Panhandle Disaster Relief Fund

Donate now to support the families and communities affected by the Panhandle and South Plains wildfires in February 2024. The Panhandle Disaster Relief Fund is administered locally by Amarillo Area Foundation.

Texas joins new national initiative to address America’s youth mental health crisis

Texas joins 10 other states, the Schultz Family Foundation, Pinterest, and AmeriCorps to launch country’s first Youth Mental Health Corps

AUSTIN –  In response to America’s youth mental health crisis, Texas is joining forces with 10 other states, the Schultz Family Foundation, Pinterest and AmeriCorps to recruit, train, and deploy the nation’s first Youth Mental Health Corps to help teenagers access critical mental health resources.

The new Youth Mental Health Corps is an innovative, public-private collaboration, with a robust set of partners that include America’s Service Commissions, America Forward, and the National Council for Mental Wellbeing. The Corps will address the growing needs of young people while creating career pathways to address the national shortage of mental-health professionals. Corps members will be trained as navigators serving middle and high school students in schools and in community-based organizations.

In Texas, Youth Mental Health Corps AmeriCorps members will serve with Communities In Schools programs in Central Texas, North Texas, and San Antonio, offering case management through weekly one-on-one or small group sessions to economically disadvantaged students.

Corps members will gain valuable on-the-job experience, receive a stipend, and earn a credential to advance their career. They will also be eligible for education awards to pursue higher education or pay back qualifying student loans.

One in three high school students report persistent feelings of hopelessness, and approximately 122 million people live in a Mental Health Professional Shortage Area, where there is a shortage of more than 6,000 practitioners, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

There is also broad concern about the impact of social media on the mental health of young people. Youth Mental Health Corps members will work directly with students to develop trust, share resources for digital and media literacy, and help students navigate social challenges online such as harassment, bullying and bias.

The Youth Mental Health Corps seeks to address the crisis by leveraging the power of national service. Conceived by the Schultz Family Foundation and Pinterest, the program was developed in consultation with hundreds of experts and practitioners. Both organizations will provide financial support to participating state service commissions to design and adapt the initiative to meet local needs, including providing training and credentials at no cost to Corps members. AmeriCorps, the federal agency for service and volunteerism, will provide operating support to organizations hosting members, as well as stipends and education awards to Corps members.

Hundreds of Corps members will be deployed in Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, and Texas starting in September 2024. Seven other states— California, Iowa, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, and Utah—have received planning grants and intend to launch their own Corps in the fall of 2025. As the program expands, thousands of young adults will participate each year, providing mental-health support to tens of thousands of teens.

Anyone ages 18-24 with a high school diploma can apply at


  • “In Texas, we are committed to growing the mental health workforce and ensuring our students have access to the resources they need in school. We are honored to partner with Communities In Schools as one of the first states to implement the Youth Mental Health Corps and offer school-based mental health navigator career development opportunities for young people, while they provide critical wrap-around services to middle and high school students.” – Chris Bugbee, OneStar President & CEO
  • “National service is a win-win for addressing the teen mental-health crisis because it allows young adults to support each other peer-to-peer while gaining valuable skills and experience, getting paid, and earning a credential. The Youth Mental Health Corps demonstrates the power of philanthropy, business, government, and non-profits partnering to create innovative solutions to critical national challenges.” –  Sheri Kersch Schultz, Schultz Family Foundation co-founder and chair
  • “At Pinterest, we’re committed to creating an inspirational and positive online experience for young people. Supporting youth mental health requires everyone across the industry coming together, and we’re proud to support the Youth Mental Health Corps. Together, we’re leveraging our collective expertise to provide youth-led mental health resources and meet young people where they are.” – Wanji Walcott, Pinterest Chief Legal Officer
  • “We are at a critical moment where we must act with urgency to address the mental health crisis that is impacting millions of our children. I am incredibly thankful for our grantees and partners at America Forward, Pinterest, and Schultz Family Foundation for standing up Youth Mental Health Corps. This innovative cross-sector partnership will build on AmeriCorps’ 30 years of hands on experience supporting youth mental health and well being. AmeriCorps members will serve as peer support specialists and navigators at schools and in communities to connect students with care.” – Michael D. Smith, CEO, AmeriCorps

About OneStar

OneStar strengthens Texas communities by creating pathways for individuals and organizations to engage, connect and accelerate their impact. We advance service and volunteering as effective solutions to our state’s toughest social challenges. We are recognized as a statewide voice for the Texas nonprofit sector and a respected partner to foundations, state agencies and the business community. Born from state government in 1974, we carry out our mission with direction and guidance from the Office of the Texas Governor. Learn more at

About the Schultz Family Foundation

The Schultz Family Foundation’s mission is to create greater opportunity, accessible to all. Our work is deeply rooted in the lives and values of our co-founders, Sheri and Howard Schultz, who believe talent is everywhere, but opportunity is not. We seek to apply the lessons they have learned over the decades to seed innovations and scale solutions to help young people successfully navigate the transition to adulthood and positively impact the trajectory of their lives. We are investors in unleashing potential and unlocking opportunity, working in partnership with employers, entrepreneurs, non-profits, and governments that share our aspiration of enabling everyone to access the full promise of America. Learn more at:

About Pinterest

Pinterest is a visual search and discovery platform where people find inspiration, curate ideas, and shop products—all in a positive place online. Headquartered in San Francisco, Pinterest launched in 2010 and has over half a billion monthly active users worldwide.

About AmeriCorps

AmeriCorps, the federal agency for volunteerism and national service, provides opportunities for Americans to serve their country domestically, address the nation’s most pressing challenges, improve lives and communities, and strengthen civic engagement. Each year, the agency places more than 200,000 AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers in intensive service roles; and empowers millions more to serve as long-term, short-term, or one-time volunteers. Learn more at

Media Contacts