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Young Marines

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Scouting

Mission: The mission of the Young Marines is to positively impact America’s future by providing quality youth development programs for boys and girls that nurtures and develops its members into responsible citizens who enjoy and promote a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.

Target demographics: boys and girls age eight through high school

Geographic areas served: Across the USA

Programs: The Young Marines, a national youth organization, provides a program for boys and girls age eight through high school, focused on leadership, citizenship through community service, self-discipline, and living a healthy, drug-free lifestyle. The organization upholds the Marine Corps’ core values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment as well as the Young Marines’ core values of Discipline, Leadership, and Teamwork. Individual units are led by dedicated adult volunteers who are committed to develop the next generation of leaders. The organization strives to meet its vision to be the best led and best managed nonprofit in America and the nation’s premier youth development program. The Young Marines program encourages unit participation in local civic activities such as providing color guards, marching in parades, and activities promoting and reinforcing good citizenship. Young Marines learn skills, earn rank, and wear the Young Marines uniform. They earn ribbons for achievement in areas such as leadership, community service, swimming, academic excellence, first aid, and drug resistance education. One of the pillars of the Young Marines is to lead a healthy, drug-free lifestyle. Each year, the youth members learn about the dangers of gateway drugs (tobacco, alcohol, inhalants, prescription drugs, and marijuana) and participate in Red Ribbon Week, a national anti-drug effort and awareness campaign observed annually in October throughout the United States. Year round, Young Marines show deep devotion to military veterans from any era and from any branch of service. In addition, Young Marines participate in Veterans Appreciation Week, a campaign that challenges youth members to dedicate time to show their country’s appreciation and help the nation’s veterans in their local communities. Young Marines can attend the Summer Programs of: Adventures, Challenges, Encampments, and Schools (SPACES). Some of the exciting SPACES events include: Junior Leadership School, Senior Leadership School, Advanced Leadership School, the Great American History Adventure, National Flight Academy, Drill and Ceremonies School, Orienteering, Sailing, Cowboy Experience, National Outdoor Leadership School, and trips abroad to historic sites in Vietnam and France. Young Marines have the opportunity to travel to notable locations for commemorations and parades including: Navajo Code Talkers Day in Window Rock, Arizona; Pearl Harbor Remembrance in Honolulu, Hawaii; National Memorial Day Parade in Washington D.C.; and the Reunion of Honor in Guam and Iwo Jima.

Community Stories

38 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Holly Noel H.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My son has been in the Young Marines for about two years now. I have enjoyed watching him grow into a respectful, responsible, and thoughtful young man. He has worked hard to achieve his rank of Young Marine Sergeant. Once a shy quite boy, my son is now leading squads in drill and in pt, volunteering to work a number of public service events, assisting with color guard as well as the silent drill team, and helping guide the new recruits on their journey to become Young Marines. I'm proud to be a volunteer with his unit, which provides me the opportunity to witness his success and growth every step of the way.

Review from Guidestar

Adam S.8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a great program that tea respect discipline and so much more

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have learned so much about teamwork and following through on all parts of my life. This program has given me a lot of self confidence, it changed my life. This program is recommended for everyone. I have ranked up and become a leader.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I have been involved in the Young Marine organization for the past 5 years, since my son joined. I am now the Adjutant and DDR Officer of our unit. I have seen many young people who have been positively influenced due to the mentoring of the Registered Adult Leaders and the memorable, self confidence building activities that our unit engages in. This program teaches discipline, organization and leadership. It is nice that there is somewhere for these kids to go and learn the skills that are taught here. Life skills that will take them into any career path, whether military or civilian careers.

Review from Guidestar

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 4

The Young Marines program is such an incredible opportunity for young people to become active physically and get in shape, have outdoor activities and learn discipline, develop organizational and leadership skills. With childhood obesity and diabetes rates skyrocketing, organizations like this one are very much needed but unfortunately under utilized. It is also a good mentoring program for kids from broken homes who may not have a father figure to teach them life skills. This program provides skills that will carry over into a military or civilian career. I highly recommend this program to anyone who wants structure, fun and new adventures.

Review from Guidestar

readingmom

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Young Marines has had a positive impact in our daughter's life on so many levels since she joined in 2019. She is finding her voice and style as a leader. She sets her personal bar high and readily takes on new challenges. She approaches things with a "can do" attitude and gives it her personal best even when it is outside of her comfort zone. She has grown in confidence and independence. She has developed a strong camaraderie with her fellow Young Marines, cherishing them not only as teammates but also friends.
She has thoroughly enjoyed the encampments and is looking forward to attending her first SPACES camps this summer as well as the USNA's Summer STEM program. She has enjoyed their community service opportunities. There are so many unique opportunities afforded to the YMs, and the sky is the limit for what you can achieve.
Being a YM has helped her grow into the mentally and physically strong young woman she is today. She is well-rounded, self-disciplined, respectful, confident, patriotic, and compassionate. She is a ballerina, a basketball player, a community service leader, and a Young Marine. We cannot wait to see what adventures the next 4 years holds for her. Thank you to the Young Marines and all the mentors that make this program possible.



Review from Guidestar

Lisa Shepherd L.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Young Marines provides structure and mentorship for my son. The organization sets a tone of working with a community but also with each other in order to meet an objective. This is crucial for young adults to learn as they grow through their most influential years for shaping them into adults. The dedication of the staff to the cadets is a testament to their follow through but also leadership from the front. The world is teaching us all of how unpredictable life can be. But the Young Marines continue to show our children how to be resilient and steadfast.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

When my son was 9 he saw a Young Marines bumper sticker on a car in front of us at a stop light. I had never heard of the program and my pacifist brain was hesitant, but he was insistent so we checked it out.

We went to one of the open house drills and he was immediately in love with the entire program. I was still hesitant but he was hooked at the first Ooh Rah. So we signed up and he ended up being the Honor graduate for the fall 2013 recruit class.

That was 8 years ago, now at 17, he is a High School junior with only one year left in the program. My tiny little boy who needed special order utilities for his Honor Graduate PFC chevrons is now YM/MSgt Slader and for me to say that this program has had a huge impact on the kind, thoughtful, caring young man that he has grown into would be a huge understatement.

He has learned leadership skills, public speaking, community service, self-reliance, confidence and so many other things that I alone could never have imparted to him. Young Marines has also opened so many doors to incredible experiences. Through the SPACES program he has attended flight Academy, space camp, Orme Wilderness adventures, and participated in three leadership academies all across the country. This summer for his final SPACES program he'll be spending 3 weeks in Costa Rica participating in things like turtle conservation, exchanging language skills, participating in community service projects as well as hiking kayaking scuba diving and a myriad of other incredibly fun activities.

To sum it all up, this program has given my son a village of support outside his family that is irreplaceable. I can honestly say, without hesitation, my letting that little boy who fell in love with uniforms and drill steps and the Ooh Rah chants choose this program to become involved in was the best parenting decision I have ever made.

To Mr & Mrs Miller, Mr Gerard, and all of the adult volunteers Miami Valley Young Marines has had over the years I cannot say thank you enough for all that you have done and continue to do for Karl and for all of the young people who come into this program.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Young Marines is an outstanding program that teaches our kids about respect, honor, integrity, leadership, participation, hard work, dedication, and the list goes on and on. From boot camp, to weekly drills, encampments, and promotions they grow and learn. The message of Drug Demand Reduction is a key focus of the program, educating youths about the effects of drug use on life and on health. The Young Marines promote a healthy lifestyle and a physical fitness routine that's a large part of the program. The comradery and team building they develop will last a lifetime. The Young Marines participate in community service events and volunteer services all year.

Our son received the United States Presidents Volunteer Service Award for 2018 and 2019. He earned two gold device pins and received two letters from the President of the United States of America for his accomplishments. He was also recently named the Young Marine of the Year for his Unit and Young Marine of the year for the Battalion, he's attended National Code Talker events every year from 2017 - 2019 and he continues to help his fellow Young Marines excel by leading physical fitness training, guide book study sessions, and by setting the example for all to follow.

Year after year I see Young Marines retire from the program and become productive and successful young adults. Thank you, Young Marine Program, for your help in developing our son over the past several years. We are the proud parents of a Young Marine Sergeant.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Our Young Marine (YM) has been in the program approaching 4 years and with 4 years of perfect attendance! He has remained entuasatic about the YM program and looks forward to each week of unit drills and learning. Our son has mild autism and ADHD, the program IS NOT designed to be used as therapy but, personally watching Hunter grow physically and mentally over these past years was more than we could have ever imagined. He takes a lot of pride wearing his YM pressed uniform, boots he polishes and has earned 30 ribbons, with 3 more he’s in the process of earning and will be permitted to wear this coming October 2021. Hunter is 12 years old and has gone on numerous outdoor adventures over the past 4 years with his YM unit, we were always a little concerned but, he returns home safe and can hardly wait to go again because they are so much fun. After your child accomplishes boot camp to become a YM they can join the summer SPACES events. These are amazing (affordable) encampments and are actually the heart of the program. Hunter is going to Adventure Links – a weeklong of outdoor fun in VA, (rock climbing, canoeing, camping) and he is already planning next summer. The program has existed since October 17, 1965 and I never heard of it until 2016! If your child is 8-17 years old give them a chance to let them join because seeing kids learn and grow to be respectable proud individuals is a really great opportunity at their young age. I can’t imagine how our kiddo would have been without the Young Marine Program. I truly appreciate all it has done for him and our family as a whole.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

It thought/ teaches my son self discipline,
caring for others taking responsibility for his actions and preparing to become a leader.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have 8 children, and we have dabbled in other ‘youth organizations’, but never with much satisfaction. The breadth of practical knowledge and experience, and fun experienced by our Young Marines (we have 2, with 2 more waiting in the wings) with this organization has been nothing short of fantastic. For this nations sake, I hope more families become involved.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My son joined the Young Marines 5 years ago. His unit has become like a 2nd family to not just my son, but my entire family. His unit has taught him how to be self sufficient, independent, a leader, and an active volunteer in his community.

Review from Guidestar

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Young Marines is truly a life changing program. I joined when I was 8 years old and continued on through the program for 10 years. Young Marines allows you to interact and honor veterans across the country from Pearl Harbor to DC. We also focus on community service within our communities and our country. This program also teaches about being Drug Free, which in our culture is much needed. The Young Marines and adult volunteers in this program become you’re second family and one you could never replace. Young Marines changed me for the better.

Ana T.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Before I give you my review , I feel the need to share some background information on my son who’s in the program. My son has been diagnosed with both ADD and Autism Spectrum Disorder since he was 4 years old. I say that, so those of you who have children with those disorders are aware of the difficulties I’ve had with my son. His difficulties have consisted of behavior, social, and emotional. The Young Marines program has helped with addressing all these issues. My son’s father has been deceased since he was young as well so the program has given him positive male role models to look up to. My son, who’s been in the program for over two years now displays abilities to be confident, lead, and communicate much more efficiently. My son’s participation has been extremely beneficial to his progress and if I had to decide to put him in the program again, I would most definitely. Thanks to all those involved in this program and all of your dedication.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have 3 boys in the Young Marines program and we all love it! They have learned so much from the program and they are better citizrns because of it!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Young Marines program has been a part of my life since I was three. All of my siblings and myself have gone through the program. Growing up, I have seen a difference from myself compared to others in my school not in Young Marines. From when I first started the program at age eight, to where I am today, I have grown enormously, mostly in leadership. When I was eleven years old I attended Junior Leadership School. I got homesick and was nervous being away from home. By the time I attended Advanced Leadership School, I gained more confidence and was sad to leave to go home. My favorite quality about this program is the friendships that are gained over the events. I have been to numerous places, including Hawaii, France, Oregon, and much more. I would have never visited these places if it weren’t for the program along with meeting my lifetime best friends. Along with traveling to meet new people, I have had the opportunities to meet hero’s of America. The Young Marines program has given me the chance to meet veterans from World War II, Navajo Code Talkers, and many more. This opportunity is one that I would not be able to get somewhere else. The feeling I get when I shake a veterans hand and thank them for their service gives me the chills every time. Our youth in society today do not understand the importance of this and I am glad we have a program to teach it. In addition, I have learned to stay true to myself and stay away from the negative atmosphere that drugs bring. After retiring from the Young Marines program I have recently joined Young Marine Alumni Association and am now an Adult Volunteer. I am glad I can give back to the program that gave so much to me. I encourage everyone to look into the Young Marines program as it is a life changing program for the best.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This was the best decision I ever made to join the Young Marines as a kid. I learned many life skills, leadership skills, and built forever friendships. The adventures were countless and I would recommend this to anyone with kids 8-18!!

Review from Guidestar

Elizabeth Chew C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My son has been able to experience good and bad life lessons. He just had the opportunity to go to Colorado and Arizona to a code talkers reservation. He had an incredible experience.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I did not attend this event by my son did. My 10 yr old Young Marine had a great time, learned a lot about dedication, work ethic and working in a team as well as his confidence in himself. He came back a little older than when he left!The Young Marines have really gotten him to come out of his shell and he is very excited to be part of a special program that is growing him into a fine young man.

We are very proud of him, he told a couple stories of one YM who went around the hotel room banging on door and cursing because he had heard that someone had an XBox and whoever had it better let him in to play it. It was a great opportunity to speak with my YM about appropriate behavior and representing the YM as well as his family. It was a great idea to have a seniro ranking YM in his room because that senior ranking YM took charge when my son opened the door to answer the knocking of the inappropriate YM. The senior YM took charge and polity and eloquently dissolved the situation and my YM learned a lot from that encounter.

Another opportunity to speak with my YM about appropriate behavior and representation was when 2 other YM in his room wanted to watch a lat night cartoon directed for a more "mature audience" he knew it was inappropriate for him and asked if they could watch something else. It sounded as if the 2 other YM kind made him feel like a "baby" and other types teasing. The senior YM stepped in and made the 2 other YM change the channel to something more appropriate. So although I do not who that senior ranking YM was, it speaks highly of the YM leadership and values that he spoke up, stepped in where and when he was supposed to and shoed great morality and leadership.

For those two specific reasons I am thankful that thought was put in to bunk a senior racking YM with each room. Apparently my YM got and excellent view of a maturing young man showing leadership and morality.

I am continually impressed by this program!

It

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Overall the trip was amazing. My Young Marine grow and i learned so much and got to experience a new environment. I think we all got a new out look on the way others live there lives and culture. We also learned and appreciated things others have done for us.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Navajo Code Talker Day with the Young Marines was great event. I look forward to supporting it in the future.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The young Marines is a grate program and it will teach your kids to be a grate leader, have good manners,and how to work as a team.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My son had a great experience and learned so much. I highly recommend this program. It's educational and life enriching.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love it , i had so much fun .. i would definitely go back next year !!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Young Marines program teaches leadership and a variety of skills that kids need for life. The real world experiences from opportunities such as "The National Flight Academy" has taught my son so much and has opened new opportunities for him. He is learning about himself and who he wants to become. I would highly recommend this program to anyone who wants to give their child a direction in life and a world of opportunities.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our son, Walter, attended the National Advanced Leadership School in Oregon this summer.
He gained invaluable leadership skills, and he built lasting friendships with other Young Marines from across the United States. When he came back home, we saw a new maturity in him that inspired him with a new drive for goals and aspirations for his future. His years of participation in the Young Marines have prepared him well for success as a giving and contributing citizen to the future of our country. We are proud and very thankful parents.

Review from Guidestar

Huny B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Everything was great. Love it. I have no complaints about this organization.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This program has helped my daughter be a better out going person.

Review from Guidestar

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am the Grandmother of 3 grandsons that have gone through the Young Marine Program. All three of these boys have benefited from the program. I believe that this program is excellent in that it builds and promotes Integrity, Courage, Confidence, Leadership, Team Building in our young Marines. The DDR program (Drug Demand Reduction) is by far the best program for promoting healthy living and educates on the devastating effects on our children, adults and our society that drugs have. The education is invaluable.

My oldest grandson is now an active Marine and is a proud retired Young Marine, I cannot say enough about this very important organization. My son is our Unit Commander and is proud to be a part of this program. To give a young boy or girl the confidence and knowledge to succeed in their lives and take the skills they learn with them into their future is the legacy of the young marine program.
The photo is of my grandson Sgt. Caden Dochnahl at his SLS training in Oregon.
Diane Dochnahl
Proud Young Marine Grandmother

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My son came back from his JLS experience a changed man. He absolutely loved his week there. He sees the benefit not only for his YM unit but also for his future in school, jobs and life in general. Thanks to all the volunteers who make thos possible!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It’s an outstanding program. Kids enjoyed it. The heat killed them. I got a chance to learn some terms they were tlk like water is hydration

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This program has helped both of my granddaughters in there daily living. Both of them are very respectful to the public, very organized.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 4

The Young Marines National Youth Organization is hands down the BEST youth organization. We are the Only youth organization reaching and teaching DDR 24/7/365 in our communities. The YM program has enabled youth to build strong bonds in the Veteran community, never forgetting where we come from and the sacrifices that were made to get here. The YM's has a growth mindset by developing leaders by rank through leadership and responsibility. Our PT keeps us on the ready to perform not only physically but academically and in the field. SPACES program allows our YM's to meet and interact in a welcoming and supportive family environment, once a YM always a YM. As a non-profit we can fundraise and bring in sponsors to reach and open up more learning opportunities and provide financial assistance to families with multiple or underprivileged youth so that we can remain accessible to all youth. The YM program can be adapted to any learning style and focuses on the positive strengths while encouraging them to push through challenges. Our YM's Earn their uniform and are proud to wear their title, "Young Marines". The Young Marines has been a part of our family since 2010 with three of our children succeeding in the program and both my husband and I volunteer. This program and the children it touches is life changing. We would not be the same family without the Young Marines. Thanks to our Adult Volunteers, Young Marines, and Parents for continuing to support from the heart. Semper Fidelis.

Review from Guidestar

Jana T.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Absolutely amazing Non-profit organization! It’s incredible to see all these kids grow and learn. We are so happy to be a part of the young marine family.

Review from Guidestar

3

Volunteer

Rating: 2

Young Marines Is a great program But it has a good and bad side the good part is that there is great structure for kids and does provide discipline and can show children strong and persevering skills. The downside is the preferential treatment of the staffs children. Now i feel that they do do a lot to earn there positions but there are some that aren't higher rank that will try to control your kids in a very unhealthy way showing controlling behavior that is completely against there code of conduct and completely get away with it like if they're parent is the president of of the parents support group Which isnt fair to others This can be a somewhat mentally abusive program for these reasons. Parents are a click in this organization and have to much power that can spoil the program for the kids This organization also has no business serving food to children as well there are no regulations to keep things sanitized so there is noone checking temps on food and noone is keeping track of allergies some food has i pet hair all through it with animal hair. The parental structure of this program is very flawed. My best suggestion is to never leave your childern unsupervised with these people if they were just men and women in uniform these things would not be happening but when you get a bunch of the parents involved there is to much petty behavior and you as a parent really have to tolerate alot if you dont want to be apart of the click and remember all parents want there kids to be the best and earn the most So There is 50% more competitive behavior since the parents are involved not all troops are the same but something really needs to be done

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is one of the most cost effective organizations available to youngsters. There are no paid volunteers at the unit level. This organization's mission is to develop responsible citizenship in the youth of our country and they do a super job through a structured program of education and activities. This approach builds self-confidence, self-esteem, and self-worth. If you are lucky enough to have a Young Marine unit in your area, you should check it out and see the success they are having in your community.

Review from Guidestar

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The unit I am writing about is located in Crystal River, FL. It is open to boys and girls from ages 8 to 18. The training is great. It teaches the children to respect their parents, their country, their God(non-denominational), their peers and themselves. It helps them to be a better American. They will be the leaders of the future that we can be proud of. It is run like the military. They have classes as well as physical training and campouts. Some go on to college or the military. They are given awards and promotions similar to the military. My husband and I are proud to be affiliated with them.