The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is pleased to announce funding is available to organizations offering summer and school year programs geared toward middle and high school youth. As part of New Hampshire’s Invest in the Future Fund, the State will utilize $3.5 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funds to support the Empower Youth Program, which will provide programming for at-risk middle and high school students.

As we transition out of the pandemic into more regular activities, this funding will focus on support for at-risk middle and high-school-aged youth. With disruptions in-home/school life during the pandemic, along with the ongoing challenges of being a teen in today’s society, older youth may be experiencing negative effects of social isolation, engaging in substance misuse, or being subject to abuse or neglect. High-school and middle school students often experience academic and emotional challenges due to past and current circumstances. After last summer with its social distancing and limited summer options, adolescent youth will benefit immensely from formal and informal activities as well as supports outside of the home this summer and as they transition into school this fall.

The New Hampshire Empowering Youth Program (NHEYP) funding is available to fund those youth summer and fall programs serving middle and high school students. The summer programs may be transformed into afterschool or weekend programs when the school year resumes. This permits programs that extend beyond the traditional summer break to create opportunities that will serve as a bridge for students as they transition back to school in the fall. This format also allows providers to proactively explore alternative community-based programs, which could prove beneficial whether they are serving youth attending traditional or alternative educational schooling.

The Empowering Youth Program is designed to benefit middle and high-school-aged youth. The program’s incentives target providers that will either expand current programs to middle and high-school students or initiate new program opportunities for these age groups. Similarly, providers may access program resources to fund adolescent youth counselor positions within existing programs that are aimed at younger children. This will provide teenagers the opportunity to learn leadership and mentoring skills.

Funding is available to New Hampshire non-profit and for-profit summer and school-year youth programs that serve middle and high-school youths, with an emphasis, but not exclusively, on serving vulnerable youth and children involved with the Division of Children, Youth and Families or in need of or receiving other intervention/support services. Programs specifically offering activities involving gang-violence prevention, substance-misuse prevention, youth empowerment, dropout prevention, and safe havens are encouraged to apply. Programs that serve early-childhood or elementary school ages may apply only if they are also offering a program that includes the targeted age group or allows youths within the targeted age group to serve as a counselor-in-training, program aide, specialty program presenter, academic tutor, playground coach, etc. in a formal program.

To apply for funding, programs must:

– Be eligible to receive a State of New Hampshire vendor number and a federal SAMS number;

– Have equitable enrollment policies as to race, income, gender, religion, and sexual orientation;

– A minimum of 65% of the youths served must meet the DCYF definition of vulnerable children*;

– Serve middle and high school youths, with at least 75% being New Hampshire residents.

*Vulnerable children are those children who are at-risk for abuse or neglect due to physical, psychological and/or environmental factors. They do not need to have an open DCYF case to be considered vulnerable and may qualify due to their geographic location or household circumstances.

Here is the generic application link:

If you would like a custom link (that allows you to save and return to the application along with retaining a copy), please email Dianne Chase at [email protected] with the words NHEYP custom link request in the email subject.

Additional Resources:

Template for the application

Application Instructions and grant parameters

•FAQs will be posted on an ongoing basis

Applications will be reviewed as soon as possible after the application closing date. Award decisions will be based on a combination of the number of youths able to be served, geographic location, and target audience. The application period will open on Monday, May 2nd at 12 noon, 2022, and end on Wednesday, May 18, 2022, at 11:59 PM. All funds must be expended by December 31, 2023.

Use this link to register for one of the informational webinars are being held on:

Thursday, May 5, 12:30 to 1:30 PM

Tuesday, May 10, 6:30 to 7:30 PM

Also, virtual office hours (no registration required) are being held on:

Friday, May 6, 1:00 to 2:00 PM

Wednesday, May 11, 12:00 to 1:00 PM

Monday, May 16, 1:00 to 2:00 PM

Click here for the access information

For other questions please email Dianne Chase, Assistant Bureau Chief, Bureau of Child Development and Head Start Collaboration, DEHS, NH DHHS at [email protected] or call 603-271-7190