ConnectOC Blog

ACT Anaheim Helps Youth Unlock Their Potential

Posted by: Connect OC on 3/9/2016

With 42 miles of sandy beaches, world-famous tourist attractions and the 45th largest economy in the world, Orange County is a postcard come to life. Yet hidden inside our urban core, a vastly different picture is revealed. Although Anaheim is the oldest city in Orange County, it is home to the county’s highest population of youth under the age of 18, 21 percent of whom live below the Federal Poverty Level. With high risks of gang involvement, substance abuse and school dropout, too many Anaheim youth are hard-pressed to find a sense of hope for their futures. Despite these critical challenges, comparatively little philanthropic investment has been made in the youth of Anaheim – until Accelerate Change Together (ACT) Anaheim rose to the challenge. Two years later, ACT Anaheim is helping to ensure a brighter future for Anaheim youth, as this new video shows.


Disneyland Resort, Angels Baseball and Anaheim Ducks formed ACT Anaheim in 2013, committing initial funding of $3 million over three years. As managing partner of the initiative, OCCF reached out to additional funders to increase the inaugural funding pool from $1 million to $1.5 million, awarded in April 2014 to 10 local nonprofits helping at-risk youth. In its second year, ACT Anaheim saw a surge in support from funders throughout Orange County, culminating in a $2 million investment in 2015 ACT grants to 14 nonprofits, bringing total ACT Anaheim investments to $3.5 million — already surpassing the three-year goal.

The power of three – three years, $3 million and three powerhouse Orange County brands – was on display in late January as the flagship ACT Anaheim funders and nonprofit grantees came together to celebrate the programs and services giving the city’s most vulnerable youth a leg up on life-long success.

At this Jan. 26 reception held at the Pacific Club, ACT Anaheim did more than simply celebrate its great start. Business trailblazers, community advocates and nonprofit leaders convened to deepen their commitments to the city’s healthy future and explore the work underway by ACT grantees. ACT Anaheim is unique in that all grant recipients use a common evaluation platform and share data to ensure that their collective efforts are moving the needle in Anaheim’s areas of greatest need.

ACT Anaheim is embarking on its third year of game-changing impact for Anaheim youth, thanks to the collaborative efforts of business, community and nonprofit leaders. Keep up to date on ACT Anaheim activities here.

Get a look at the movers and shakers behind the work of ACT Anaheim at the annual gathering held Jan. 26.

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