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YSRP’s Co-Directors were named recipients of the 2016 Emerging Leaders Fund of the Claneil Foundation. The Emerging Leaders Fund is designed to support the critical role that emerging leaders play in creating positive change. To provide critical support for these leaders and their organizations, the Foundation awards a four-year general operating grant to each recipient’s organization. Each grantee organization also has access to professional development funds to support its designated leader(s). Recipients are selected based on their creative vision, leadership capacity, potential for impact, and commitment to innovation and learning in one or more of the Foundation’s interest areas.

YSRP was awarded a Catalyst Fund grant from The Barra Foundation. This grant will help YSRP achieve fairer sentences for youth facing adult criminal charges using our new sentencing advocacy model. Through the Catalyst Fund, The Barra Foundation invests in ideas that tackle problems or seize opportunities in new, different, better and significant ways. These timely and novel approaches push boundaries and have the potential to inspire change. For more information, visit

Out of nearly 3,000 applicants, YSRP was selected along with the leaders of 41 other organizations to receive 18 months of funding and foundational leadership and business development support through the Open Society Foundations Black Male Achievement (BMA) Fellowship, powered by Echoing Green.

The Public Welfare Foundation is supporting YSRP’s work to ensure effective representation of individuals in Pennsylvania whose juvenile life without parole sentences are eligible for review under Montgomery v. Louisiana. The Public Welfare Foundation supports efforts to advance justice and opportunity for people in need. These efforts honor the Foundation’s core values of racial equity, economic well-being, and fundamental fairness for all. The Foundation looks for strategic points where its funds can make a significant difference and improve lives through policy change and system reform.

The McLean Contributionship is supporting YSRP’s Technology Update Campaign. Originally established in 1951 as The Bulletin Contributionship for charitable, educational and scientific purposes, the Contributionship became The McLean Contributionship on May 1, 1980 as the association of the McLean family with the Bulletin ended. Among other areas, the Trustees support projects which motivate promising young people to assess and develop their talents despite social and economic obstacles. 

The Henrietta Tower Wurts Memorial is a charitable foundation formed to carry out the wishes of Henrietta Tower Wurts, who died in 1933. It supports programs in which a modest grant can play a significant part, and which have meaningful goals in relation to the total resources committed to them.

Founded over 100 years ago, the Seybert Foundation is a charitable foundation that was established through the Will of Henry Seybert in memory of his parents, and makes grants to nonprofits serving disadvantaged children and youth in the city of Philadelphia. 

YSRP won the pitch competition as part of the 2015 Philadelphia Social Innovations Lab (PSIL). PSIL is an incubator program for winners of the Anti-Poverty Solutions Summit. The 2015 cohort was convened by the Philadelphia Social Innovations Lab and Journal, sponsored by the Knight Foundation, as a representation of the most innovative ideas to reduce poverty in Philadelphia.

douty foundation
Since 1968, the Douty Foundation has provided funding to organizations working to foster equitable opportunities for children and youth in Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties in Pennsylvania. Douty supports organizations that have a commitment to community engagement, and are focused on long-term social change through its work.
YSRP has been a grant recipient of the Phoebus Criminal Justice Initiative, which is a donor-advised fund under the Bread & Roses community fund. Grantees target issues including racially biased sentencing policies, the criminalization of youth and others.

Multidisciplinary law firm Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads donated office space in its Philadelphia office to house YSRP from June 2015 to March 2018.

The Andrus Family Fund, based in New York City, seeks to foster just and sustainable change in the United States. They do this by supporting organizations that advance social justice and improve outcomes for vulnerable youth.

Dechert, LLP provided pro bono counsel to support YSRP in completing the nonprofit incorporation process (both federal and state). Dechert is a global specialist law firm focused on sectors with the greatest complexities, legal intricacies and highest regulatory demands. 

The Stanley R. Wolfe Foundation is dedicated to the areas of civil rights, urban renewal and Jewish life. The Stanley R. Wolfe Foundation has supported YSRP for two years. 

The Philadelphia Bar Foundation is dedicated to promoting access to justice for all people in the community, particularly those struggling with poverty, abuse and discrimination. The Bar Foundation is the embodiment of the Philadelphia legal community’s commitment to this fundamental principle.

The Samuel S. Fels Fund supports YSRP’s Montgomery Implementation Project. The Samuel S. Fels Fund was founded in 1935 by Samuel S. Fels, a Philadelphia philanthropist who made his money in the manufacture of Fels Naptha, a popular household soap. According to its charter, Fels seeks to support projects “which prevent, lessen or resolve contemporary social problems”, or which seek to provide permanent improvements “in human daily life.”

The Grace S. and W. Linton Nelson Foundation supports YSRP’s Child Advancement Program. The Nelson Foundation is an independent private foundation that was founded more than 30 years ago through the generosity of the late Admiral W. Linton Nelson and Grace Nelson. Since its inception, the Foundation has supported a variety of programs that provide direct services to children and youth in the Philadelphia region.

The Philadelphia Bar Foundation is dedicated to promoting access to justice for all people in the community, particularly those struggling with poverty, abuse and discrimination. The Bar Foundation is the embodiment of the Philadelphia legal community’s commitment to this fundamental principle.

Riot Alliance is a jewelry line founded by Sara Schwartz, a social worker and social justice activist in Philadelphia. Sara contributes 10% or more of her profits to a non-profit organization, social justice project, or her own community-based programming with youth. Riot Alliance chose YSRP as its featured organization from August – October 2014.

On September 21, 2014, the Youth Sentencing & Reentry Project won the top prize at Philly Stake! Philly Stake is a locally sourced, recurring dinner in which money is raised for creative & relevant community engaged projects. As a micro granting program, community members become creators.

International law firm Cozen O’Connor donated space in its Philadelphia office to house YSRP between October 2014 and June 2015.

Juvenile Law Center is the oldest non-profit, public interest law firm for children in the United States. Founded in 1975 by four new graduates of Temple Law School in Philadelphia, Juvenile Law Center has become a national advocate for children’s rights, working across the country to enforce and promote the rights and well-being of children who come into contact with the justice, child welfare and other public systems.

The Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth is the national campaign working to end the practice of sentencing children to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The Campaign’s vision is to help create a society that respects the dignity and human rights of children through a justice system that operates with consideration of the child’s age, provides youth with opportunities to return to community, and bars the imposition of life without parole for people under age 18.

MIMIC’s mission is to achieve delinquency prevention and community stability by providing mentoring to youth aged 11 – 22 and by offering community-building events, using the individual talent and cultural and social capital of formerly-incarcerated individuals and other community-based volunteers. This mission celebrates youth, community, and formerly-incarcerated individuals as interdependent beneficiaries, each contributing to the success of the other. 


The Youth Art & Self-Empowerment Project (YASP) provides ongoing, year-round workshops for youth under 18 in the Philadelphia Prison System’s adult jails and continued support and leadership development for youth who have come home from those jails. YASP has hired many young people who were previously incarcerated in the adult jails to assume leadership roles as primary decision-makers in the organization. 

Community Legal Services (CLS) provides free legal services, in civil matters, to low-income Philadelphians. The Employment Unit represents clients with employment-related problems, including tackling barriers to employment, seeking unpaid wages, and preserving jobs. The unit advocates at the national and state levels on low-income workers’ rights issues such as preventing overbroad disqualifications of workers with criminal records.

The Campaign for Youth Justice (CFYJ) is a national initiative focused entirely on ending the practice of prosecuting, sentencing, and incarcerating youth under the age of 18 in the adult criminal justice system. CFYJ was initiated in 2004 by a parent whose son was transferred to the adult criminal court for prosecution. The campaign utilizes both federal and state-level strategies for youth justice reform.

YSRP is grateful to be part of a community of organizations that have experience or expertise in working on behalf of youth in a variety of capacities, including in the juvenile justice and adult criminal justice systems, and who are in alignment with YSRP’s mission to recognize the hallmarks of adolescence that implicate culpability, amenability to treatment and rehabilitation. As a community, these organizations’ missions highlight the belief that system-involved children need extra protection and special care, and that all people are better than the worst thing they have ever done.

Rock to the Future is a 501(c)3 organization founded in 2010 that provides music education to Philadelphia’s underserved youth at no cost to them or their families. Using music, our programs ignite passion and creativity, support academic achievement, and improve self-esteem. We empower individuals and strengthen communities.

penn med

The Penn Center for Youth and Family Trauma Response and Recovery (CYFTRR) at Hall Mercer Community Mental Health Center was founded in 2009 in order to offer the most effective treatments for children, adolescents and their families who are suffering from symptoms of traumatic stress and other difficulties after exposure to violence, crime and abuse. The Center provides a range of interventions for children and their families and addresses the physical and psychological symptoms. They assist families to cope with many of the related issues that occur in the aftermath of traumatic events. 

Equal Justice USA (EJUSA) is a national organization that works to make the criminal justice system more fair, effective, and responsive by ending the death penalty, strengthening programs that help crime survivors address trauma and r.

Equal Justice USA (EJUSA) is a national organization that works to make the criminal justice system more fair, effective, and responsive by ending the death penalty, strengthening programs that help crime survivors address trauma and rebuild their lives, promoting constructive responses to violence, and enacting common sense criminal justice reforms.

The Atlantic Center for Capital Representation (ACCR) is a non-profit death penalty resource center serving Pennsylvania and Delaware.  ACCR provides consultation services free of charge to capital defense practitioners or defense teams in Pennsylvania or Delaware. Our staff is available to assist in any way possible including consultation, referrals for expert services, motions practice, and voir dire. Additionally, ACCR conducts statewide capital defense trainings and is engaged in advocacy and public education around capital punishment issues in the region.

Pennsylvania Health Law Project (PHLP) is a nationally recognized expert and consultant on access to health care for low-income consumers, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. For more than two decades, PHLP has engaged in direct advocacy on behalf of individual consumers while working on the kinds of health policy changes that promise the most to the Pennsylvanians in greatest need. PHLP provides free legal services to lower-income consumers, seniors, and persons with disabilities who are having trouble accessing publicly funded healthcare coverage or services.


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