Youth Empowerment

The Knott Foundation seeks to empower youth through funding out-of-school programs that operate during the “opportunity hours” between 3pm and 6pm. These times are one of the most recognized ways to serve young people and improve their life outcomes. Demand in Maryland for out-of-school time programming is high: for every 1 child in an afterschool program, 3 more are waiting to join.

Programs should focus on two key strategies: career exploration and long-term mentoring. The Foundation has chosen to focus on career exploration because research shows kids often lack a sense of how their work in school connects to a career pathway, and that many lack essential skills to be successful in college or a career. Another key to youth empowerment is long-term mentoring. Evidence suggests a consistent relationship with a caring adult is the single most important ingredient to increasing the likelihood that a young person will flourish and become a productive member of society.