Matthew McConaughey, wife Camila launch initiative to connect schools with grants for mental health, safety programs

Greenlights Grants Initiative will simplify how schools apply for grants in the bipartisan Safer Communities Act

SAN ANTONIO – Texas actor Matthew McConaughey and his wife Camila announced Thursday that they are launching the Greelights Grants Initiative to better connect schools with mental health and safety programs.

In an interview with “Good Morning America,” McConaughey said the Greenlights Grants Initiative will simplify how schools apply for grants in the bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which was signed by President Joe Biden a month after the Robb Elementary School massacre.

The legislation toughens background checks for young gun buyers, keeps firearms from more domestic violence offenders and helps put red flag laws in place, but the majority helps bolster mental health and safety programs at schools.

McConaughey said he wants the Greenlights Grants Initiative to provide better access to that funding.

“There’s billions of dollars there. The problem is so many districts cannot access it, (they) are having trouble applying...,” he said on “Good Morning America.”

He added that school districts may not have dedicated staff to write grant applications, so school officials may feel discouraged to apply.

“And what the Greenlights Grant Initiative does is we streamline that process for these school districts to fill out those applications,” he said, adding that they will have grant writers on staff to help schools fill out or write applications.

“... It’s a competitive process. Not every grant is awarded and you’ve got to write a good grant and the right grant and make a good argument why you need that grant to the government to get that money. And that’s what we’re going to help you do,” he said.

See his full interview in the video player above.

McConaughey said the grants will help with safety and security upgrades like metal detectors and panic buttons, or with mental health resources like after-school programs and more counselors.

The actor has been vocal about safety and access to resources since 19 students and two teachers were killed in his hometown of Uvalde on May 24, 2022. In the days following the shooting, the actor spoke at the White House to call on Congress to pass gun control legislation in honor of the 21 killed.

The passing of the bipartisan Safer Communities Act was the result, and while it doesn’t include tougher restrictions like a ban on assault-style weapons and background checks for all firearm transactions, it is the most impactful gun violence measure produced by Congress in recent decades.

“The parents in Uvalde asked us to do one thing, ‘make their lives matter.’ We hope this can help do just that,” Matthew and Camila McConaughey said in a statement on

Click here for more information about resources and available grants.

About the Author

Rebecca Salinas is an award-winning digital journalist who joined KSAT in 2019. She reports on a variety of topics for KSAT 12 News.

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