What We Do

Project Pay it Forward encourages youth volunteerism and promotes positive youth development through easily accessible character education curriculum and resources, educational video, interactive platforms for youth participation, grant opportunities to help youth pay it forward, and community events to promote and raise awareness for causes that support youth involvement.


education curriculum icon

Our Character Education curriculum is available for students and educators, school enrichment and after-school programs, and youth organizations for youth in grades 6-12, with an emphasis on fostering positive character traits such as altruism, empathy, kindness, caring and citizenship. Instilling positive character traits in youth helps them to reach their full potential to be contributing members to their communities, which will benefit society as a whole.

We uniquely focus on inspiring youth volunteerism, for its many personal benefits as well as societal benefits. Research identifies root causes of adolescents' difficulties as: low self-esteem, lack of a sense of community, and poor academic achievement. Studies indicate that volunteering can alleviate those problems and have a broader positive impact on the lives of youth.

Researchers recommend widespread educational campaigns on the benefits of volunteering; and Project Pay it Forward increases knowledge of both volunteer possibilities and the personal benefits of volunteering while simultaneously fostering positive youth development and helping youth explore and develop their unique skills and talents.



Community and youth organizations can use the Project Pay it Forward Community Resource Guide to engage young people in discussions about the many ways to support good causes and how to make a positive change in the community. A film screening event can focus on several themes or topics to engage the community and youth:

  • Start discussions about paying it forward;
  • Lead into character education lessons to foster positive youth development;
  • Raise awareness of important nonprofit causes;
  • Highlight successful examples of youth creating positive change in the neighborhood;
  • Announce volunteer opportunities in the community


Our Project Pay It Forward film premiere screening event in Manhattan brought together nonprofit leaders, local representatives and educators to support youth paying it forward and raise awareness of several nonprofit programs making a positive impact in New York City.



We use engaging video to educate and accompany our Character Education curriculum. Project Pay it Forward media productions encourage positive youth development and promote volunteering to improve the lives and futures of young people.

Numerous research studies recommend video to appeal to adolescents as a powerful communications tool to engage students and produce positive attitudes towards learning. Using video to teach character education specifically has shown tremendous improvements in students’ grades as well as their attitudes towards learning, and Project Pay It Forward implements the top qualities for video in educational curriculum as recommended by The Cognition and Technology Group at Vanderbilt.

Here are some of these qualities that we integrate into Project Pay It Forward:

Project Pay It Forward Video in Character Education



In addition to character education curriculum, educational media, interactive platforms for youth participation and community involvement, our program also offers grant opportunities to support youth paying it forward.

Grants for Youth

We Do We Award Grants to Encourage Youth to Volunteer?

The Journal of Economic Psychology reports that

“It could make sense to offer initial incentives to stimulate volunteering that can be gradually phased out while the individual learns that voluntary work is pleasurable in itself. Such incentive schemes for volunteering would 'lure' non-volunteering individuals into donating some of their time in the reasonable hope of this volunteering being sustainable without external incentives after learning processes have taken place.”

Our nonprofit organization offers various incentives, including in the form of grants, thus encouraging students to volunteer in this way as well. Additionally, our interactive platforms including mobile apps, websites and social media will involve youth and encourage participation with other motivational incentives relevant to youth interests as well. By interesting the youth in volunteer work, we can help them improve their communities and their lives.