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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Youth Challenge

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Amateur Sports Competitions, Children & Youth, Physical Fitness & Community Recreational Facilities, Recreation & Sports, Sports, Youth Community Service Clubs

Mission: Youth Challenge brings together young people with physical disabilities and teen volunteers who inspire each other through adapted sports, recreation and social growth activities.

Target demographics: Young people with physical disabilities who are paired one-on-one with teen volunteers

Direct beneficiaries per year: Over 200 participants with physical disabilities and 500 teen volunteers.

Geographic areas served: Northeast Ohio

Programs: Adapted sports and recreation, such as swimming, sled hockey, snow skiing, bowling, and Paralympic team sports. Arts and crafts, music, and dance programs are offered as well.

Community Stories

29 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

I love this organization. They provide sports and recreational opportunities for children with disabilities. They pair a physically challenged youth with an able-bodied youth for this experience and the kids all become friends. They also have programs for young adults. It truly is a win-win situation. Feel free to stop by any program and see for yourself. You will be amazed too.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

This is a wonderful organization that provides sports and recreation opportunities for children with physical disiabilities. But they do so much more than that! They act as a connector for friends as the volunteers and participants quickly form life-long friendships. They provide an opportunity for students to give back to their community at an age where many other non-profits deem these students to be "too young." They give parents a little break. But mostly, this organization puts smiles on childrens faces because they bring the FUN. Go to one event, and you too will be hooked.

Advisor

Rating: 5

Thanks to Youth Challenge I have watched the excitement on a disabled's child face as they participate in an activity that they normally would not get to participate. Thanks to Youth Challenge I have heard the appreciation in their parents voice. Thanks to Youth Challenge I have witnessed healthy teenage kids exhibit empathetic deeds to those less fortunate themselves. Thanks to Youth Challenge I have felt so comfortable that they will be vigilant stewards of my monetary donation. Thanks to Youth Challenge.........

Previous Stories

Advisor

Rating: 5

I have seen my time, effort and money drop right through to the kids of this organization. There is no organization I feel more comfortable sending a check to or give my time to and know that it will directly change a child's life.

Along the way it has changed mine.

Donor

Rating: 5

Youth Challenge is all about empowerment and dignity. Rather than enabling their participants (as so many able-bodied people do when interacting with people with disabilities), YC empowers these individuals to be as independent and self sufficient as possible. The staff assist the participants and volunteers to achieve their best selves and push them to be better and do more than they ever thought possible. The phrase "you can't" does not exist at YC because some way somehow "you CAN" and the staff will make that happen. Cheers to a wonderfully deserving organization!

Advisor

Rating: 5

Youth Challenge is a unique non-profit because it benefits two different constituents. Not only does YC help children with physical disabilities, but it also provides an opportunity for teenage volunteers to selflessly give their time and to bond with peers who are simply different than they are.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I absolutely love Youth Challenge! Having recently graduated with a Master's in Nonprofit Management, I was looking to volunteer with an organization with whose mission I connected and whose staff truly believed in their organization. I stumbled upon YC and, since then, have been a total supporter. From the minute I walked through YC's doors, I was treated almost as a long-lost friend. I was instantly impressed by their organization, the beautiful facility, the familial atmosphere and the staff's genuine enthusiasm in making the YC experience enjoyable for all involved. Every event I have attended has been fun and engaging, and seeing the joy on the faces of the youth participants and the youth volunteers is evidence that YC is accomplishing their mission each and every day. YC is a phenomenal, mission-driven organization and, most importantly, an extended family for each and every participant and volunteer. YC definitely deserves the title 'Great Nonprofit'.

Board Member

Rating: 5

All 5 of my children have volunteered at YC over the years. YC provides an incredible experience for the participants as well as the volunteers. It fosters empathy, resilience and kindness. Not to mention, YC is a well-run organization.

Advisor

Rating: 5

Youth Challenge is a great place for high schoolers to interact with other kids with disabilities. They realize that all kids are the same -- and they can be friends! The kids with disabilities also get a "normal" childhood experience -- they get to go to after-school activities and participate in fun events with other kids their age. What a great learning experience for both!

Board Member

Rating: 5

I've been involved with YC for 7 years now and it's the most innovative and impactful program for kids I've ever been a part of. I cannot wait to see what the next few years holds for YC and the wonderful participants and volunteers.

Donor

Rating: 5

A story of a young woman forty years ago who had a heart to help disabled children. Because of her love, faith and determination, she has given many children the ability to meet, compete and enjoy friendships like all children love to do.
She encouraged children to give of their time to volunteer after school and on Saturdays, on a one to one basis, help the children of Youth Challenge, do many activities that they would not normally be able to do...
I have been involved for thirty years and have watched the organization grow and offer services to all children in the Cleveland area. As a parent of four healthy children, I can only imagine what this means to any parent who has a child that is home bound because of a physical disability. If I could count the laughter and smiles of these children, it would look like the stars in the sky on a clear night!
The staff is loving and giving to these children and if you would visit, you would feel the caring that everyone at Youth Challenge gives to each child.
Youth Challenge also has an amazing ability to make each and every dollar count, I am impressed at the number of programs they are able to fund each and every week on their budget. They work had to make every dollar count.
Youth Challenge also makes their volunteers and donors feel like they are very special.. they realize how important it is to say thank you to their donors.
I am honored to say, Youth Challenge is a five star organization.... Thank you , Karen Strang

Jeff O.1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

An amazing organization that's work touches so many in our community!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a parent of a physical special needs teenager I'm very thankful for what Youth Challenge has done for my son.
Youth Challenge has given him friends and a place to go to and feel independent. Youth Challenge has also taught social skills, Community skills and giving back to the community as well. Thank you is not enough to say ."Way to go YC."

Board Member

Rating: 5

Youth Challenge provides a fun environment that benefits both the challenged participant as well as the teenage volunteers. Adapting various sports and activities for the participants allows them to actively participate in programs that they otherwise would not be able to do. The teenage volunteers learn to give of themselves and see how others adapt to life's challenges.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved in the organization for 20 plus years. I gravitated to Youth Challenge because I had a brother with muscular dystrophy who loved sports and would have enjoyed participating in an organization that provided adaptive sports and recreational activities to children with disabilities.

Board Member

Rating: 5

YC is simply terrific. To merge young emerging youths with children their own age who have with physical disabilities and watch 1+1 become 4 is amazing. Very unique, very simply and the healing on both parties very special. I have been involved for 15 years and it is till extremely important to me see the organization, grow, thrive and touch more people.

Kerry D.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with Youth Challenge for just over a year, and I cannot say enough great things. The participants, the volunteers, the staff are all wonderful people who enjoy working together.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a member of Youth Professionals for Youth Challenge, a volunteer committee of young professionals that assists Youth Challenge with various fundraising and marketing campaigns. It is a pleasure to watch Youth Challenge operate from my vantage point, enriching the lives of so many -- participants and volunteers alike. I hope to be involved with Youth Challenge for many years to come.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

YC is an amazing organization! The individuals that make YC a possibility are kind and have a true passion for what they do.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Youth challenge (YC) has given me a life I could never have imagined. YC has made me more outgoing, independent, believe in myself and has given me an outlet for creativity. The YC staff encouraged me to step out my comfort zone and try running track. I tried it and fell in love with it. Since, I began running I have ran 8 5Ks, a dream I had for a long time. YC has made a huge impact to my life, I know I can be myself, feel accepted, and be a role model for younger participants.

Alex M.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I've been a participant with YC for years and years and let me tell you it's amazing!! Everyone is truly like family there and the activities are so fun! I feel like I learn something new every time I go, whether the lesson be from the activity I'm doing or from the people I'm interacting with. Youth Challenge is truly a unique, important, and invaluable organization!

4 Chaz.E

Client Served

Rating: 5

My Experiences with youth challenge were wonderful, the memories I have of YC can't really be expressed by words, what I can truly say is I love everyone that I met when I was there - and to also say that they will always have a place in my heart. Love you all Chaz.E Martin.