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Foundation awards AYCC $500k to support mental health

AYCC logo

The Arlington Youth Counseling Center (AYCC) will receive a $500,000 grant from the Cummings Foundation to support programming for the next 10 years.

“We are honored and deeply grateful,” said Executive Director Colleen Leger in a June 7 news release. “This funding comes at a critical time, as we face rising youth mental-health challenges and unprecedented demand for child and adolescent mental-health services in our community.

”With a 10-year sustaining grant from Cummings Foundation, AYCC can grow thoughtfully and sustainably in its capacity to support the mental health needs of youth and families in Arlington.”

Staff members at the Arlington Youth Counseling Center celebrate earning a $500,000, 10-year grant from the Cummings Foundation that will help support their ongoing work for the next 10 years. (Photo Courtesy Arlington Youth Counseling Center)Staff members at the Arlington Youth Counseling Center celebrate. / Photo Courtesy Arlington Youth Counseling Center

Licensed clinic

AYCC is a licensed community mental-health clinic, and the leading provider of outpatient and school-based mental health services for Arlington youth ages 3 to 21 and their families.
AYCC has been supporting the mental health and well-being of children and teens in the Arlington community for more than 50 years.

In 2021, during the Covid-19 pandemic, AYCC conducted almost 8,000 outpatient, school-based, and teletherapy sessions to more than 300 children, teens, and adult family members.

By supporting general operating costs at AYCC, the 10-year Cummings grant will help increase timely and equitable access among Arlington youth and families to high-quality, culturally responsive and affordable mental health services, while also funding community resource support and case management services for Arlington residents with unmet basic needs.

AYCC is one of 140 local nonprofits to receive grants of $100,000 to $500,000 each through Cummings Foundation’s $25 Million Grant Program

580 applicants

The Arlington-based organization was chosen from 580 applicants during a competitive review process. The grant program supports Massachusetts nonprofits that are based in and primarily serve Middlesex, Essex and Suffolk counties.

Through this place-based initiative, Cummings Foundation aims to give back in the areas where it owns commercial property. Its buildings are all managed, at no cost to the foundation, by its affiliate, Cummings Properties. This Woburn-based commercial real estate firm leases and manages 11 million square feet of debt-free space, the majority of which exclusively benefits the foundation.

“We are so fortunate in greater Boston to have such effective nonprofits, plus a wealth of talented, dedicated professionals and volunteers to run them,” said Cummings Foundation Executive Director Joyce Vyriotes. “We are indebted to them for the work they do each day to provide for basic needs, break down barriers to education and health resources, and work toward a more equitable society.”

With the help of about 90 volunteers, the foundation first identified 140 organizations to receive grants of at least $100,000 each. Among the winners were first-time recipients as well as nonprofits that had previously received Cummings Foundation grants. Forty of this latter group of repeat recipients were then selected to have their grants elevated to 10-year awards of $200,000 to $500,000 each.

Diverse backgrounds

“Our volunteers bring diverse backgrounds and perspectives, which is so critical to our grant selection process,” said Vyriotes. “Through this democratized approach to philanthropy, they decide more than half the grants every year.”

This year’s grant recipients represent a wide variety of causes, including food insecurity, immigrant and refugee services, social justice, education and mental health. The nonprofits are spread across 45 cities and towns.

The complete list of 140 grant winners, plus more than 900 previous recipients, is available at

Cummings Foundation has now awarded more than $375 million to greater Boston nonprofits. 

Cummings Foundation Inc. was established in 1986 by Joyce and Bill Cummings and has grown to be one of the largest private foundations in New England. The foundation directly operates its own charitable subsidiaries, including New Horizons retirement communities, in Marlborough and Woburn and Cummings Health Sciences LLC. 

Nov. 14, 2020: AYCC's '50K for 50 Years' fund-raiser


This news announcement was published Tuesday, June 7, 2022. The information was provided by John Guilfoil Public Relations

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