SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -

People wanting to help solve an array of problems facing local teenagers these days are invited to attend a special grant-writing workshop, organized by Santa Barbara County-based Youth Making Change, a project of The Fund For Santa Barbara.

Members of the teen-led grant-making program are leading the community effort Thursday evening in Downtown Santa Barbara.

Each year, the group provides teens with the opportunity to engage directly in organized philanthropy (giving grants) by helping disburse thousands of dollars in funds provided by individual and private donors.

"We have $15,000 dollars total from the South Board to give away," said Kate Burt, South County Coordinator of Youth Making Change. "You can apply for up to $3,000 dollars. However, we can give as much as we feel is necessary, based on how your application looks."

Burt said the average grant amount is $2,500 and local groups most likely to receive grant funding this cycle will be the ones working to solve problems facing teens.

"A lot of applicants that we see are working with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ)," Burt said. "We've seen a lot of applicants working with the environment, a lot of bullying-type related applicants. There's a large variety that we get."

Burt, a graduate of San Marcos High School, credits her role in Youth Making Change for helping her get into UCLA this Fall.

"I feel really, really lucky to have been able to be a part of such an amazing program!" Burt said.

The grant cycle for Youth Making Change runs August through June each year.

Thursday's workshop will be held from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm at the Orfalea Foundation, located at 1221 Chapala Street in Santa Barbara. 

A second workshop for the North County will be held Wednesday, September 21 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm in the Cornerstone Community Room at 705 South McClelland Street in Santa Maria.

Grant applications are due by Friday, October 13 of this year.