Columbus OH
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Free & Low-Cost Programs

GrowIN

Provides programs and education on nutrition, wellness and arts in Columbus. Their programs bring together community members of all ages to participate activities such as crafts, open mics, exercise, nutrition / wellness education and more. Go online to volunteer or find their next event.
https://sites.google.com/view/growin-cbus/home

Empower Delaware’s Best

Offers after school, school break, and summer camp programs for elementary students (K-5) in Delaware, Ohio. Programs are focused on empowering youth in school, sports, and life. The after school program includes free transportation from Delaware Elementary Schools. Program fees are meant to be affordable for families. Go online for program and registration details.
811 North Houk Road, Delaware, Ohio 43015
(740) 417-5171
Summer Camp: delawaresummercamp.com/optin1595268949301
After School: delawareafterschool.com/optin1593618011447

Kingdom Image Arts

Provides faith-based quality arts programs for individuals, families, and communities. They offer entrepreneurship services, a monthly live concert series, and host the annual Kingdom Image Awards to support cultural diversity in Central Ohio. Kingdom Kidz offers after-school and summer camp programs for youth ages 6-18 to experience career and art exploration, mentoring, life skills, healthy meals and fun. Kingdom Kidz programs are free for TANF-eligible families (and low-cost for non-TANF families).
2501 Mock Road, Columbus, Ohio 43219
614-835-7743
kiarts.live

Highland Youth Garden

This teaching garden is located in the Hilltop neighborhood of Columbus. They offer garden tours, field trip experiences and donation-based produce bags for pick-up. Hilltop families can sign up for a garden bed kit with everything needed to grow an edible garden in their backyard, including access to a Garden Mentor to help get the most from their garden. They also offer Garden Club (a free weekly after-school program for Grades K-6), Green Teens (a paid summer work program for youth ages 14-19) and a low-cost Summer Camp for ages 6-13.
67 South Highland Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43204
(614) 653-8263
Español: (614) 407-4540
highlandyouthgarden.org

Africentric Personal Development Shop (APDS)

Non-profit behavioral healthcare agency providing alcohol and drug treatment, licensed counseling, domestic violence education and intervention programs, and support services for families affected by addiction. They also offer a summer camp, UCANN Serve and UCANN Lead programs for ages 11-17 to experience mentorship and civic engagement, Urban GEMS science and gardening after-school program for ages 12-19, and awards two scholarships per year for youth ages 17-22 pursuing higher education. The organization was founded by and centers the African community but serves all regardless of race, gender, disability, or economic status.
1409 East Livingstone Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43205
(614) 253-4448
apdsinc.org

After School All-Stars (ASAS) Columbus

Provides free after school programs for elementary and middle-school aged youth in Columbus and Toledo, Ohio. Programs include academics, enrichment activities, and health and fitness. ASAS provides programs at specific Columbus City and Toledo Public Schools, go online for locations.
(614) 257-1678
ASAS Ohio: asasohio.org
Locations: asasohio.org/who-we-are/locations

American Legion Auxiliary of Ohio Buckeye Girls State

A week-long summer program offered to young women entering their senior year of high school who want to develop leadership skills, learn how government works, and the responsibilities of good citizenship. Participants are divided into “political parties” for hands-on experience and participate in activities including debates, journalism, campaigning, music, and field trips. The program is funded by the American Legion and is free for participants. Students must apply and show above average academic standing to be considered. Find program details online.
PO Box 2760, Zanesville, Ohio 43702
(740) 452-8245
buckeyegirlsstate.org

American Legion Buckeye Boys State

A week-long summer program offered to young men entering their senior year of high school who want to develop leadership skills, learn how government works, and the responsibilities of good citizenship. Participants are divided into “political parties” for hands-on experience and participate in activities including debates, journalism, campaigning, music, and field trips. The program is funded by the American Legion and is free for participants. Students must apply and show above average academic standing to be considered. Find application details online.
(740) 362-7478
ohiolegion.com/programs/buckeye-boys-state

Asian American Community Services (AACS)

Nonprofit providing social services in Central Ohio. Their focus is on East, Southeast, South Asian and Pacific Islander communities but they assist individuals regardless of ethnic or racial background. Programs include 24/7 interpreting services, Healthy Asian Youth after school program, free medical clinic, Family Support Program for victims of crime, and Senior outreach. They also offer adult classes for art, ESL, and computer literacy.
4700 Reed Road, Columbus, Ohio 43220
(614) 220-4023
aacsohio.org

Be WISE Camp

A STEM camp designed to develop excitement, problem-solving skills, and self-confidence in middle school girls through real-life, hands-on experiences in STEM. They host a day camp at Philo Junior High School in Philo, Ohio for girls grades 5-6, and a residential camp at Muskingum University for girls grades 7-8. Scholarships are available with proof of financial need. Visit the website for contact information.
bewisecamp.org

Beyond the Classroom

A day summer program for students grades 6-9 to experience recreational mathematics, movies, puzzles, and problem-solving with OSU Mathematics students and faculty. The program is free of charge.
The Ohio State University, Department of Mathematics
231 West Eighteenth Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43210
u.osu.edu/mathoutreach/btc

Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of Central Ohio

Offers one-to-one community-based and school-based mentoring programs, as well as week-long, overnight camps during the summer for youth. Visit the website or call for program details and to enroll a child.
Central Ohio: 1855 East Dublin Granville Road, Columbus, Ohio 43229
(614) 839-2447
Ohio Offices: bbbsohio.org/locations
bbbscentralohio.org

Boys & Girls Clubs of Columbus

Nationally-acclaimed club providing after-school and summer programming for youth 5-18. Programs are oriented around Academic Success, Healthy Lifestyles, Character & Leadership, and Mental Health & Wellbeing. Club members have access to tutoring, gym space, teen-specific areas, field trips, career-readiness opportunities, and mentoring. Go online for a full list of locations, including Newark, 3 Marion Clubs, and 8 Columbus Clubs.
(614) 221-8830
bgccentralohio.org

Camp CAR (Center for Automotive Research) at The Ohio State University

A free week-long summer camp for students 14-18 years old. Students learn various aspects of automotive engineering, research, and manufacturing. Participants learn from CAR researchers, complete hands-on projects, and take field trips. Application with essay is required. Go online for details.
930 Kinnear Road, Columbus, Ohio 43212
car.osu.edu/camp-car

Camp Corral

A free week-long summer camp for military children ages 8 – 15. Priority enrollment is given to children of wounded, injured, ill and/or fallen military members. The camp is held at various locations across the US, and helps kids learn new skills, build character, and make friends while enjoying the outdoors. Complete their online application for enrollment or call for more information.
801 North West Street, Raleigh, North Carolina 27603
(855) 605-1267
campcorral.org

Camp Kesem at The Ohio State University (OSU)

Supports children in the Columbus community whose parent has cancer, by providing a free summer camp experience and year-long peer support. Camp Kesem is operated by student volunteers and serves approximately 150 campers ages 6-16 every year. Go online for program and registration details, and to find Chapter locations in Ohio and across the U.S.
kesem.org/chapters/ohio

Camp RAW (Rising Appalachian Warriors)

Educational nonprofit in Athens, Ohio offering a variety of camps for youth ages 6-17 years old to have fun, develop leadership and team-building skills, and learn about local ecosystems. Camp offerings include a leadership camp, outdoor survival skills, water-themed fun, and more. They do not turn families away based on cost, and scholarships are available. They offer a land-based business apprenticeship for Dover Township residents, and no-cost consultation services for land-based projects, tree plantings, and other ecological projects.
13262 Liars Corner Road, Millfield, Ohio 45761
(740) 856-6299
risingappalachia.org/raw-camp

Central Community House

A neighborhood-based community center that serves the near east and near south neighborhoods of Columbus, Ohio. Programs for families include soft skills training, employment assistance, financial education training, emergency housing/rent assistance, nutrition programs, utility services, health care, parenting workshops and more. They partner with Columbus Early Learning Centers to provide childcare. Programs for youth include after-school, summer day camp for kids ages 5-13, and the TRANSIT ARTS center which provides free music and art classes. Village Central Senior Program helps adults ages 60 and older maintain independence and combat isolation by providing transportation services, wellness programs, home repairs, organized social events, community engagement and more. They also have a business training program called  ACE, Academy for Community Entrepreneurs.
1150 East Main Street, Columbus, Ohio 43205
Front Desk/Intake: (614) 252-3157
Village Central Senior Program: (614) 545-2703
TRANSIT ARTS: (614) 732-0198
cchouse.org

Central Ohio Leadership Academy (COLA)

A high-impact leadership development experience for rising high school juniors and seniors in Central Ohio. The six-day summer experience is free, participants receive a financial award upon program completion, and transportation accommodations are available. Students make friends while developing personal leadership skills, have the opportunity to network with Columbus community leaders, and participate in additional programming as alumni. Go online to apply.
37 West Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 225-6934
leadershipcolumbus.org/cola

Central Ohio Public Libraries

Visit your local library to get access to free books, music, movies and documentaries. Many libraries also offer group reading times for children, homework help, job and business help, fun events for all ages, and more. Librarians can often help you get connected to local resources in your community, even if they are not offered directly by the library. Contact your local library to confirm what services they are currently offering.

Ohio

Franklin County

Delaware County

Fairfield County

Hocking County

Licking County

Madison County

Morrow County

Perry County

Pickaway County

Union County

Clintonville-Beechwold Community Resources Center (CRC)

  • The CRC Family Services & Choice Food Pantry help is provided in many areas including food, clothing, household items and other support items.
  • The Youth Services – Kids Club is an afterschool and summer program for youth in grades K-5 at various locations.
  • The Kinship Care Program supports kinship caregivers and helps children avoid placement in a foster home by connecting caregivers with case management, material assistance, and referrals.

14 West Lakeview Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43202
(614) 268-8118
clintonvillecrc.org

Columbus Literacy Council (CLC)

Offers free adult education programs including literacy classes (including financial, workplace and technology literacy), citizenship classes, ESL, and GED test preparation. They also provide career coaching and entrepreneurship skill building, life and wellness coaching, supportive services for life transitions or re-entry to the community, and supportive services for immigrants and New Americans. Youth programs include tutoring and homework help, summer camps for children ages 7-13 years old, internships, and AMP career and mentorship program for youth and young adults ages 14-24 in Franklin County. Call for program details.

  • Downtown Columbus: 92 Jefferson Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43215
  • Whitehall: 1394 Courtright Road, Columbus, Ohio 43227
  • Reynoldsburg: 5825 Chantry Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43232
  • Cincinnati: 6644 Coffey Street, Cincinnati, Ohio 45230

(614) 282-7661
clcworks.org

Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML)

CML is an award-winning library and amazing resource in the community. With 23 locations throughout Franklin County, they provide a lot more than just books, including lots of free online resources, specialized programs, and community events.

  • School Help: K-12 students can get after-school homework help, K-3 students can get extra reading practice with Reading Buddies in person or online, HelpNow offers 24/7 online homework help and test prep, and some locations host After School Snacktimes.
  • Kindergarten Readiness: Find Storytimes, Play to Learn, and Kindergarten readiness classes for ages 0-5. They also have Skill Builder videos with activities you can do together at home.
  • Teen Programs: YouMedia Discord for ages 13-17 to work on music, podcasts, videos, and more with skilled mentors; homework and test prep help, and monthly Teen Spotlight videos.
  • Adult Education: They offer ESOL and GED referrals; free technology business, and coding classes; history and genealogy experts, Digital Navigator staff can help you access hardware and software, and Excel Adult High School allows adults to get their high-school degree in an online, self-paced program.
  • Adaptive Services: Request accommodations, adaptive audio and visual equipment, and large print reading materials.
  • Business & Nonprofit Resource Center: Visit Main Library for access to co-working space, specialized professional help, access to community partners, tools, and resources.

(614) 645-2275
Locations: columbuslibrary.org/library-locations
columbuslibrary.org

Columbus Recreation & Parks APPS Job Readiness Program (AJRP)

Workforce development initiative for youth ages 14-23. Participants gain real-world, paid work experience with City departments and local businesses. Youth development specialists provide linkage to support services and mentorship to ensure participants’ success. Go online for eligibility and application details.
columbusrecparks.com/youth-success/apps

Columbus Recreation & Parks Capital Kids Afterschool Rec Club

Free program for children K-8 to get homework help, tutoring, a nutritious snack, and recreation activities. The Capital Kids program is hosted at four Community Centers. Go online to register.
Beatty Community Center: (614) 645-3218
Feddersen Community Center: (614) 645-3083
Marion Franklin Community Center: (614) 645-3160
Sullivant Gardens Community Center: (614) 645-8171
columbusrecparks.com/community/arc

Columbus Recreation & Parks City Leaders Program

A nine-month program for youth entering 6th-8th grade, who are residents of the City of Columbus and are interested in becoming community leaders. Participants receive mentorship from city leaders and improve teamwork, public speaking, community awareness, and leadership skills. Participants must complete the application with recommendation letters and be available for monthly meet-ups during the school year.
(614) 645-3330 or (614) 645-0918
columbusrecparks.com/youth-success/city-leaders-academy

Columbus Urban League (CUL)

A community‐based, non‐profit, advocacy organization that works to empower Black and urban communities through economic, educational and social progress with programs, classes and services.

788 Mount Vernon Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43203
(614) 257-6300
cul.org

Community Development for All People (CD4AP) & All People’s Fresh Market

This faith-based organization hosts daily Fresh Markets with free produce for families, nutrition education, a Free Store with clothing and household items, after school program at Lincoln Park Elementary, free health and wellness classes, and community events.

4allpeople.org

Community for New Direction (CND)

Non-profit agency that provides services for adults and youth in three areas: prevention, intervention, and treatment. Youth services include a Summer Day Camp, after-school program, and in-school program. They teach leadership development, anti-bullying and violence prevention, job readiness, college preparedness, and focus on ATOD-V (alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, as well as violence) education. They also take high-school aged youth on an annual college tour and offer a FOCUS (Future Opportunities Created for Urban Students) program.

  • East Office: 993 East Main Street, Columbus, Ohio 43205
  • West Office: 2096 West Mound Street, Columbus, Ohio 43223
  • South Office: 1008 East Livingston Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43205
  • Outpatient Treatment Services: 1000 Atcheson Street, Columbus, Ohio 43203

Main Phone: (614) 272-1464
Treatment Services Phone: (614) 252-4941
cndcolumbus.org

Data Science Summer Camp

A free, week-long summer camp that introduces young women entering grades 7-9 to the field of data science and analytics. Students gain hands-on experience and work with mentors to learn how to analyze data from a wide variety of fields, discuss biases in data, explore career opportunities, learn problem-solving skills, and more. Find program details and contact information online.
The Ohio State University, Pomerene Hall
tdai.osu.edu/education/data-science-women-summer-camp

Directions for Youth & Families (DFYF)

Program: Offers youth and their families mental and behavioral health services. Licensed social workers and counselors provide counseling and clinical treatment programs addressing a range of issues including school concerns, sexual abuse, delinquency, domestic violence, family conflict, substance abuse and mental health issues. They also offer parenting classes, free kindergarten readiness programs, and after-school and summer programs at their two youth centers.
Eligibility: Varies per program, serves those from 6 weeks old up to 21 years old.
Cost: Government insurance (Medicaid, Molina, Caresource), private insurance and self-pay (sliding scale fees based on income); most programs are free.
Referral:
Individuals may refer themselves or be referred by someone else for counseling programs; psychiatric services require referral through a Directions for Youth counselor.

  • DFYF Main Office: 1515 Indianola Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43201
    (614) 294-2661
  • Ohio Avenue Youth Center: 657 South Ohio Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43205
    (614) 258-8043
  • Crittenton Center: 3840 Kimberly Parkway, Columbus, Ohio 43232
    (614) 694-0214

Central Intake: (614) 294-2661
dfyf.org

Dublin Medical Academy

A free, 4-day summer camp for high school juniors and seniors in Central Ohio to explore careers in healthcare at Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine in Dublin, Ohio. Selected students engage in hands-on, experiential learning activities, build confidence, and work directly with health professionals. Go online for application details.
6775 Bobcat Way, Dublin, Ohio 43016
(614) 793-5556
ohio.edu/medicine/about/campuses/dublin/reach

Ethiopian Tewahedo Social Services (ETSS)

Helps immigrants and refugees from all countries establish roots and gain self-sufficiency in Central Ohio. They offer job training, resettlement support, mentoring, English language classes (ESL), after school tutoring for children, youth summer camps, case management for victims of domestic violence and much more.
4300 East Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43123.
(614) 252-5362
ethiotss.org

Family Adolescent & Child Community Engagement Service (FACCES)

Family Adolescent and Child Community Engagement Service (FACCES)  is a non-profit providing support for families on the South side of Columbus. Programs include a free fresh market, urban gardening, cooking classes, family fitness classes, access to healthcare through OSU Wexner Medical Center Community Care Coach and family gatherings. FACCES Life Ready Urban Gardening Class is a free, weekly program for youth to learn about how to grow their own food, careers in agriculture, and environmental stewardship. Go online to register for programs and find upcoming events.
2515 Lockbourne Road, Columbus, OH  43207
(614) 319-6070 or (800) 464-0920
thefacces.org

Festa (Formally Known as Serving Our Neighbors (SON) Ministries)

Faith-based nonprofit aiming to end suburban poverty. They offer free youth and adult programming, including a three generation family ESL program, legal clinic, summer camp for children with free breakfast and lunch, and Good Tiding low-cost Christmas store.
Upper Arlington Lutheran Church (UALC) at Mill Run
3500 Mill Run Drive, Hilliard, Ohio 43026
(614) 586-7939
wearefesta.org

Flying Horse Farms (FHF) Camps for Kids With Serious Illnesses

Provides a free outdoor adventure camp experience for children with serious illnesses ages 7-21, and their families. They provide a medically safe environment with a staff of volunteer healthcare professionals, and camp activities like crafts, campfires, archery, swimming, and more. Family Camp is open to families of children with a wide variety of diagnoses such as cancer, cystic fibrosis, developmental differences, and more. They also have virtual camp experiences, camps for Mental Health diagnoses, and Siblings. Professionals can find volunteer and Child Life Practicum opportunities.
5260 State Route 95, Mount Gilead, Ohio 43338
(419) 751-7077
flyinghorsefarms.org

Franklinton Farms

This urban farm, located West of downtown Columbus, provides connection through farming, gardening, and education. Order online to access affordable, locally-grown produce. Anyone can visit their U-PICK garden to harvest the produce they need, for free. They also train community gardeners in communities experiencing food deserts, post free healthy recipes, provide after-school and recreational programs, and host regular community events, such as community Tea Time every Thursday.
867 West Town Street, Columbus, Ohio 43222
(614) 233-1887
franklintonfarms.org

Girls on the Run (GOTR) Central Ohio

A ten-week program for girls in 3rd through 8th grade to develop physical fitness, managing emotions, communication, empathy, and friendship skills. Trained coaches lead small teams through activities, running games and lessons and ends in a 5K event. They also offer a summer camp for girls in 3rd-5th grade. Fee assistance is available. Go online for registration details and locations.
Main Office: 1145-L Chesapeake Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43212
(614) 681-4687
girlsontheruncentralohio.org

Girls Who Code

Offers free coding clubs from beginner to advanced at various elementary and middle schools, libraries, and colleges for girls, women, and non-binary people. Check online for a full list of club Locations. Their website also has free, downloadable activities from beginner to advanced for anyone to learn coding at home. Their Summer Programs are free, virtual opportunities for high school students to learn coding as part of a virtual group or self-paced.
girlswhocode.com

Gladden Community House

Settlement house located in Franklinton serving zip codes 43222, 43223, and 43215. Programs include parenting classes, senior outreach, a preschool, youth programming and sports, rent and utility assistance, medical appointments with The Breathing Association, and the Gladden Food Pantry. The food pantry provides home delivery for seniors and disabled residents, and diapers.

  • Main Office: 183 Hawkes Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43223
    (614) 227-1600
  • Food Pantry: 318 South Glenwood Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43223
    (614) 228-2498

gladdenhouse.org

Global Citizen Summer Camp

A week-long summer camp that introduces middle school students (grades 6-8) to multiple world languages and global citizenship. Participants receive world language instruction in small groups, cultural lessons taught in English, and activities on global issues and what it means to be a global citizen. Scholarships are available. Find registration and contact details online.
The Ohio State University, 1775 College Road, Columbus, Ohio 43210
u.osu.edu/globalcamp

Godman Guild

Offers free adult education classes (GED preparation, ESOL, job training, computer skills), community engagement programs, and youth programming (after school homework help, mentoring, summer programs, and TEEN career exploration program).
195 North Grant Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 294-5476
godmanguild.org

Home for Families (HFF)

Provides wrap-around programming to support families overcoming or at-risk for homelessness. Case managers help families access stable housing, emergency rent and utility assistance, household and hygiene items. Education programs include SPARK for 3-4 year old children not enrolled in Pre-K to prepare for Kindergarten, and STEAM afterschool and summer programs for grades K-8 at Dowd Education Center.
(614) 461-9247
Homeless Hotline (614) 274-7000
homeforfamilies.org

I Am My Brother’s Keeper (IAMBK)

Mentorship program for young men of color in middle and high school throughout the school year and summer. The program offers safe and healthy ways to have fun while building career, artistic, academic, professional, and physical strengths. Participants may be placed with internships, hands-on learning experiences, drug, alcohol and violence prevention activities depending on their individual needs. Participants must be ages 9-15 whose families meet income eligibility. Call for enrollment.
788 Mount Vernon Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43203
(614) 257-6300
cul.org/initiatives/i-am-my-brothers-keeper-iambk

I-DOC (Improving Diversity in Optometric Careers) Summer Program

A four-day residential summer program to help underrepresented students explore the career of optometry. Travel, room and board, and most meals are provided for successful applicants. Students experience living on a college campus, network with faculty and staff, participate in mock interviews, and shadow real optometrists.  Go online for application details and contact information.
338 West Tenth Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43210
u.osu.edu/idoc

King Arts Complex

Connecting community through the arts, they offer visual and performing arts summer camp and “school break” camps in the spring and winter for children ages 5 to 13. They also host community events, such as the Heritage Music Festival, MLK Day Open House and art exhibits at their Elijah Pierce Gallery.
835 Mount Vernon Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43203
(614) 645-5464
kingartscomplex.com

Law & Leadership Institute (LLI)

Non-profit working with high school students from underserved communities to prepare them for careers in the legal profession. They provide a year-round, four-year-long program which includes academic programming, a legal internship, ACT/SAT prep, college visits and application help, and moot court competition.  The program is free and students are provided bus passes and lunch. They also offer trainings for professionals, a Summer Institute experience, and a Diversity in Leadership Undergraduate Fellowship.
303 East Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 236-6305
lawandleadership.org

Lead the Way Learning Academy

Non-profit providing educational enrichment and youth development in Franklin County. They provide after-school programs at Bridge Gate Community School, Franklinton High, West High, New Albany High, Groveport-Madison High, Horizon Science Academy, The Charles School, and The Graham School. Programs are free for income-eligible families. Their Student Support Program provides hygiene items and food to students 16-21. The Summer Program provides paid work development experiences for Franklin County residents ages 16-21.
(614) 842-4993
leadthewaylearningacademy.org

Leaders Emerging & Developing (LEAD)

Organization bringing STEM education to underserved youth. Programs include STEM mentorship, leadership development, and tutoring for students K-12. The ACT Advantage Academy provides affordable ACT prep for 8th-12th graders. Some services are free. Scholarships are available.
PO Box 361061, Columbus, Ohio 43236
(614) 407-6049
leademerging.org

Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America (LEDA)

Non-profit organization helping high-achieving students from under-resourced backgrounds, especially first generation college students, gain admission to the nation’s most selective colleges. Each year 100 high school juniors are invited to a 7-week summer program at Princeton University, which includes leadership training, standardized test prep, career guidance, and more. Participants have access to support and advising through college and beyond. All services are free. Find application details online.
121 West 36th Street, New York, New York 10018
(646) 582-3608
ledascholars.org

Let Me Run

This program for boys in 3rd-8th grade inspires boys to be themselves, be active and belong. Twice a week for 7 weeks, two trained volunteer coaches lead an elementary or middle school team through practices that utilize running to help boys gain confidence, self-expression, and respect for peers and coaches. Each fall and spring season culminates in a 5k race. Scholarships and financial assistance may be available. Go online to find out more information.
PO Box 163, Amlin, Ohio 43002
(614) 517-9591
letmerun.org

LifeCare Alliance Central Ohio Diabetes Association (CODA)

Offers services for Central Ohio families managing diabetes including education and counseling, medical nutrition therapy, and wellness checks with registered nurses at their community center locations. They accept Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance with no direct cost to patients. They also offer free testing supplies for those needing assistance, and accept donations for supplies. Camp Hamwi offers fun, outdoor summer camp experiences for youth ages 7-17 with diabetes. Camp fees are low and scholarships are available for families who qualify based on income.
1699 West Mound Street, Columbus, Ohio 43223
Diabetes Services: 614-437-2912
Camp Hamwi: 614-437-2914
Locations: lifecarealliance.org/programs/wellness/wellness-centers
lifecarealliance.org/programs/coda

Minority Introduction to Engineering and Science (MITES)

A free, six-week residential academic enrichment program for high school juniors with a strong academic record and desire for rigorous science education. Students’ housing, meals and activity costs covered by the program. Selected participants receive college admissions counseling, high-level coursework, social events and exploration of the Boston area, and a written evaluation to use for college applications. Underrepresented students are encouraged to apply. Find applications details online.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139
oeop.mit.edu/programs/mites

Nationwide Children’s Hospital (NCH) Summer Scientist Education Series

This free program exposes high school students to the scientific method and careers in medical research during the summer. Students can register to attend free in-person or virtual classes exploring careers in medical research.
700 Children’s Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43205
(614) 355-0589
nationwidechildrens.org/young-scientist-series

Upward Bound Central Ohio

Upward Bound is a free program for income-eligible high school students to prepare for college applications and academics. Students can access year-round homework help and tutoring, cultural field trips, college tours, test prep, and career guidance. The Summer program is a free, 6-week experience offering college prep, internship opportunities, and more. Students receive a monetary stipend for full participation. Those typically underrepresented in postsecondary education (first generation, homeless, disabled, foster youth, or other barriers) are strongly encouraged to apply. Many colleges and universities across the state host Summer Upward Bound, below are organizations based in Columbus, Ohio. Requirements may vary between programs.

  • Columbus State Community College: For 9th and 10th graders at East, Linden-McKinley, Mifflin, Northland, or Independence High School. Participants are eligible for a free course at CSCC for college credit.
    550 East Spring Street, Columbus, OH 43215
    (614) 287-5340 or (614) 285-5082
    cscc.edu/services/upwardbound
  • Nationwide Children’s Hospital: For high school students who attend or whose home district Linden-McKinley STEM Academy, Marion-Franklin, or South High School. Participants may receive transportation assistance and internship opportunities with Nationwide Children’s departments.
    700 Children’s Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43205
    (614) 722-2000
    nationwidechildrens.org/upwardbound
  • The Ohio State University: For 9th-11th graders who attend or live in the service areas of Briggs, East, South, or Walnut Ridge High Schools. Eligible graduating seniors can take free courses at OSU for 6 hours of college credit.
    (614) 292-2344 or (614) 292-1896
    154 West Twelfth Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43210
    odi.osu.edu/upward-bound

Ohio Hispanic Coalition

Agency providing culturally and linguistically-appropriate services for the growing Latino/Hispanic communities throughout Ohio. Services include homework help and after school programs, summer camps, financial education, translation and interpretation services, ESL and citizenship classes, and more. The Soy Latina program serves victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, and includes crisis intervention, safety planning, medical and legal advocacy, and a Community Empowerment Group.
Main Office: 1535 Bethel Road, Columbus, Ohio 43220
(614) 459-6566
Interpreter Services: (614) 746-1032
Soy Latina: (614) 746-3534
ohiohispaniccoalition.org

Ohio Military Kids (OMK)

Offers programs for military youth and families through Ohio State University 4-H Youth Development. Hosts events, family summer camps, teen leadership camps, and military family meet-ups. They can also connect military families to resources for reintegration, education, and emergency assistance.
(614) 247-8160
ohio4h.org/statewide-programs/ohio-military-kids

Ohio State University (OSU) Extension

OSU College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences works with families, farmers, business owners, and community leaders to build better communities in Ohio. They offer soil testing kits, 4-H Youth Development Clubs, community courses on Urban Agriculture, Beginner’s Grant Writing, and Food Safety. Their Family & Consumer Sciences office offers nutrition and lifestyle resources including SNAP education, Dining with Diabetes, Food Preservation, and more.
2548 Carmack Road, Columbus, Ohio 43210
(614) 866-6900
franklin.osu.edu/home

Ohio State University (OSU) LiFEsports

Free program serving vulnerable youth through sports-based positive youth  development at various school and community center locations in Columbus. They offer after school programs, summer camps, and sports clinics for youth ages 5-14. The Youth Leadership Academy is a 4 year program for high schoolers to experience professional development, mentoring, career visits, and college prep. Free meals and transportation are provided. Go online or call for registration details.
2400 Olentangy River Road, Columbus, Ohio, 43210
(614) 514-5942
osulifesports.org

OurHelpers

Somali-led non-profit improving the lives of immigrant and refugee families in Franklin County. Services include case management, ESL classes, mental health first aid classes, help with rent and utilities, food pantry, and youth programming.
2021 East Dublin Granville Road, Suite 197, Columbus, Ohio 43229
(614) 733-9555
Website: ourhelpers.org/home
Facebook: facebook.com/ourhelpers.org

Philosophy and Critical Thinking (PACT) Summer Camp

A summer learning program for high school students through The Ohio State University Department of Philosophy. Campers explore philosophical concepts through guest lectures, interactive discussions, debates, media, and games. Inability to pay should not prohibit students from attending the camp, and need-based financial aid is available.
(614) 292-7914
philosophy.osu.edu/pact

Pills, Potions, & Poisons

A week-long summer program for high school students with an interest in biomedical sciences who have completed a high-school level Biology or Chemistry course. Students learn through experiments, field trips, projects, and explore careers in pharmaceuticals. The program cost includes supplies, meals, field trip expenses, and a T-shirt. Financial assistance is available, contact the program for details.
Ohio State University College of Pharmacy
500 West Twelfth Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43210
(614) 292-2266
pharmacy.osu.edu/practice-teaching-engagement/public-professional-education/pills-potions-and-poisons

Priscilla R. Tyson Cultural Arts Center

Part of the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, they offer art classes, workshops, exhibitions, and meeting spaces. They offer year-round week-long and 7-8 week class sessions for youth and adults, which include ceramic, enameling, painting classes and much more. Conversations & Coffee meets every other Thursday for artist talks and community discussion. Class fee assistance is available, find details apply online.
139 West Main Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 645-7047
culturalartscenteronline.org/classes-workshops/art-classes

Reeb Avenue Center

Provides a variety of programs designed to strengthen families on the South Side of Columbus. Services include GED classes, adult education and workforce development, early education child care, youth and family services, in collaboration with community partners (Boys & Girls Club, House of Hope, Southeast Healthcare Services, Godman Guild, St. Stephen’s Community Center, Alvis, Community Development for All People).
280 Reeb Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43207
(614) 468-9280
reebavenuecenter.org

Remember Us Urban Legends (RUUL)

Provides free trauma-informed, culturally-relevant after-school and summer programs to help teens in Columbus City Schools reach their full potential. Programs include job skill & training opportunities, one-on-one mentorship and leadership training, and teen nights. They also host events for parents and community members. Go online to apply.
(614) 342-0505‬
ruurbanlegends.org

Riverview International Center (RIC)

Resource Center assisting with basic needs for New Americans. Services include ESL classes, employment services, computer literacy, citizenship assistance, homework and reading help, a monthly legal clinic, and summer programming for elementary and middle school children. Their office welcomes walk-ins for any questions about navigating life in America.
552 Riverview Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43202
(614) 427-3368
riverviewinternationalcenter.org
facebook.com/RiverviewInternationalCenter

Rotary Youth Exchange

Program sponsored by Rotary Clubs for youth ages 15-19 to experience living as an international exchange student. Students attend local schools and live with host families while learning a new language, culture, and leadership skills. Rotary Club covers room and board costs and school fees. Application details vary depending on your local Rotary Club guidelines. Visit the website to find your local Rotary Club and contact them for more information.
rotary.org/en/our-programs/youth-exchanges
my.rotary.org/en/club-search

Royal Oak Initiative (ROI) Chess Clubs

Organization using chess to help underserved youth develop critical thinking, stewardship, leadership, and have fun. They offer Chess Clubs, a 10-12 week Academy program, and workshops at various schools, libraries, and community organizations. Clubs receive supplies, training, and ongoing support from ROI to launch and maintain weekly chess clubs and leadership activities. Contact the ROI to find a club near you or start one at your organization. Their 4C Cooperative Chess Cultural Center on the East side of Columbus offers monthly memberships to access co-working space, event rentals, art, community open chess play, and more community events.
80 Parsons Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 500-3406
theroichess.org

Salvation Army

Serves: Single Adults & Families
Offers various faith-based services for Central Ohio families. Housing Services include finding housing, financial assistance, and case management. They also offer programs for youth after-school programming and tutoring, food assistance, emergency utility assistance, support for human trafficking survivors, and addiction recovery. Their thrift stores offer items at bargain prices to fund programs. You can find thrift store, church locations, and program details on their website.

  • Administrative Office
    966 East Main Street, Columbus, Ohio 43205
    (614) 253-6811 or (800) 725-2769
  • Housing Service Locations
    Franklin County: 966 East Main Street, Columbus, Ohio 43205
    Delaware & Union Counties: 3769 Columbus Pike, Delaware, Ohio 43015
    Morrow County: 644 West Marion Street, Mount Gilead, Ohio 43338
    Homeless Hotline: (614) 274-7000
  • Youth Learning Centers
    Linden: 3662 Karl Road, Columbus, Ohio 43224
    Hilltop: 2300 West Mound Street, Columbus, Ohio 43204
    (614) 437-2159
  • Food Pantries: Call to schedule an appointment
    Franklin County: (614) 341-2282
    Delaware County: (740) 369-5301
    Union County: (740) 363-9487
    Senior Food Boxes: (614) 437-2134
  • Human Trafficking Services:
    24/7 Hotline: (888) 373-7888
    (614) 358-2614
  • Addiction Rehabilitation Center: Serves men struggling with addiction
    (614) 221-4269
  • Emergency Utility Assistance:
    Use the link to find a caseworker in your zip code for assistance.
    easternusa.salvationarmy.org/southwest-ohio/central-ohio/caseworker-zip-code-list/

easternusa.salvationarmy.org/southwest-ohio/central-ohio/home

Seven Baskets Community Development Corporation

Faith-based, nonprofit organization that partners with Columbus City Schools to provide homework help, after-school programs, and summer day camps for elementary students at Leawood, Lindbergh, Scottwood, and Shady Lane. They also host a middle school group at their community house, and provide families with donated clothing and school supplies. Call for program details.
Community House: 1635 South Hamilton Road, Columbus, Ohio 43227
Mailing Address: Seven Baskets Community Development PO Box 65, Hilliard, Ohio 43026
(614) 406-2548
seven-baskets.org

Somali Community Association of Ohio (SCAO)

Non-profit founded by Somali immigrants serving elders, working adults, teens, and children at no charge, with special support and attention for recent immigrants. Services include ESL classes, employment assistance, youth afterschool programs, legal assistance, financial assistance, housing referrals, case management, and more. Call their office for personal assistance and current program offerings.
3422 Cleveland Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43224
(614) 262-4068
somaliohio.org

St. Stephen’s Community House

Faith-based community center serving the Linden-area community. Programs include rental and utility assistance, childcare for children 6 weeks to 5 years at Christ Child Early Learning Center, afterschool and summer programs, Kinship Aftercare, Family to Family empowerment program for families with open cases with FCCS, senior food and transportation, and more. They are also a Mid-Ohio Market site, providing a food pantry with Mid-Ohio Food Bank. Find program details online.
1500 East Seventeenth Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43219
(614) 294-6347
saintstephensch.org

Summer Academy for Mathematics & Science (SAMS)

A 6-week immersive, residential program for students from communities underrepresented in STEM to receive STEM education and mentorship at Carnegie Mellon University. Students must be a junior in high school to apply. Selected students participate in the program for free, including housing and dining. Visit the website for full eligibility and application details.
5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213
(412) 268-5914
cmu.edu/pre-college/academic-programs/sams.html

Summer Institute for Future Nurses

A free, three-day program for high school students to explore nursing careers through hands-on activities, tours, and engagement with faculty, staff and students. The program is open to incoming high school students grades 9-12 who meet eligibility requirements.
The Ohio State University College of Nursing
1577 Neil Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43210
nursing.osu.edu/offices-and-initiatives/office-diversity-equity-and-inclusion/summer-institute-future-nurses

Summer Law & Trial Institute

Free 2-week program for high school students from Southeast Ohio to develop core critical legal skills, gain experience interacting with legal professionals, and learn about transitioning to college. Selected students have daily interactions with lawyers, judges, and Ohio University (OU) faculty, and develop knowledge and skills that will prepare them for collegiate study. The program is free of charge. Go online for full program details and application instructions.
1 Ohio University, Athens, Ohio 45701
(740) 593-0835
ohio.edu/cas/law-center/about/summer-institute

Teen Corps

A 8-week summer internship for 15-18 year old teens in the Columbus City School District to gain hands-on experience in urban farming. Participants receive a stipend for working in the Franklin Park Conservatory Community Garden, and sell the produce they grow at the Conservatory’s Farmer’s Market. Students learn about horticulture, the environment, entrepreneurship, and communication. Students must apply online and be selected to participate. Transportation is not provided.
Franklin Park Conservatory & Botanical Gardens
1777 East Broad Street Columbus, Ohio 43203
(614) 715-8034
fpconservatory.org/education-programs/outreach-programs/teen-corps

The Brian Muha Foundation & The Run The Race Center

A faith-based organization offering youth development programs for inner-city youth in Columbus, Ohio. Youth of all ages can get homework help, sports, arts, and recreation at their Day School and Run the Race Center. The Run the Race Farm provides a unique environment for youth to learn about science, farm life, and enjoy the outdoors. Contact the organization for registration information.
(614) 276-2171
brianmuhafoundation.org

The College of Wooster’s B-WISER Science Camp for Girls

A week-long residential camp for 7th and 8th grade girls interested in STEM in Ohio. Students take a full daily curriculum with classes in physics, chemistry, biology, geology, robotics, and other advanced topics. Students experience cooperative learning, develop self-confidence, and hear from professional women in science about their journeys. Students use campus science labs and stay in Wooster’s college dorms. Inability to pay should not be a barrier to attending camp, the program offers subsidized camp rates and financial aid scholarships.
308 East University Street, Wooster, Ohio 44691
(330) 263-2105
bwiser.spaces.wooster.edu

The Works: Ohio Center for History, Art & Technology

Center located in Newark, Ohio with interactive STEM learning labs, planetarium, art gallery, and history exhibits. Admission rates are low and they offer many discounts for veterans, teachers, SNAP recipients, and more. They offer free programming for families and adults year-round, including a STEMfest for high schoolers during spring break. Summer Camps are available for ages 3-12 and financial assistance is available for camp fees. They also provide teacher professional development across east central Ohio. Go online for program details and to plan your visit.
55 South First Street, Newark, Ohio 43055
(740) 349-9277
attheworks.org

Think Make Live Youth

Empowers youth in Columbus through equity and justice, bridge building, empowerment, belonging and fun. Programs include Guns DOWN group for ages 13-24 to heal from trauma and prevent violence, Unleashing Potential for ages 18-24 navigating the criminal justice system, and Summer Workforce for ages 14-24 to gain paid work and community service opportunities. Call for details.
(614) 323-9297
tmlyouth.org

Trades of Faith

Offers skilled trades programs to empower youth in Columbus, Ohio. The Project Genesis Program is a paid, 4-week summer internship for youth ages 14-18. Youth are matched with a worksite based on their area of interest and location, and gain hands-on experience working alongside industry professionals. The Gen II Gen is a 12-week program for youth ages 18-24 to receive job training, worksite experience, and a certification of completion to use for job placement. All programs are free for participants, and include a shirt, water bottle, and all tools needed for the worksite. Go online for program details and to register.
(614) 623-0561
tradesoffaith.org

Transit Arts

An open studio for youth ages 12 to 21. They offer mentoring opportunities, opportunities to perform and exhibit artwork throughout Columbus, and free workshops in performing, visual, writing, or media arts. Visit the website for additional contact information.

  • Transit Arts Studio: 294 Wilson Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43205
    (614) 732-0198
  • Central Community House: 1150 East Main Street, Columbus, Ohio 43205
    (614) 252-3157

transitarts.com

TriVillage Mentor League (TVML)

Non-profit offering school-based mentoring to youth in grades K-3 at Stevenson Elementary in Grandview Heights and Greensview Elementary in Upper Arlington. The weekly program is run by their Mentoring Coordinator and volunteer teenage mentors. TVML awards two college scholarships each year to volunteer mentors who are graduating seniors from Grandview and Upper Arlington.
3600 Tremont Road, Columbus, Ohio 43221
(614) 255-7942
tvml.org

two.fifty.four Youth Center

Community teen center in Gahanna serving students grades 3-12. Students from Gahanna and surrounding communities are invited to build relationships, play games, craft, snack, get homework help, and hang out in a safe and inclusive environment for free. They also offer special events and trips, family nights, a space for community organizations to meet, and opportunities to volunteer.
254 Agler Road, Gahanna, Ohio 43230
(614) 414-2326
gaap4gahanna.org

United States Senate Youth Program

A week-long experience for two high school juniors or seniors from each state to see national government in action and meet and hear from senators, cabinet members, officials from the Departments of State and Defense, directors of other federal agencies and more in Washington, DC. All transportation, hotel and meal expenses will be provided by The Hearst Foundations. In addition, each delegate will also be awarded a $10,000 college scholarship. In Ohio, the United States Senate Youth Program makes its student selections from among participants who attend Buckeye Boys State, Buckeye Girls State or the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) program.
(614) 387-3200
ussenateyouth.org
education.ohio.gov/Topics/Other-Resources/Scholarships/US-Senate-Youth-Program

Urban Arts Space

Ohio State University art gallery offering experimental exhibitions and increasing community access to art. They offer many engaging exhibitions, community events, and youth programming. The Summer Art Camps for youth are free for families. Contact the organization for details.
50 West Town Street, Columbus, Ohio, 43215
(614) 292-8861
uas.osu.edu/learn-create/education-programs

Urban Minority Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Outreach Program (UMADAOP) of Franklin County

Offers substance abuse treatment, prevention, and recovery support programs for communities of color in Central Ohio using culturally specific, evidence-based strategies. They offer anger management, domestic violence prevention and parenting classes for adults. Youth programming includes in-school, after-school, and summer camp. They also offer training opportunities for professionals and events for the community. Call or email the organization to register for a program.
700 Bryden Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 227-9694 or (614) 403-3136
umadaopfc.com

We Amplify Voices (WAV)

Provides healing, creative workshops for school-aged youth, teens and adults in recovery, women in prison, and survivors of human trafficking in Central Ohio. Their workshops bring people together with artists to turn their experiences and emotions into visual or musical art to share with the community.  Their youth program, We The Change, is offered at 6 middle schools as an after-school and summer program. They also host free art workshops for all ages at their West Side Studio every other week. Go online to register for workshops, volunteer as an artist, or to stream their music.
1327 Sullivant Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43223
(614) 525-0369
weamplifyvoices.org

Wexner Center for the Arts

Contemporary arts center at Ohio State University offering a variety of community programs. Programs for youth include school tours, year-round workshops, and WexLabs studio workshop and mentoring program for teens ages 13-18. Call for details.
1871 North High Street, Columbus, Ohio 43210
(614) 292-3535
wexarts.org/education/teens

YouMedia

Day workshops through Columbus Metropolitan Library for teens to gain hands-on experience with music programming, audio recording, videography, video editing, digital art, and more. Teens can participate in-person at select locations, or virtually on Discord. Find locations and times online.
(614) 645-2275
columbuslibrary.org/teens

YWCA Columbus

Serves: Women and families (referring to emergency shelter access)
Provides affordable housing and supportive services for families and women who may be recovering from addiction and mental illnesses. The YWCA Family Center provides emergency shelter, meals, childcare, and employment help for families without homes. The Women’s Residency program is a permanent housing program that provides long-term housing and supportive services for women. YWCA Kids Place offers after-school programming for families in Gahanna, Westerville, and United Schools Network districts. The organization also offers leadership training and advocacy opportunities for adolescents and adults.

  • Center for Women: 65 South Fourth Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215
    (614) 224-9121
  • YWCA Family Center: 900 Harvey Court, Columbus, Ohio 43219
    (614) 253-3910

ywcacolumbus.org

Zion Astro Soccer Club

A philanthropic soccer program for youth ages 6-13 years old. Children learn the game of soccer, establish passion for the game and improve their technical ability. They have sister locations in Columbus, Ohio and in Liberia and players participate in cultural exchange through virtual meetings. They also offer a summer camp. Fees are minimal, call if you need assistance.
2845 Noe Bixby Road, Columbus, Ohio 43232
(614) 699-0229
zionastro.com


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