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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Youth Journalism International

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Education, International, Journalism, Media & Communications, Promotion of International Understanding, Student Services

Mission: Youth Journalism International connects teen writers, artists and photographers with peers around the globe, teaches journalism, fosters cross-cultural understanding, and promotes and defends a free youth press. As Hartford magazine put it in 2011, YJI "serves as a training ground for aspiring young journalists, and has created a close-knit global community of young writers who are intent on making a difference in the world."

Results: Since 1994, Youth Journalism International has trained more than 600 young people in journalism, helped more than 400 get published and built thousands of connections among young people in more than 50 countries.

Target demographics: Youth Journalism International serves students from 12 to 24 in every country.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 250+

Geographic areas served: all

Programs: Youth Journalism International has outreach programs to reach aspiring journalists throughout the world, including developing nations in Africa and Asia.

Community Stories

172 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 CoffeeBeans99

Client Served

Rating: 5

Youth Journalism International is without a doubt an exceptional charity. With a unique structure that emphasises communication and encourages participation, YJI manages to bring young writers from all around the world out of their shell and help shape them into talented and multi-faceted young adults. Providing amazing tutorship and experiences, YJI sets an outstanding standard for a non-profit and has truly changed countless lives. It is what a charity can be at its very best and it continues to thrive with each passing year.

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3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I officially joined YJI in 2015, and I often read the great articles published. But at the start of November 2016, I was sent an email by Jackie Majerus-Collins and I was delighted to find out that there was an upcoming visit by YJI to Edinburgh (not far from where I live), and I was invited to meet up with them. Not entirely sure what to expect , I agreed and when I met up with YJI, it was beyond every expectation I had. I've seen previous reviews here naming YJI as a family, and I couldn't phrase it better myself. From the moment I met Jackie at the Edinburgh Press Club and then Kiernan, Beth , Robert, Joanna and Noah, I felt instantly welcomed and a strong sense of belonging. There was a lot of similarities between us, the love of journalism being the most obvious factor, but also everyone wearing glasses or never having had experienced the inner sightings of Edinburgh Castle. The day in Edinburgh was an absolutely amazing experience, I learnt so much more about my country's capital city, as well as improving my writing skills and having the opportunity to speak with some really interesting people. As I was slightly younger than everyone else and still in secondary school, I was fascinated to see the different paths everyone had taken to end up in Edinburgh that day, in terms of university and life choices. For example, Kiernan had come to Edinburgh to study from the United States, a rare opportunity that I had briefly considered. However, by the end of the day , I was and still am convinced that studying at an American University could be a great option for me. Epiphany and experience alike, I have Jackie and Youth Journalism International to give thanks to. The visit to Edinburgh definitely helped me decide on securing the career choice of journalism and writing and the meeting of a group of people so kind and responsive was truly heartening. I had such a wonderful time and I can't wait until my next encounter with YJI! Thank you so much!

1 Ally C.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

All I can say is, what an amazing organisation! I have never regretted my decision to join. I can’t thank them enough for all the help they have given me over the years. I would recommend YJI to anyone I meet who wants to pursue a career in journalism.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I could not be more grateful that my daughter found this incredible outlet for her creative writing. As one of the youngest members of the team, she has been not only welcomed and mentored and edited by smart, experienced leadership but has also had the opportunity to make connections with an international network of both aspiring and thriving young writers. It’s hard to say what has been more exciting for her: seeing her byline and collection of articles online, having the opportunity to explore New York City with Jackie and other young writers, or being able to identify herself as a journalist. Interestingly, at a private school interview earlier this year, in spite of many extracurricular activities on her resume, the interviewer was only interested in hearing more about YJI And I believe it was a differentiator in her acceptance. I look forward to many more years of Collaboration with Jackie and Steve and the YJI team. I enthusiastically recommend joining to students everywhere.

1 yelena97

Client Served

Rating: 5

YJI is an incredible organization which Jackie & Steve continue to pour their heart and soul into. I couldn't be more thankful for this organization, which allowed me to make new friends from around the world, go on some once in a lifetime trips and, as an added bonus, improve my English with the help of two brilliant journalists. This organization was a big part of my life throughout middle school and high school and it has honestly helped me become the person I am today.

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2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a part of YJI for 6 years now and it has really impacted my life. Jackie and Steve are the best mentors and teachers, and my writing has improved tremendously. Not only have I learned everything about journalism, but the things I've been able to experience are amazing. We've gone to plays, talks and speeches by incredible people and recently we even went on a tour of Toronto, Canada. In Canada, we met with 3 other reporters for YJI who we'd only spoken to online. It was amazing to have something in common with those girls and with other people all over the world. I've gotten to know some great people from right here in West Hartford as well as from other countries, like Uganda and Tunisia, through YJI. Reporters for YJI come from tons of different cultures and backgrounds and share their expeirence through writing which is posted online on YJI's website. It's amazing that readers and other writers can learn about all kinds of events and customs from kids and teens who are right there. I volunteer at all of YJI's public events and I can honestly say that I support the organization 100%.

1 Selva M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a YJI student for five years. I’ve learnt plenty from editors Steve and Jackie, as well as networked with numerous students from around the world through YJI. My time in YJI has undoubtedly been a enjoyable and enriching one. YJI has imparted in me skills that have made me a better writer.

I recommend anyone interested in journalism and writing to join this wonderful and stellar organisation. A donation to this organisation will go a long way, too, and it will definitely help YJI continue educating young people from around the world and giving them a platform to voice their opinion.

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1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A great organization for aspiring journalists! Not only do students get a chance to learn more about the industry and become better writers, they also get to form cross-cutural ties!

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1 Amber S.6

Client Served

Rating: 5

Three words. A great Organization! Youth Journalism International has taught me so many things over the years and has helped me in raising my voice and putting my point forward. Not just mine. It has provided a platform to hundreds of students across the world. Seeing YJI growing every year and working really hard amazes me every time.

1 kotersey

Client Served

Rating: 5

I joined YJI in 2015 and since then I have developed so much as a journalist and as a person. Jackie Majerus-Collins puts so much time and heart and work into interacting with students and working together with them on their pieces. Jackie and Steve strongly encourage students meeting each other, especially those from far away places. This really brings the YJI community together and builds a real global network of young journalists.
YJI teaches teenagers and young people to look at the world with an open mindset, to be proactive, to react to what is happening around the world and do journalism in a way that will hopefully inspire positive change. I hope that YJI continues to work with students for many more years to come and that people worldwide recognise its input into raising a new generation of journalists and building a peaceful community reaching all parts of our globe.

2 JP M.

Donor

Rating: 5

Youth Journalism International is a stellar nonprofit, led by two professional journalists with the perfect mix of intellect, humor, and flexibility--everything you need when you're working with young people. YJI's program is unlike any other I've come across. Not only does it teach young people all over the world the basic tenets of journalism, but it also encourages them to participate in democracy and take an interest in what's going on outside of their zip codes.

What's more, Steve and Jackie--YJI's founders and heart and soul--help young people develop critical thinking and writing skills by having them contribute to YJI's award-winning media site where they help participants write, edit, and publish their articles, thought pieces, movie reviews, current events, and cartoons.

I can't speak more highly of this nonprofit and all the good that it does for young people. I wish it lasting success and impact in the years to come!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

YJI is an incredible nonprofit for budding journalists to receive practice, encouragement and advice for improvement they vitally need — and deserve. If not for YJI, I don't know if I would have continued to study journalism.

Executive Director Jackie Majerus has been an amazing mentor to hundreds of student journalists like myself, and I am forever grateful that I get to be a part of this incredible community.

Thank you Jackie and Steve at YJI — the work you do is amazing!

2 Ryleigh M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am new to this nonprofit organization as of this year. This program allows youth to engage in the field of journalism and communications, while engaging them in sociological skills. This program provides an opportunity that is not permitted to students in most schools spanning the globe, and is crucial in building the future of our media and society. This is a life changing organization.

2 Sydney H.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Youth Journalism International is amazing. You can see so many stories from younger people all over the world. The stories are on a variety of topics, from known stories around the world to stories you would never hear of if it wasn’t from YJI. They are also so personal and you can tell that the writers are passionate in what they’re writing about. Jackie and Steve, the founders, are so caring and you can see the heart they’ve put into YJI over the years. YJI gives students so many opportunities that I am so grateful for!

3 Lili C.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am new to become a part of this organisation but it has made me feel empowered to write and I have been so welcomed by their community of young people. I am so happy this freely exists so that everybody can access it. I think it will truly help me in progressing my writing for my future and assist me in defining an occupation.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Youth Journalism International is a fantastic organization! Jackie and Steve are so supportive in every way possible and do everything they can to make sure a diverse perspective of student voices is heard. I am so thankful for them and for YJI!

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3

Client Served

Rating: 5

YJI is a fantastic organization. It has given me the opportunity to write about whatever I think is important and has even connected me with students on the other side of the world! I had the chance to write a review of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child with a student from Pakistan (I live in Atlanta), and this amazing experience would never have happened without YJI.

2 Kiernan M.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Youth Journalism International is the best charity of its kind in the world. At a time when truth and free speech seem to be under assault from so many different directions, YJI's work is more crucial than ever. YJI helped me improve my own writing skills, taught me to understand journalism (and to distinguish it from fake news), and encouraged me to find my own voice.

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8

Client Served

Rating: 5

Youth Journalism International is an exceptional charity that uses journalism to build bridges between young people across the world. I've been writing for YJI since 2007, and as a student in the United States, I've made lasting friendships with other young journalists in Africa, Asia, and Europe. I've learned that whether we're American or Egyptian, Pakistani or Ugandan, British or Korean, we are all people who share many of the same hopes, fears, and dreams. YJI unites the world.

In addition to its role as a global force for peace, YJI also gives young people a voice in a world where we're often ignored. Tomorrow's leaders are able to write about the leading issues of the day from their own perspective, and add their ideas to the global conversation about where we're headed as a world. And not only does YJI give students a platform for their voice, it also helps us find it. For kids who didn't grow up being told that their views mattered, YJI is there to help them realize their potential as global change-makers.

For these reasons and more, I enthusiastically recommend YJI as one of the world's truly great nonprofits.

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2

Board Member

Rating: 5

For this review I have self-identified as a Board Member, but my relationship with this organization is long and varied. I am also a "Client Served," as a student in the very beginning of what would become YJI, working with Steve and Jackie to hone my writing, channel my curiosity, and value the role of ethical reporting in a healthy democratic society. That was 20(!!!) years ago now, and in the decades since I have also been a Volunteer and a Donor, and now a Board Member, because the value of this organization cannot be overstated.

YJI values young people and their work, opinions, and promise for the future. I have had the pleasure of meeting dozens of students over the years from all over the world, and the way these bright young folks learn, share, and grow is a testament to this organization. As a non-profit professional, I understand the many choices people have when deciding to support a charitable organization and cannot recommend YJI enough as a worthy cause.

In addition to the crucial societal value that YJI provides (both now, and for our collective future), it's important to understand how much they do with so little--this is an organization that strives to make sure every cent is expended in a way that helps and supports these young people, and I have not met a more dedicated team in my many years of non-profit work. They currently make miracles with so little, and I encourage anyone with the ability to consider supporting this work with a donation.

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2

Client Served

Rating: 5

YJI was a large part of my personal formation throughout my high school years. Through my experiences working with real, experienced journalists and exploring with my peers, I was able to build confidence, gain invaluable writing skills, and learn to look at the world around me through many analytical lenses. The best part about my experience was just that: that it was undoubtedly MY experience. Steve and Jackie were always there, and they empowered me to take it as far as I wanted to go. They never wrote stories for me, but they always coached me to make sure I strove as far as I could. The network of peers (back then, a small group that met often in-person) was always there to discuss and gain additional perspective. Though journalism interested me in my teen years, I didn't pursue a career in print. However, I truly feel that YJI contributed to my abilities that got me where I am today, in the midst of a successful and illustrious career as a non-profit administrator and public policy advocate. There is no limit to the positive experiences this organization can have to any number of teens across the globe... if only given the right resources and support.

1 hila

Donor

Rating: 5

"Why does it say 'YJI has never charged a young person to participate.'? my inquisitive 9 year old son asked me, referring to the YJI calendar. "Son," I replied, "all these activities that you participate in cost money (and some cost a lot!). I cannot think of another youth organization in my experience, other than YJI, that does not charge students a fee to participate - regardless of who you are! Isn't that grand of YJI?" My son was impressed.

It's now 22 years and counting since I have been involved with YJI and it still makes a unique and positive impact in my life, and, more importantly, in my sons' lives. We had the pleasure of witnessing more cross-cultural connections in the past year, thanks to the YJI family. This is all while these talented students produce quality pieces of journalism to help educate the world.

Any support for YJI benefits us all.

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3

Donor

Rating: 5

Many people have been complaining about the press lately. Well, I can insert a cliche here, but I want to be nice. Even a small donation to this educational charity is money well spent if you like real journalism and want it for our future and; as a bonus, it helps foster world peace. Youth Journalism International (YJI) is one of the most important charities now more than ever as it continues to unite people across the globe. A few months ago, through YJI, my kids and I had the opportunity to meet and hear a man from Afghanistan speak about issues there at an event in Bristol, CT, USA, of all places. Check out YJI's work for yourself and make an investment in a better world!

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3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Imagine being a US senator campaigning for your third re-election. You've just finished your stump speech and you begin mingling with the crowd, shaking hands, fielding questions. You see a 12-year-old kid with a Beatles haircut and press credentials. How is that possible?

Well, that was me in my first year with Youth Journalism International. Believe it or not, for my second published piece, I was entrusted with covering a hotly-contested senatorial race. In general, an experienced politician might've humored me by answering a few questions, and then moved on. But thanks to the coaching and support of YJI, not only did I get a full interview, but it was on the senator's campaign bus, surrounded by touring journalists from major publications.

That was just one of many professional journalistic experiences I had during my three years with YJI. I'm glad to have covered such important political events, including the 2008 Presidential Election, but I must say that my peers have made a much bigger impact. From Columbine to Hurricane Katrina, the Iraq War to Occupy Wall Street, YJI has been giving teens a voice, and more importantly, guidance, for over twenty years.

To this day, I don't know how Jackie, Steve, and other volunteers worked at their jobs and still found the time to mentor students, from the impulse to the published article, thousands of times. I just know it's worth supporting.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

If ever there was a time to give voice to the world’s youth – this is it. Movements like #MeToo, #NeverAgain, and @Re4mImmigration are more likely to endure when they are embraced by younger advocates. Electronic communications has helped create a global marketplace of ideas and cultural exchange that can break down barriers to change. The work of YJI - with its strong online presence - provides a powerful conduit for highlighting the observations and work of young people from around the world. Seasoned journalists guide students on how best to tell their stories about events occurring both near and far. It is my hope – and strong belief – that this amazing resource will help build a better future. Lynn S. Abrahamson, YJI Board Member 3/7/18

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I've been involved with YJI for more than three years now and it already corresponded to a remarkable part of my high school education, specifically from my sophomore year on. When I come to compare the work ethic, honesty and fair approach toward different opinions I've learned here to my general high school education, YJI is far ahead. I do owe more than I could ever pay back and am genuinely grateful for having this opportunity.
Every donation made to this amazing organization is a solid investment for a better world.

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3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I've been involved with YJI since 2015 and even in this rather short period of time, it has helped me improve my skills a lot. Working with YJI has given me the privilege to connect with devoted educators and passionate students from all across the globe, learn and enjoy the process. I know there are many students who unfortunately won't have the same opportunities, that's why I believe YJI should be supported and showcased more.
For anyone interested in journalism and willing to learn and discover the deep world of it, YJI is truly the best source.

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1 irhanadeem

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Youth Journalism International has helped me interact with people all over the world and get my voice across. YJI has exposed me to people's perspectives and views and has helped me understand and discover new things.

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6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Youth Journalism International is an organization that has changed my life for a whole bunch of good reasons. I've made new friends from around the globe through this organization. I've learnt a lot about national and international issues and happenings from around the world. And the best part is that I have learnt it from the people who have actually experienced it, I have come to know about the real side of story and not just something made up.