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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education

Mission:  Solar Youth provides opportunities for young people to develop a positive sense of self and connection and commitment to others through programs that incorporate environmental exploration, leadership and community service.

Results: Solar Youth has worked with over 2,500 youth since our founding in 2000.

Target demographics: Our target audience is youth who reside in New Haven’s low income communities. These youth are faced with incredible challenges such as poverty, crime and violence in their communities, and are in great need of positive supports and opportunities to succeed.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 450

Geographic areas served: New Haven

Programs: After-school program hosted by a school or neighborhood that follows our program model, Kids Explore! Kids Do! Kids Teach! Youth learn about their local environment then develop a Community Service Action Project to address an issue they define, and a Public Education Project to teach what they learned and accomplished to others.

Community Stories

11 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

4

Board Member

Rating: 5

An organization that makes a difference in youth and families lives in one of the most needed neighborhood. Superior management and leadership with orientation to results and real impact

Review from Guidestar

4

Board Member

Rating: 5

Solar Youth has an outstanding and replicable model for the development of leadership skills, targeting underprivileged youth. The organization is extremely lean with high proportion of funds going to programs.

Review from Guidestar

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

They work in a greatly underserved area of New Haven. They are creative and energizing, providing the young people with many positive experiences.

Review from Guidestar

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have served on the board of Solar Youth for the past year (2009-2010) as part of the Yale School of Management's Board Service Program. I have been struck by the level of engagement of the board and the commitment of the staff. The organization has a highly capable Director, who effectively leads a group of passionate employees. The community has also embraced the mission of Solar Youth, and we often receive correspondence from program participants stating how much of an impact the organization has made. I look forward to my continued involvement with Solar Youth.

Review from Guidestar

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Solar Youth is a great organization with a dedicated staff. I first came into contact with Solar Youth in 2004 in Indiana where some of their kids were participating in an environmental leadership conference. Since then, I have interacted with Solar Youth mostly in New Haven, Connecticut where they are recognized and respected as a top-notch educational organization.

Review from Guidestar

7

Donor

Rating: 5

Solar Youth has inspired and excited so many young people in the New Haven area. By bringing environmental education and leadership building to young people without many advantages, Solar youth will have impact on the world for many years to come. I have been a supporter since it's beginnings and am amazed at the amount of work they do and numbers of youth they reach with a modest staff and budget.

Review from Guidestar

7

Donor

Rating: 5

Great organization doing fundamentally good work. They are working to help the environment and work with city kids to help enrich their lives. Worthy organization, worthy work.

Review from Guidestar

7

Donor

Rating: 5

Having met Solar Youth's founding executive director (Joanne Sciulli) eight years ago, I have followed the organization's work ever since. Integrating environmental and civic education with a caring, safe, supportive setting in which young people assume increasing responsibilities and leadership roles, Solar Youth is a tremendous asset to the New Haven community. Impressed by its sustained offerings and accomplishments, I have been pleased for years to contribute financially to its operations -- one of many small-scale donors who appreciate how much this nonprofit delivers on a modest budget. My most personal connection to Solar Youth has come through a young man I've mentored, now in 10th grade, who has been part of the organization since I met him when he was a 6th-grader. His maturity, social and verbal skills, environmental awareness and general sense of responsibility have grown in significant measure through his affiliation with Solar Youth. Through a collaboration involving it and the Urban Resources Initiative, he also obtained a job planting trees here in New Haven, an assignment that further fostered his knowledge of natural resources while giving him teamwork and work experience. Though youth development is not my area of professional expertise (which involves school-university partnership in development of teachers), I do have some acquaintance with the broader out-of-school field through a research project that a fellow graduate student and I did for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts about a decade ago. With that grounding in the key characteristics of high-quality youth and out-of-school programs, I can say with confidence that Solar Youth is an excellent one. It deserves greater recognition and support.

Review from Guidestar

7

Donor

Rating: 5

This is an incredible organization. I am a former employee and very strongly believe in their mission. Solar Youth really does great work!

Review from Guidestar

7

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I got engaged with Solar Youth through a Leadership project at Albertus Magnus, and have continued to work with them over the last 4 years. I enjoy this non profit because it develops leadership in city children through a program aimed at environmental awareness. I have helped with year end work and have attended presentations where the future leaders present what they have achieved througout the year. It is a great organic leadership program which develops life skills for children that may not have access to positive mentors. The energy of the director and staff is amazing.

Review from Guidestar