The Pittsburgh Foundation

Small and Mighty: 5A Elite Youth Empowerment

5A Elite Youth Empowerment

Started in 2008, 5A Elite Youth Empowerment has worked to help youth in low-income communities reverse the effects of trauma through programming that encourages holistic health and wellness. In January 2019, the Foundation announced a $15,000 grant to the organization.

As a previous Small and Mighty grantee, the nonprofit piloted the youth-led PeaceBuilders Institute for Social Justice and Non-violent Interaction program, which allowed students to address community needs while implementing non-violent solutions to those needs. The funds from this cycle will be used to pilot the PeaceBuilders Youth Fellowship for Social Change, a 10-month program that allows 10 high school students to lead an organizing and mobilization campaign. 

An informal survey of youth by the Metro-Urban Institute of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary found that 79 percent of youth ages nine to 18 had a close friend or family member who had been shot. The organization has received funding in the previous two rounds of Small and Mighty grantmaking.  The Small and Mighty initiative, a direct outcome of the 100 Percent Pittsburgh organizing principle, awards grants to nonprofit organizations with annual budgets of less than $600,000, such as A5 Elite Youth Empowerment, which operates with an annual budget of $181,574.

To help youth transition from victim or bystander to change agents, this grant funds the pilot Peacebuilders Institute for Social Justice and Non-violent Interaction program. Fifteen Urban Pathways Charter School high school students will come together each month to cultivate internal peace, define and address community needs and build peace with peers and leaders. This work will lead to a Youth Manifesto, media event and a Peacebuilders Youth Summit. 

Further information on 5A Elite Youth Empowerment can be found at

Read about the Small and Mighty initiative