Rose Youth Foundation to Support Educational Equity in 2021; Request for Proposals Open

In spring 2021, Rose Youth Foundation (RYF) will make grants totaling $60,000 to address the historic and persistent education achievement gap. Funding will be directed to programs and projects aimed at removing longstanding, inequitable barriers to learning, and it is intended to support students that have been most affected by the economic, social and health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Disparities in academic outcomes between white students and students of color and between students from high-income and low-income families have long existed nationwide, and in Colorado that gap is especially pronounced. According to the 2019 National Assessment of Educational Progress, the achievement gap among Colorado eighth graders exceeds the national average in every measurable category. In Denver, these disparities are even greater. And though COVID-19’s impact on the achievement gap may not be fully realized for years, early indicators suggest that learning loss will probably be greatest among low-income, Black and Hispanic students.

Guided by the Jewish principles Pikuach Nefesh (save life), Tzedakah (give in pursuit of justice) and Tikkun Olam (transforming the world), this year’s RYF cohort hopes to mitigate these impacts by funding safe, adaptive and innovative solutions to learning that keep students and their families safe and on-track for life-long success. They plan to direct grants to school districts, schools and nonprofits that are approaching in-person and virtual learning through an equity lens, and they intend to support programs that will be sustainable and transferable to future learning needs.

“As teens, the Rose Youth Foundation members have experienced the difficulties of learning through the COVID-19 crisis and empathize with their peers who face greater obstacles in achieving academic success,” says Emily Kornhauser, Rose Community Foundation’s Director of Collaborative Philanthropy. “During this time when the teen members feel disconnected from their community, they turn to their Jewish values and to one another in the RYF cohort to give back and help those furthest from opportunity.”

Organizations and programs must operate within the seven-county Greater Denver region and serve students in kindergarten through fifth grade to be eligible for funding. The cohort anticipates making grants ranging in size from $10,000 to $20,000. RYF makes one-year grants; funds must be expended between June 2021 and May 2022.

All applications must be received through Rose Community Foundation’s online grants portal by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. All applicants will be notified by May 2021 whether their request is granted.

For more information about grant priorities, eligibility requirements and application information, please view the full request for proposals.

For questions about Rose Youth Foundation, contact Emily Kornhauser, Initiatives Manager, at For questions about the online grants portal, contact Kelly Costello, Grants Manager, at

Rose Youth Foundation is an initiative of Rose Community Foundation that engages Jewish high school students in collaborative grantmaking. The program is youth-led, empowering teens to use the tools of strategic philanthropy to make a substantial difference. Over eight months, the 26 members of Rose Youth Foundation work together to discuss what it means to give in a Jewish way, explore community issues, determine a funding priority, meet with nonprofit leaders and ultimately determine how to grant $60,000 to improve our community. This is the 20th Rose Youth Foundation cohort.

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