Youth Enrichment Partnership gains national support for collaborative services

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MANCHESTER, NH – The Youth Enrichment Partnership (YEP) has revolutionized how Manchester’s youth-serving organizations support middle school youth, and now it is receiving national recognition, and funding, for that work.

Before the partnership, agencies worked in their respective silos, despite serving many of the same clients.  Now, agency leaders sit at the same table to identify service gaps and duplication, with a common goal of holistically supporting youth. Agencies with specialized skills bring their services directly to the places where youth already go and feel comfortable. This partnership has exposed youth to experiences they might never have had. 

Granite United Way serves as the convener, capacity-builder, facilitator, and funder of YEP. It coordinates and schedules services among the partnered agencies, facilitates training, and monitors progress to ensure program integrity. Granite United Way keeps the work of the partnership moving forward by supporting the integration and innovation of its services.

Recently, The New York Life Foundation, in partnership with the Afterschool Alliance, announced that Granite United Way’s Youth Enrichment Program would receive $100,000 in grant funding, among their 36 new youth development grants to organizations to support disadvantaged middle school youth during the out-of-school time (OST) hours. Organizations were selected from a total of 589 national applicants. Aim High is part of the New York Life Foundation’s ongoing investment in OST programs to help underserved 8th graders reach the 9th grade on time and prepared for high school. Winners were selected based on the strength of their support for youth in transition to ninth-grade programs. 

“Ongoing incidents of racial injustice have highlighted persistent inequities in our society. In an effort to support young people and to build on the Foundation’s history of supporting organizations that address racial injustice, this year’s capacity building Aim High grant focuses on funding out-of-school time programs that are at the forefront of this work,” said Marlyn Torres, senior program officer, New York Life Foundation. 

“The Youth Enrichment Partnership brings together funders, schools, and community organizations to address the complex needs of Manchester’s youth. The goal is to support low-income middle school youth and their families with year-round and city-wide opportunities that promote long-term success,” said Patrick Tufts, President and CEO of Granite United Way. “We are honored to receive this national recognition for such an important program.

Research shows that participation in high-quality afterschool, expanded day and summer learning programs leads to greater academic achievement, better school attendance and more engaged students. Further, a successful transition from 8th to 9th grade – middle school to high school in most cases – is particularly critical to student success. 

“I’m thrilled the Granite United Way’s Youth Enrichment Partnership program was awarded an Aim High Grant. This national investment builds on what we already know – through strong partnerships, we can help youth across Manchester succeed,” said Mayor Joyce Craig. “The collaborative partnerships developed through the Youth Enrichment Program have made a positive impact on kids already, and this will allow us to help more youth stay safe and on track.”

The Aim High grant kicked off Granite United Way’s fundraising campaign to expand the Youth Enrichment Partnership programming for another year in Manchester. At the beginning of June, Granite United Way announced a $200,000 YEP Challenge Match to maximize these supports for Manchester’s most at-risk middle school youth. All donations will be matched dollar for dollar. Visit to learn more about $200,000 Challenge Match and to donate.

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