Following Albert Einstein's dictum, "If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it." Innovation Grants support ideas that might easily appear radical or preposterous.

Innovative programs or services are defined as "uncommon, untested or otherwise unconventional" that lead to breakthrough results.  In other words, RMYF funds programs or services that are outside of current customary practices. We support especially innovative programs or services that are designed to help underprivileged youth reach their full potential in new and different ways. Check to see if a similar program is being offered elsewhere in the U.S. If others are offering similar programs in other states it wouldn't be quite as innovative as we'd like.

Innovative services RMYF has funded include the following:

  • An incentivized youth savings program
  • An intensive weekend tutoring program for at-risk students
  • A dynamic and innovative leadership development program serving at-risk girls
  • A book club for incarcerated youth that uses reading and writing to help them to envision a future that does not end with a cycle of incarceration or early death
  • A neighborhood tour guide program
  • A yoga program that works with the entire school community to create a less stressful and more mindful school learning environment
  • A strategy for providing talented, experienced teachers with support, incentives and a professional environment to help make teaching in low-performing schools a viable long-term employment option. A program that provides under-performing high school students with a family of committed volunteers and increased access to community resources.
  • A civic engagement after-school program in Spanish that includes an English language learning component.