O2L is committed to expanding access to high quality out-of-school time services to all families in Greater Houston, and we understand that many OST providers are challenged by everyday barriers that negatively impact programming attendance and retention, or youth engagement. To combat these barriers, O2L is excited to announce the first Barrier Buster Request for Proposal this fall 2019!

What is the Barrier Buster Request for Proposal?

The Barrier Buster Request for Proposal is a new opportunity for O2L to expand its’ reach and support of out-of-school-time. This funding opportunity aims to target barriers that directly impact youth attendance and retention, or youth engagement within OST programs.  OST providers can request up to $10,000 for the cycle in which they apply. Barrier Buster applications will be released in fall 2019, spring, and summer of 2020.

Who can apply?

Any free or fee-based OST provider with a 501c3 status (minimum of 2 years) and serving youth 5-18 years-old during out-of-school time hours. Awarded 2019-2020 Fall/Spring project partners can apply for a site that is not currently funded by Out 2 Learn. Barrier Buster grantees cannot reapply for remaining cycles in 2019-2020.

Public and charter schools running an OST program on their campus are eligible to apply for this grant. Schools are encouraged to work with their OST provider (if applicable) or their district’s grant department/ foundation. Contact Karen Beltran at KBeltran@unitedwayhouston.org and Tiffany Echevarria at TEchevarria@unitedwayhouston.org for questions.

What are qualifying Barrier Buster requests?

OST providers face all kinds of barriers that impact their ability to program daily. Barriers include but are not limited to transportation, competing priorities, parent/youth buy-in, incentivizing youth voice, or community awareness of youth programs. Barriers are unique to each community and population of students served. OST providers are the experts of their communities and best understand their own challenging barrier(s). There is no one-size fits all, you tell us the barrier true to your program, your students, and your community!

Please keep in mind, priority will be given to requests that use funds toward direct service.

Qualifying requests will:

  • Identify a clear barrier that is a recurring challenge for the OST provider during programming hours.
  • Provide a clear rational for how the barrier directly impacts youth attendance and retention, or youth engagement.
  • Describe how this barrier is unique to the program in the proposed community.
  • Provide a clear description for use of Barrier Buster funds requested to address the barrier(s) identified.
  • Requests should not exceed $10,000.

What are non-qualifying Barrier Buster requests?

  • Requests from for-profit OST providers.
  • Requests from Out 2 Learn 2019-2020 Fall/Spring funded sites.
  • Requests exceeding $10,000.

What are the Requirements?

  1. Application: Applicants must answer all application questions and submit a program budget. To review application questions, see here. Applications must be submitted on e-Cimpact.
  2. Project Budget: Please provide a minimum of one price quote for program purchases over $500. Project Budget should be specific and itemized:
    1. Program Revenue (all associated donations, i.e. cash and in-kind)
    1. Program Expenses (all items with associated costs; indicate which expenses will be paid for with O2L Barrier Buster funds.)
  3. Supporting Documents: Applicants must also submit an IRS 501(c)(3) designation letter (minimum of 2-year status), the most recently completed IRS Form 990 Income Tax Return (filed within the last 3 years), and a signed copy of the Anti-Terrorism Patriot Act form (also found within the resource center on e-Cimpact).
  4. e-Cimpact: All applications and supporting documents must be submitted on e-Cimpact. Please watch the pre-recorded Barrier Buster proposal conference linked in the timeline and next steps below. The URL link to e-Cimpact is required to create a login and to submit a Barrier Buster application. This link will be provided in the video. 

What is the Timeline?

Fall 2019
Barrier Buster Kick OffMonday, August 26, 2019
Application on e-Cimpact and Pre-Recorded Proposal Conference Go LiveMonday, September 16, 2019
Webinar Viewing DatesMonday, September 16, 2019 – Friday, September 27, 2019
Technical Assistance Call (optional)
Conference ID:
909-586-147 #
Thursday, September 19, 2019 (10:00 am-11:00 am)
Application Deadline (e-Cimpact submissions only)Thursday, September 26, 2019 (11:59 pm)
Award NoticesFriday, October 18, 2019
DisbursementsOn or by Friday, October 25, 2019
Grantee ReportWednesday, January 15, 2020 (by or before)

What are next steps?

  1. Interested applicants are encouraged to watch the pre-recorded Barrier Buster Proposal Conference. In this video, details pertaining to the funding process will be outlined along with step by step instructions for how to navigate the e-Cimpact portal. The e-Cimpact link to apply for this grant will be shared in the video as well. You can watch the pre-recorded proposal conference here
  2. To obtain a login for e-Cimpact or if you already have a login and need to obtain access to this application, please email e-Cimpact at e-Cimpact@unitedwayhouston.org for your request.
  3. Attend the upcoming Technical Assistance Call on Thursday, September 19, 2019

10:00 am-11:00 am (optional).

What are the grantee requirements?

If awarded Barrier Buster funds, grantees are expected to complete the following:

  1. Agree to, sign, and return the Service Provider Agreement via email to KBeltran@unitedwayhouston.org by the due date assigned.
  2. Use Barrier Buster funds in accordance with the Service Provider Agreement and set timeline.
  3. Submit Barrier Buster Grantee Report within 30 days of project completion, no later than January 15, 2020.


For question about the Barrier Buster process email Karen Beltran at KBeltran@unitedwayhouston.org and Tiffany Echevarria at TEchevarria@unitedwayhouston.org. For questions about e-Cimpact please email e-Cimpact@unitedwayhouston.org.

Texas Children’s Autism Center is hosting a 2.5-hour workshop to help families of newly-diagnosed autistic children gain an introductory working knowledge of the various supports and programs that exist in the Houston community and how to access them

See below and the registration page for more information. 

  • Event: Intro to Autism Resources and Services Workshop
  • Date/Time:
    • July 19, 2019
    • 12:30 to 3:00 pm
  • Location:
    • TX Children’s Autism Center/Meyer Center
    • 8080 N. Stadium Drive, Suite 280, Houston, TX 77054
  • Cost: None

TEACH to Educate All Kids is offering a 2-day summit on the topic “Becoming a Charismatic Leader” that is geared towards nonprofit professionals, education leaders, and business leaders.

See below and the flyer for more information:

  • Event: TEACH Summit: “Becoming a Charismatic Leader”
  • Date/Time:
    • July 8 & 9, 2019
    • 9:00 am to 3:00 pm
  • Location:
    • Boy Scouts of America
    • 2225 North Loop West, Houston, TX, 77008
  • Cost:
    • $25 for Harris County residents
    • $45 for non-Harris County residents

The Center for School Behavior Health is hosting several pertinent youth mental health trainings later this month. Please see below and the flyer for more information, and register online if you are interested.
  Training Topic   Date/Time   Cost
Youth Mental Health First AidJune 19, 2019
8:30 am to 5:00 pm
$20 for educators
$60 for all others
Are the Kids Alright?
Mental Health & Trauma in Children
June 26, 2019
9:00 am to 12:00 pm
Free for school professionals
$15 for all others
Youth Suicide PreventionJune 26, 2019
1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Free for school professionals
$15 for all others

All incoming 9th graders are eligible for a free YMCA summer membership this summer! The membership is valid from June 1 through August 31, 2019 and students only need a school ID in order to sign up.

Please see the flyer below for more information and get your youth signed up!

Join Emancipation Economic Development Council at the 2nd annual “3rd Ward College Send-Off” on July 13, 2019! This is a community acknowledgment event in celebration of the educational achievement of young people in the historic Third Ward

  • Date/Time: Saturday, July 13, 2019 at 1:00 to 3:00 pm
  • Location: The El Dorado Ballroom, 2310 Elgin St., Houston, TX, 77004

Each registered student will receive a monetary gift and care package to assist with necessities. Guardians, family, and friends are encouraged to attend and support. Participating students must be entering their freshman year of college or trade/technical school and reside in the 77004 zip code. Students must register online to qualify

If you would like to attend as a family member or friend, make sure to register online, and you may also show your support as a sponsor. Please see the flyer below for more information, and contact Desiree Johnson if you have any questions: 346-980-5635.

Free Food Distribution Program

Target Hunger invites families with school age children to participate in an 11-week food distribution of kid-friendly food items for those who reside in the following zip codes: 77016, 77020, 77026, 77028, and 77078.

Families will receive a distribution twice a month or weekly based on the schedule of the food pantry in their zip code. This program begins Monday, June 10, 2019 and ends Friday, August 23, 2019. Please see the flyer (English/Spanish) for more information and contact foodservices@targethunger.org if you have any questions. 

HISD Summer Meals Program

HISD Nutrition Services will be hosting the Summer Meals Program at more than 250 Houston-area schools from June 5 to July 3, 2019.

Children ages 1 to 18 can enjoy a healthy breakfast and lunch at no charge and do not need to be enrolled in summer school to participate in the program. No paperwork, registration, or proof of income is required.

Adults can also participate by purchasing breakfast for $2.75 and lunch for $4. 

A list of summer meal site locations is available at houstonisd.org/summermeals. Parents can also contact Nutrition Services at 713-491-5944 for more information.

The Youth Advocacy Summit 2019 is an annual week-long youth leadership event that is hosted by Mi Familia Vota Education Fund and OCA-Greater Houston for rising sophomores juniors, and seniors in high school. YAS 2019 will be held at Rice University, June 24 to 26, and the Westchase Marriot Hotel, June 27-28 from 9am – 5:30pm each day. This is not a residential program. Deadline to apply is May 30th, 11:59pm.

The mission of YAS is to educate and empower Houston-area high school students to become community advocates. This is done by learning about issues from experts, developing leadership and organizing skills, and meeting with elected officials. Past youth summit participants have gone on to testify at city council; lead voter engagement campaigns at their school; speak at press conferences at the state capitol; and represent their community in a variety of actions through participation in the school year program. The skills taught at the annual summit are life skills that will empower participants in their future as community, business, and entrepreneur leaders of Greater Houston. We encourage high school students to apply and join the pipeline of future leaders for the Greater Houston community! Students of diverse gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, legal status, income level, and so forth are especially encouraged to apply.

Application Process: Interested students should fill out the application on yas2019.eventbrite.com by May 30th, 2019. Application may close if spots are filled before then. Students who are eligible for free/reduced lunch may contact Angelica Razo at angelicar@mifamiliavota.org to receive a scholarship.

For more information, contact Angelica Razo at

Chinese Community Center is hosting a Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Fair that is free & open to the public! Please see below and the flyer for more details, and share this event widely with your community:

Date: June 1, 2019
Time: 11:00 am to 2:00 pm
Location: Chinese Community Center
                   9800 Town Park Drive
                   Houston, TX, 77036

Mark your calendars for the next Out 2 Learn Quarterly Meeting!

Date: Monday, May 20, 2019
Time: 8:30 am to 11:00 am
Location: United Way of Greater Houston, 50 Waugh Drive

More details to be shared shortly!