created a subcommittee to review and score the applications after the survey closed on April 23, 2023. Based on available funding, the subcommittee selected 30 high-scoring applications from 10 San Antonio School Districts to receive microgrants ranging from $400 to $3,000. Projects must be completed in the 2023-2024 school year. 

“It was amazing to read the applications and see the passion of the faculty and students that applied,” said one of the Youth Commission Panel members. At their May meeting, SAYC members recognized the significant need for more mental health projects like these microgrants to ensure schools have access to needed supplies and resources.