Topeka Youth Commission

Stay785 Grant Application


The Topeka Youth-Led Granting Initiative is a grant program that finances youth-led projects in the Topeka and Shawnee County area. The fund is administered by the Topeka Youth Commission with assistance from the Topeka Community Foundation. Grants will be determined by the quality and strength of the project presented for the identified theme.                  

The theme for the 2022-2023 Topeka Youth-Led Granting Initiative is Stay785. Youth in Topeka constantly express their dismay and disappointment of the city due to the lack of fun things for younger generations to do.

The goal of Stay785 is to give youth in the community an opportunity to choose what they wish to see in Topeka and bring their vision to life. Beyond youth engagement, applicants can choose to focus on a multitude project types including, but not limited to, beautification, arts/music initiatives, or community service. Up to $2,000 may be requested in order to fund a project that aims to improve our community and keep youth in Topeka. Past grant winners have initiated murals, gardens, community care packages, and more! All applications must be submitted on or before November 15, 2022. 


Learn more about the Topeka Community Foundation and TYC Grant HERE

Grant Guidelines 

·  Applications must be ‹written by a youth between the ages of 12 - 21.​
·   Projects should be youth directed. 
·  Applicants must have support from an outside organization, i.e. their school, club or other community organization 
·  Applicants may only apply for up to $2,000. 
·  Project Locations must be within the Topeka or Shawnee County area
·  An application that describes the project and budget narrative must be submitted. Certain projects will be moved through the process to be interviewed. 
·  A report is required following the competition of all grant funded activities.  


Youth engaging adults in partnership to transform our community for the greater good of all.

We, The Topeka Youth Commission devote ourselves to the following core values:

Voice: Providing the youth of Topeka with a platform to effectively communicate our outlook and stance on issues in our community. 

Diverse Perspective: To bring together Topeka youth of all backgrounds to engage in discussions which include perspectives from various viewpoints.

Community Investment: Finding and retaining young talent from within Topeka, shaping a culture of giving back, and raising awareness of opportunities existing within the community in order to encourage youth to embrace Topeka. 


A broad and diverse youth commission engaging adults to provide a voice for youth in the decisions and policies of government agencies, schools and community organizations affecting the lives of young people.


1. Creating and influencing positive policy changes, making Shawnee County & the greater City of Topeka a better place for youth.

2. Involving the youth of Shawnee County & the greater City of Topeka in the decisions that shape their lives.

3. Bringing youth and adults together and improving youth-adult partnerships through training, mentoring, support and technical assistance.


The Topeka Youth Commission (TYC) is housed within the Greater Topeka Partnership  - acting as fiscal agent and administrative home. Washburn University provides training and technical assistance.

The three primary focus areas of the TYC are 1) Local government, 2) Outreach, and 3) Community Involvement. Within Local Government, the Top City Youth Council is comprised of nine TYC members from each city council district.


1. Students/Shawnee County residents ages 14 (high school freshman) through 21, who are diverse in all aspects.

2. Currently includes 16 students. TYC strives to recruit up to 40 members within the coming years.

3. Staggered 2-year terms; options for renewal.

Do you want to be more involved in your community? New member recruitment will resume in early 2023. Please apply here to be considered for nomination.

Founding Members

Nicole Bloomquist, Jacob Gernon, Lillian Holmberg, Bryce Liedtke, and Makenna Orton



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