March 15, 2023 | Articles

The Upswing Fund for Adolescent Mental Health Renews Grant Funding for Six Organizations Supporting Youth with Culturally Responsive Mental Health Care

New grant awards reflect The Upswing Fund’s commitment to provide critical resources to front-line organizations serving adolescents of color and LGBTQ+ youth

SEATTLE, March 15, 2023 – The Upswing Fund for Adolescent Mental Health, powered by Panorama Global, is proud to announce new funding to six culturally responsive organizations supporting the mental health, well-being, and development of LGBTQ+ and BIPOC youth across the country. Funding is made possible through commitments from the Schultz Family Foundation and other donors.

In addition to ongoing support for adolescent mental health programs, grant awards will support each organization’s continued participation in the Social Capital Learning Collaborative, organized by the Schultz Family Foundation and hosted by Panorama Global. This Collaborative is a network of diverse, community-based organizations that come together to share learnings, identify best practices, and address persistent barriers to building social capital in the communities they serve.

Mental health and social capital

Just weeks after the CDC’s publication of alarming survey results on the state of adolescent mental health in the U.S., it is more critical than ever for mental health leaders and practitioners to develop innovative approaches that tackle this crisis head-on. To effectively support marginalized youth, it is important for mental health programming to meet youth where they are and focus on supporting each individual’s ability to live a full, healthy life.

Relationships and social networks are critical factors that influence a person’s connection to career opportunities, knowledge, and mentorship. This “social capital” is as valuable as hard skills, with personal and professional networks serving as one of the most important resources in building career identity and finding and succeeding in satisfactory, upwardly mobile employment. Research has shown that if young adults are provided access to social capital development opportunities such as mentorship and professional networking—as is typically the case for young adults from higher-income households—then they will be more likely to leverage and expand their own professional networks, build career capital, and experience postsecondary success.

“As we continue to support youth during an ongoing mental health crisis, organizations that provide mental health and well-being programs as a critical component of a holistic approach to youth development help to raise up a generation of empowered individuals,” said Dr. Mark Long, Director of The Upswing Fund for Adolescent Mental Health.

Social Capital Learning Collaborative

The Social Capital Learning Collaborative provides an opportunity for participating organizations to break silos, build connections, and develop fresh perspectives that strengthen service offerings for marginalized youth.

“Supporting young people’s social and emotional well-being is critical to helping them thrive. We are proud to invest in the Upswing Fund as it works to help practitioners better understand the role relationships and networks play in helping young adults navigate critical transitions in their lives,” said Tyra A. Mariani, President of the Schultz Family Foundation.

In addition to learning from other participating organizations, Upswing grantees engaging in the Learning Collaborative are building a better understanding of the nexus between mental health and social capital. This includes how mental health programming can support the growth and development of social capital for BIPOC young adults and how to strengthen connections between youth development organizations to best serve the young adults in their communities.

The Social Capital Learning Collaborative is one of several peer learning communities facilitated by Panorama Global. With practitioners at the center, these communities are designed to catalyze connections and spark meaningful dialogue that help advance social change at an individual, organizational, and ecosystem level.

The Upswing Fund is pleased to support:

Black Girls Smile (Atlanta, GA) Black Girls Smile provides mental health literacy education and resources for young black women to lead mentally healthy lives.

Girls Write Now (New York, NY) Through wellness writing-based programming and wraparound wellness services, Girls Write Now serves a culturally and educationally diverse community of girls and gender-expansive youth (mentees) who have long been systematically deprived of resources and opportunities in public schools and face significant challenges to educational and professional success.

Indiana Youth Group (Indianapolis, IN) Indiana Youth Group serves young people ages 12-24 who self-identify as LGBTQ+, as well as their allies, through a series of life-changing and life-saving wraparound services, programs, and resources including basic needs, housing, mental health care, independent living support, and more.

Lead4Life Inc. (Rockville, MD) Lead4Life provides strengths-based personal development programming and mental health services for underserved and system involved youth and young adults across Maryland.

We Are Family (North Charleston, SC) We Are Family is a Southern grassroots non-profit organization that provides affirming spaces for LGBTQ+ youth and no-cost mental health counseling, direct support, leadership development, and community engagement.

Zebra Youth (Orlando, FL)

Zebra Youth provides culturally responsive mental health counseling, basic needs, and transitional housing for LGBTQ+ youth. The Youth assists young people facing homelessness, bullying, isolation from their families, and physical, sexual and drug abuse with individualized programs to guide their recovery and stability.

About The Upswing Fund for Adolescent Mental Health

The Upswing Fund for Adolescent Mental Health is a collaborative fund seeded by Pivotal Ventures, an investment and incubation company created by Melinda French Gates to advance social progress in the United States. Further support is provided by The Klarman Family Foundation and other generous donors. The Fund is powered by Panorama Global and advised by a renowned set of mental health experts with deep clinical and research expertise and a passion to support youth and communities.

For more information, visit and @theupswingfund on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About Panorama Global

Panorama Global is a social impact nonprofit that empowers changemakers through radical collaboration.

Our goal is to achieve maximum impact by partnering with visionary leaders to co-develop solutions to hard problems. We use our voice when it counts, and initiate projects when we see gaps that need to be filled.

For more information, visit and @PanoramaTeam on Twitter and @PanoramaGlobal on LinkedIn.

About the Schultz Family Foundation

The Schultz Family Foundation, established in 1996 by Sheri and Howard Schultz, former CEO and chairman emeritus of Starbucks, creates pathways of opportunity for populations facing barriers to success, focusing on youth transitioning to adulthood and marginalized populations, including Black, Indigenous, People of Color communities. By investing in scalable solutions and partnerships in communities across the country, the Foundation aims to help tackle the barriers and roadblocks that prevent individuals from reaching their full potential and, in doing so, strengthen our communities and our nation.

For more information, visit and @SchultzFamilyFd on Twitter and @SchultzFamilyFoundation on LinkedIn.

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