Ava’s Change4Youth

Ava's Change4Youth Logo

Vote each day through May 12! Help Ava raise awareness of youth homelessness

SamKirkMeterArtist Cut smallYoung activist Ava Santos-Volpe, age 12, is a girl on a mission. While working on a class leadership project two years ago, Ava asked a youth homelessness advocate to visit her school to discuss Chicago’s youth housing crisis. After learning more, Ava decided she needed to help — but didn’t know how. That summer, while on a family trip to Florida, she spotted a parking meter collecting coins to donate to a homeless shelter. Something clicked.

We are excited to unveil, Ava’s Change4Youth, an art mentorship program that raises awareness of youth homelessness – a problem that disproportionately affects LGBTQIA teens. This project works to pair participating youth with prominent artists to transform repurposed parking meters into captivating public art pieces. These meters will be used as donation stations across the city, collecting coins to be disbursed among local nonprofit groups.

Ava and her family have teamed up with PAT to enter Ava’s Change4Youth into the USA Today Network’s grant program, A Community Thrives. The online competition invites members of the community to view Ava’s video and vote up to once per day to help her compete for a $50,000 or $100,000 award.

Support Ava’s Change4Youth by voting for Ava’s video each day until May 12. Entries with the most votes will make it to the competition finals. Share on social media that you support Ava by using these sample messages.

Click here to vote for Ava’s Change4Youth!