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2009 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Youth Making a Difference

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Education, Human Service Organizations, Human Services, Secondary & High Schools, Youth Development Programs

Mission: The mission of Youth Making a Difference is to provide leadership training and practical experiences that make a difference in the world, transforming the lives of the participants and those they serve.

Results: 100 Teens from the Salt Lake Valley have participated in our Leadership Training program, impacting over 300 orphan childran in the rural villages of Northern India

Geographic areas served: Utah, Northern India

Programs: The organization provides opportunity for high school age youth to travel to india and perform humanitarian services for undeveloped areas. Services included working on improving living conditions, efforts to improve sanitation facilities and general maintainence of existing facilities

Community Stories

12 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

11

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was so blessed to be a part of this organization. I grew real relationships with the people I worked with because I was meeting with them on a regular basis to further our cause. I learned so much about getting a project started and following it through all the way to the end. I've learned so much about becoming a leader and just a better person. This is an involved organization that demands the best people to make the world a better place.

12

Volunteer

Rating: 3

I've worked about three times a month with YMAD and have enjoyed the experiences I've had with this organization. I've learned to work harder than I ever have with help from my leaders and teammates. They teach by helping one accomplish feats that said person thought they could never accomplish. This is a fantastic organization, however there are several ways in which I feel it could be approved. The beginning of the program was extensively impressive, but as time when on I noticed a lull in action and motivation from both the staff and my peers. Also, I most motivation negative. For example, our leaders may try motivate us through guilt. However affective this tactic is I believe that positive reinforcement would be far more encouraging. That being said, I have been most impressed with Youth Making a Difference, and my assumption is that the organization will continue to grow and mature into a highly influential and reputable group.

12

Board Member

Rating: 5

In November of 2008, I had the opportunity to go to India with Youth Making a Difference (YMAD). The group of youth who were going to India met several times each month to plan the expedition. We planned educational workshops on subjects that we thought would benefit the children the most. I had the opportunity to plan a workshop about the dangers of smoking and it was taught at 4 different schools across Northern India. The program definitely developed my sense of leadership and independence. I didn't pay anything to go on the expedition, I was required to raise money in other ways. I confronted local businesses to see if they would be willing to donate and I sent out letters to my friends and family seeking donations. The donations covered my traveling costs, but also hired teachers to teach in inadequate government schools. Since the incredible India expedition, I was able to go to Peurto Pinasco, in Northern Mexico, to paint houses as a part of the process of building homes for poor families. This type of service was totally different than in India, because it was physical labor, but I felt the same sense of accomplishment from the service.

14

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I helped donate and run a yard sale for orphans in India. There was about 20 people helping with the whole thing and it was very organized and easy for shoppers to shop. Not only was it a very successful yard sale financially, but it brought the community together to help this great cause.

12

Volunteer

Rating: 5

So far I've loved being involved with this group. It has not only taught me so much about myself but it has also taught me about what a fulfilling act of non-selfishness service can be. I've met people who have influenced me to be a better person. The other youth in YMAD are absolutely astonishing, I still can't believe there are teens like that out there today. And the people who are in charge of this organization are even more inspiring for me. I hope that YMAD will be given more money to help out the orphans of India. I already have fallen in love with them and I have not even met them.

1

Former Volunteer

Rating: 5

YMAD not only altered the lives of the children we worked, the experience changed me as a human being. Jodi and Rob, the founders of the organization became like a second set of parents. The extensive training that each volunteer undergoes requires frequent and attentive interactions with both fellow volunteers and adult mentors. Most other organizations do not allow the immense amount of individual feedback and construction that YMAD does. Each teen is able to create the projects and implement them on their own. A great understanding of the culture and people of India was taught over the period of time before the actual trip as well. I wish that every high school student was required to participate in such an experience!

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience with Youth Making A Difference was the best experience of my entire life. I learned skills to help me become a better leader and team member in the months preparing. I got to spend 2 1/2 weeks in India that changed my life. I got to feel what it is like to make a difference in the world. I saw things that changed my perspective on the world and has made me want to continue to serve throughout my life everyday. I worked with wonderful people and leaders that are great examples to me. YMAD is the best organization out there because they not only take people somewhere to change the world, they teach them skills so members will continue to change the world for the rest of their lives.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Being a part of Youth Making A Difference was the best part of my entire senior year of high school. I got to know on a personal level 24 other teens my age who had the same goal to serve people in a foreign country who are not as fortunate. I also had to opportunity to learn from all the adult leaders on how to raise money, work with other people, and become a good leader. Although raising the money was difficult, it paid off when i saw the faces of those kids in India as I taught them about magnets, physics, and other basic science principles. They were so excited and eager to learn, and this made me want to go home and more fully appreciate my education, my family, and my home. Those kids had nothing, and yet they were happy and so grateful for the lessons we taught them, as well as the supplies we brought to them. Those were the happiest two weeks of my life because I completely gave of myself to others. My YMAD leaders were perfect examples of service and reaching out to others, and I'm so grateful to them for sparking my desire to serve others across the world.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I think that this is by far one of the best programs, not only do you get to go to a 3rd world country but you get to go through the year long leadership training. I love the fact that we ourselves get to plan and execute all of what we do when we are in India. Also, the fact the when we get back we are in charge of doing our own expedition. I think that it is one of the most effective program because you not only get to go and have your life changed but we learn to love all of the children in Chamba before we even get there because of all of our work to get the money and plan the lessons.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

YMAD is a wonderful organization that inspires high school students to use all their skills in organization, teaching, fundraising,networking, and goal achievement. I was part of the adult medical mentoring project preparing these students to perform simple medical evaluations in the Indian orphanages. I was felt fortunate to accompany these youth to Chamba India. We worked with four orphanages and observed in the government hospital, a privately owned hospital, and also visited neighboring rural clinics. The entire program envolved months of learning, demonstrations at a local elementary school, weekly meetings with the students, and the final event: a 16 day adventure to rural India. The experience changed all of us in many different ways. I have been a registered nurse since 1969 and have had many varied and exciting experiences, but this organization and working with these students has been a highligt of my life. The Baird family devotes so much of their time and effort to guide these high school students in this amazing ongoing project. If I were younger I would do it again and again. Rhonda Irvine, RN

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I can't even explain the amazing experience I had with YMAD! This organization taught me so much about leadership and my place in the world! In addition the way the organization changes the lives of the less fortunate in India is amazing! I'm so proud to count myself as someone who is a part of YMAD.

4

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have watched YMAD grow over the last five years and I have loved to see the growth. It has been incredible to see the difference that these teens can make just by being who they are. They have such great attitudes and such a remarkable desire to serve others. It almost makes me want to go back to high school just to be able to hang out with them. I love working with these teens, I love working in India, and I love seeing the growth the teens have when they return from their expeditions. People who serve are happy! And all the teens I have worked with over the last five years are extremely happy!