Press Release: MyCom Selected by the Wallace Foundation

August 22, 2023

MyCom Selected by The Wallace Foundation for One-Year Effort Focused on Strengthening Opportunities for Adolescents Outside the Classroom

MyCom, with our community partners from Cleveland Peacemakers Alliance, ChangeSeekers, Youth Opportunities Unlimited (YOU), and the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD), has been chosen by The Wallace Foundation to participate in a one-time, one-year funding opportunity, called Advancing Opportunities for Adolescents.

The effort, which involves 30 cross-sector, system-level partnerships, is intended to help strengthen the work of the partnerships in addressing the needs of adolescents who face barriers to participation in afterschool and summer programs and to build understanding about what partnerships like these are doing and how – insights that can help inform both the sector and potential future Wallace initiatives.

Following an open call for submissions last fall that prompted more than 1,700 expressions of interest, MyCom was one of 81 partnerships to submit proposals.

Partnerships are pursuing goals like supporting youth who are involved in the justice system, facing immigration issues, experiencing generational poverty, learning English as a second language, dealing with mental health issues, and more.

Some of the approaches they are using include increasing access to expanded learning programs and/or social services, building youth leadership/advocacy, focusing on college/career readiness, fostering intergenerational engagement, and strengthening public health efforts.

Each partnership includes a number of individual entities working together, such as community-based organizations, school districts, out-of-school-time intermediaries, neighborhood development corporations, higher education institutions, businesses, healthcare providers, and city/county offices.

MyCom will use funding to reduce community violence, especially youth violence, throughout Cleveland.

“We will not only provide violence prevention services like safe-passages and violence interruption, but will also complete a landscape analysis of all violence prevention programs in order to identify service gaps, community needs, and associated training,” Kasey Morgan, MyCom Chief Strategy Officer.

In addition to implementing these activities, MyCom will be asked to share with other grantees and researchers documents and other materials that describe the terms of the partnership, the work being done over the course of the year and observed results.

A full list of the partnerships, along with the activities they will undertake during this period, can be found here.

This effort builds on research that shows high-quality out-of-school-time programs can make important contributions to young people’s intellectual, social, emotional and physical well-being, especially for youth who do not thrive in school.

Studies have also shown that cross-sector partnerships, which include public and private organizations working in such areas as education, youth development and community health services, can help expand learning and enrichment opportunities for young people who most need them.

“We know from the research that high-quality afterschool and summer learning programs can help young people find purpose and passion as well as support academic success, but not enough opportunities are available, especially for youth who face barriers that may limit their ability to grow and thrive,” said Gigi Antoni, vice president, youth development at The Wallace Foundation. “We are looking forward to learning more with MyCom and the other partnerships about how they are making a difference and serving young people in their communities, and what factors assist or impede their efforts.”

A research team from American Institutes for Research (AIR) will follow and document the work of the partnerships. This research is intended to be useful both to each partnership and to the larger cohort, as well as to Wallace.

In addition to funding, each partnership will have access to peer learning, technical assistance and other supports provided by Community Wealth Partners and Dax-Dev Consulting.

Learn more about the partnership work with the Wallace Foundation.


  • “MyCom Youth Development Initiative aims to engage via education, such amazing out-of-school opportunities as they recognize that youth who are bullied are more likely to feel disconnected from school."
    Curtis Benjamin
  • "MyCom has extended hundreds of youth exceptional opportunities to grow, expand their knowledge and express their voice in so many ways. I can honestly say that the youth are not the only ones who are learning, growing and having wonderful exposure opportunities. This adult is a beneficiary of countless blessing as well."
    Brenda Pryor
    MyCom Coordinator
  • "It was amazing, and really made me think of my community more, and how I can change it"
    Brandan Newton
    Anton Grdina FLOW Participant

MyCom will enact our mission with race and equality at the forefront of our work as we always have. We will use our thought-leadership, funding, advocacy, and network to redesign service delivery. Together we will rethink infrastructure and create solutions that eliminate access to healthcare, cyclical poverty, access to quality education, housing stability, and other barriers that have impacted black lives.

13815 Kinsman Rd, Suite 104
Cleveland, OH 44120
P: 216-399-2271

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