Young life is a remarkable organization that reaches out to middle and high school teens and builds relationships . These friendships are characterized by adults(usually mature high schoolers working with the middle schoolers and post college volunteers working with high schoolers) who encourage, accept unconditionally and "walk the walk" of integrity and love for God. I've watched the impact of this organization for 33 years and seen not only teens but their families as well impacted for good.
My husband and I have been associated with Young Life for 35 years or more as donors,parents of club and campaigner kids and committee. We've seen direct evidence of the "fruits" of this ministry in our own children"s lives as well as the lives of hundreds of other teens and their families. I've often heard it said that the one requirement for a Young Life person is laughter. Jesus Christ is always glorified... in the laughter, the lives changed, the relationships built between leaders and kids, relationships transformed between kids and parents, kids and families, kids and their friends. The more you know of Young Life, the more you'll want to be involved.
I have been fortunate to be involved with Young Life as a high school student, a leader, a staff member, and now a member of my local committee. Not only was I impacted signific?t it has greatly impacted my personal and spiritual growth throughout my years of leadership. I am so blessed to be a part of this organization and I don't think I could ever stop being involved. I am employed now with another non-profit, but I remain completely passionate about Young Life and the way God uses it to change lives!
YL is a great organization that walks the talk. They don't just talk about Jesus' love, they live it by loving everyone regardless of how they respond. They are particularly good at making the awkward, the lonely, and the hurting feel a sense of belonging and discover a sense of meaning and purpose.
My wife and I attended Lost Canyon camp this summer as observers. I went with high expectations but even those were exceeded. What struck me was the commitment from the volunteer staff of young people (high school and college age) that dedicate a month of their summer to serve (long hours 6-7 days/week) other high school students. I believe their only motivation is to provide other students the same great life changing experience they had when they attended camp.
My involvement with Young Life has been as a volunteer leader, an Area Director and a committee member. YL itself does not change lives, yet it provides activities and places during which and at which relationships are built. Those relationships are what GOD is using to change lives. Studies show how important it is for kids to have a caring adult in their lives. I just attended the Indiana Dropout Prevention Leadership Summit on Friday, September 25 in Indianapolis. The keynote speaker was Bill Milliken, the founder of Communities in Schools. He started the speech by describing how his life was changed through his relationship with his Young Life leader (around 1959 or 1960, I believe). He said it is programs like this (YL) which offer the opportunity for relationships to be built. Because his YL leader reached out to him, he has gone on to impact thousands, if not millions, of lives through his work with Communities in Schools.
I have been blessed by observing the power of God move through Africa. Lives have been changed forever by the faith of just a few..but a faith that never wavered. Our YL AFRICA team is commited, prayful, supportive and flexible. God is in charge and the rst of us follow His call. What a privlige this has been.
I first learned about Young Life in 1972. The leaders were friendly, and reached out to me- a new student in a big public high school. I got to go to camp- which was an amazing week, the best of my life. It has made all the difference in the many years that have followed because knowing God made that difference- in who I became, the choices I have made, and 3 boys I have raised. I have been giving back to Young Life the past 4 years by being involved as a Committee/board member- and get great satisfaction all over again in seeing kids like me make decisions to connect with God and live life to the fullest.
Fantastic organization focused on giving teenagers a real option in the ocean of temptations on the school campus. Young Life provides leaders who build relationships with teens and earn the right to share what a relationship with Jesus Christ is all about. Many teens begin a growing relationship with Jesus Christ that will hopefully define how their lives impact the future as they enter adulthood. It fills the niche of being a high school mission organization that very few others seek to undertake.
As a kid in a youth group influenced by Young Life I renewed my relationship with Jesus and have been walking closely with him ever since. As a post-college student trying to find my way in the world, I volunteered with Young Life and caught the bug for reaching kids for eternity. Now as a thirty-something I'm serving on a committee and mentoring leaders. Throughout all of my experience with YL I have seen God at work in the lives of countless teens and witnessed the selflessness of so many leaders. This is an organization worth putting your money, your time and your talent behind. The eternal impact is huge and the people running this organization are both Godly and committed to running the race to the end.