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2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Youthlinc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Economic Development, Human Service Organizations, Human Services, International, International Economic Development, International Exchange, Microfinance, Youth Development Programs

Mission: The mission of Youthlinc is to create lifetime humanitarians. Our core programs (Local & International Service Year, Utah Local Service Directory, Young Humanitarian Award, Real Life: Teen Refugee Mentoring, and Global Community Leadership) are based in principles from educational and service learning research: student leadership, hands on sustained service which creates an emotional bond, mentoring, project based and cooperative learning.

Results: Each year, 250+ Youthlinc students contribute over 19,000 hours of service in Utah, becoming relied upon volunteers for over 100 community service agencies. Youthlinc Service Year teams contribute nearly $400,000 each year in water projects, construction projects, vocational training and equipment, school and medical supplies, small loans, and other quality of life initiatives in partnership with impoverished communities in Guatemala, Peru, Nepal, Thailand, Cambodia, Kenya, and Madagascar Our online Utah Local Service Directory is a resource of student friendly service sites recommended for young people by young people for hands on service in a positive mentoring atmosphere. This resource is available for everyone in the state, and allows volunteers to log, track, and verify their service hours. Our Young Humanitarian Award annually recognizes Utah young people who excel at giving back with a $5,000 college scholarship $8,500 in runner-up awards. Our Real Life: Teen Refugee Mentoring program pairs Utah young people with underserved teens at 12 sites around South Salt Lake to deliver a fun and interactive life skills curriculum including financial literacy, health and hygiene, job and college preparation, social skills, and cross cultural activities. Our Global Community Leadership program is designed to meet the demand of university students, including Youthlinc alums and adult professionals, to have an integrated local and international service experience embedded in academic learning; inspiring participants to ask difficult questions about what it means to be a responsible citizen. Though only 5% -20% of our incoming class of students each year have had any significant volunteering experience, 60-93% of our alums continue to serve in their communities after our program.

Target demographics: We create lifetime humanitarians out of high school and college students through local and international service

Direct beneficiaries per year: 250 students, over 100 Utah service agencies, 350 teen refugees, and thousands of individuals in Guatemala, Peru, Nepal, Thailand, Cambodia, Kenya, and Madagascar

Geographic areas served: Utah & 10 economically-developing nations

Programs: our Service Year, Utah Local Service Directory, Young Humanitarian Award, Real Life: Teen Refugee Mentoring, and Global Community Leadership

Community Stories

666 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

Youthlinc gave me the opportunity to meet people and do work that I would have never had the chance to do before. Being able to go to Africa, and teach the children, build schools, and interact with the culture is an experience that I will truly treasure for the rest of my life.

Jill100

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Absolute best trip I've ever been on. Changed my life completely! The whole program is amazing, leading up to our trip, during our trip, and even after! Great leaders and very organized

Jena C.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My daughter went to Thailand with Youthlinc in the summer of 2016. This organization is excellent, requiring 80 hours of local service before the youth are allowed to participate in service abroad. This service has instilled a passion for service and my daughter is constantly looking for volunteer opportunities since her return. I love to see her eyes light up whenever someone asks her about her time in Thailand. She fell in love with the children there. As a parent I appreciated the frequent and thorough communication from her team leaders and Youthlinc staff both before and during her trip. It is a very well run and respectable organization which gave me peace of mind when sending my daughter half way around the world.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Youthlinc was an overall amazing experience for me to go through the this year. I learned so much from my service I had to do before I left and all the life lessons I learned in Nepal. You learn how to appreciate all the little things you take for granted here in the U.S. So what you take away is the fun in life from all the random joys in life.

AlyssaSmoot

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first got involved with Youthlinc back in 2013 and was able to go to Kenya on the humanitarian trip. I absolutely loved my experience, my team, and all the things I learned from other students/Kenyans. In fact, I still keep in touch with a little girl named Shamila who calls me a couple times a year. My younger brother Spencer went to Kenya last year (2015) and met Shamila and was able to take her a photo book that I had made for her. She started crying when she got it and Spencer said he knew right then how impactful these relationships are. I then tried a few other organizations the following years and just didn't fall in love with them the way I did with Youthlinc. I love how Youthlinc focuses on local service because I honestly didn't know there was such a dire need and that I didn't have to go to another country to make a difference, although that is also a very powerful part of the service year. I did my local service at Park City Hospital and still keep in touch with people I met there while volunteering. Now as a college student at the University of Utah, I've completely gone a different direction with my major than what I had planned for myself because of Youthlinc. I've seen how Youthlinc impacts people's lives literally around the world. As the oldest child, my younger siblings have seen the difference that it has made in my life and have chosen to get involved as well. Even my parents, who are now on the Board, participate as much as they can whether sponsoring other students to go or sit on the parents panel at orientation to share with others our positive experiences as a family by being involved with Youthlinc. This year I had the amazing opportunity to be an Alum Leader with my brother Spencer on a trip to Thailand, and our younger brother Andrew was able to come along as a first time student. The best part about participating on the leadership side of these trips is watching it change these kids who decide to go. It is a lot of work for months before and sometimes it gets a little hard for teenagers to put as a priority in their lives, but once they're out in-country and building strong relationships with others I can see it all click for them; that this is why they've put in so much effort and that it's worth it. That is my favorite part, being able to witness these experiences change the hearts and minds of people. Youthlinc creates lifetime humanitarians time and time again and i'm proud to be a part of such an amazing organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love this organization and everything it does. My only complaint was I found my team to be disrespectful and unfocused in country and struggled working with them.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

From the beginning of the service year serving in my local community to serving in country, Youthlinc has been an amazing experience! It gave me the opportunity to learn how to become a leader, how to build long lasting relationships, and helped me expand on my social skills. It is a great way to get involved with your community and a way to help those all around the world. I highly recommend the Youthlinc program as a way to not only change the lives of others but as a way to change your life for the better and begin the path of becoming a life long humanitarian. I will never forget the life lessons I have learned and the memories of my trip and service year all thanks to the unforgettable experience that Youthlinc has provided me with.

1 Jayne B.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This was our first experience with Youthlinc and it was wonderful! They are a great organization. They are well organized, great at communicating and clear on what their expectations are of the kids. I like that their goal is building life long humanitarians. The 80 hours local service that the kids have to do is wonderful and Youthlinc is great at providing opportunities. My daughter's experience with Youthlinc and her trip to Nepal was life changing! Thank you Youthlinc for providing this opportunity to the kids in our community!

Treasure L.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

For 16 days I had one of the most amazing experiences of my entire life thanks to the Youthlinc organization and the wonderful individuals that helped make the journey possible. I traveled to Nepal with 41 other participants to perform work at a school in Suntakhan. Although we were only in country for 12 days, they were the most life changing ones which I have experienced. I would highly recommend this program to anyone, not simply for the opportunity to help so many other people, but for the chance it gives one to grow as an individual. You may think that you will teach the people in county much, I promise you, though, it is nothing compared to the lessons you will learn from them. I encourage to take this chance to leave a beautiful legacy within the hearts of all those who you will touch, for the memories you leave them will remain remembered for a lifetime.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Youthlinc is absolutely incredible. my experience with them was unforgettable and will always be in my heart. I enjoyed the opportunity to be apart of something bigger. Definitely one of the best organizations out there. our service trip to Guatemala this year was one for the books, it really made me take things and life into perspective. I would not hesitate to go on another trip like this through youthlinc. Their organization was exceptional the people that run the organization are exceptional people and I loved my team and the things I went through with them. I love love love youthlinc.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Going on a youthlinc trip has truly changed my life, going across the world to help and teach others is an experience you won't receive often, and I assure you that I learned more from them than i could have ever taugh them. Youthlinc is a great program that I would recommend to anyone and everyone.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

We went to a small village in northern Thailand and taught the students English and the women sewing. The women we taught to see ended up starting a business. It is an export emcee I wouldn't trade do the world and recommend for anyone interested in a humanitarian trip.

Millie B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Youthlinc is amazing. I would not be the person I am if I hadn't gone on a Youthlinc trip. It's absolutely life changing. The friendships you make arrangements unforgettable. To see the happiness on the villagers faces makes everything worth it.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My son Phillip joined the Youthlinc team in 2016 and traveled to Thailand on his service trip in June. It was the best thing he has done to date in terms of developing an un-paralleled appreciation for culture and realization that the world is out there for him to see.

I would recommend it to anyone who has a student that wants to expand their horizons!

Sheila J.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Youthlinc is an amazing program. As an educator of 25 years and a parent of a Youthlinc volunteer it is by far one of the most successful leadership training program for you. I have seen my own daughter and hundreds others thrive. The beauty of this organization is that it changes the hearts of all involved. My daughter loved serving the elderly on our local town and was the light of the rest home. She cried when she had to leave Guatemala after her summer humanitarian trip. What Youthlinc accomplished in two short weeks is nothing short of miraculous. 38 families were taught vocational skills, business and money management, and dozens of children we estatic to learn about sound, health and dozens of other lessons. Concrete floors were poured and specially designed stoves installed. Lives will be saved literally by not having toxic smoke in their homes. The adult volunteers sacrificed and pay their own way to ensure the experience is superior. When a young adult catches a vision to serve then they fulfill the mission statement in its entirety- "Creating Humanitarians For Life!" All my children will be Youthlinc humanitarians! Judy has created a model that is second to none. This organization needs to be in every state!

Lois26

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My daughter went to Guatemala in 2015 and Thailand in 2016. Both times, she raised the money herself, proving it can be done. And it was so worth it. She has a good heart and Youthlinc is a journey of the heart, bringing out the best in all who participate, youths and adults alike. The trips are well-planned, they accomplish a lot and the participants come back both grateful for their own blessings and anxious to help others. Best of all, the service they do in their own communities gives them a keener understanding of many people's lives — and a deep desire to forge connections and help others. If you have a chance to go, GO!

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Youthlinc is a traveling nonprofit that focuses on both community and worldwide service. My experience with this nonprofit was as a student volunteer. I volunteered rather frequently with other groups before joining Youthlinc, but the Youthlinc program helped me serve on a larger scale. To participate you have to contribute at least 80 hours of local community service, and after doing this and raising the money necessary, you go to another country to serve the education systems there. I went to Thailand with Youthlinc, and it taught me a lot and helped me develop a greater passion for serving, and a stronger sense of the worth of others, as well as my self. I learned a lot with Youthlinc, and highly recommend doing it if you are interested in serving both your community and worldwide.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Youthlinc is the best nonprofit I have ever worked with. This is simply because it provides everyone with opportunities to help others in our backyard and 2,700 miles away. This nonprofit teaches true leadership, commitment and hard work to anyone who is involved. This was my first year participating and I was a part of the Guatemala Team. However, the airport was not where this journey began. It was required for me and all of the other students on my team to volunteer at least 80 local service hours before leaving to Guatemala. I was lucky enough to participate in the Real Life Program coordinated by Youthlinc. Every Monday and some Wednesday's I would go to the Hser Ner Moo community center and help teen refugees living in Salt Lake City with their homework. Not only were we tutors but we would also help teach life lessons to the students everyday. Some of these students could barely speak English, however every single one was eager and motivated to learn and succeed. I learned from this experience how truly important education is and how sometimes I take it for granted. These students made me realize how lucky I am to be going to school and to be learning. Volunteering locally was not the only thing each team member had to do to be prepared for Guatemala. We had monthly meetings, and at these we would prepare. This is where Youthlinc teaches each student commitment. This organization taught us to commit to what we are doing and to do our best all the time. Our team prepared very well for the trip, we knew what we were going to do with the two communities we were helping and how we were going to do it. However, without this preparation our time in Guatemala would not have been as useful and productive for the people of Pacoxpom and las Escobitas. I was a participant of this business committee. We prepared to have a business fair for all the men and women in the community. During the fair we each created lesson plans to teach the men and women. The subjects of these lessons varied from money management to entrepreneurship or to basic marketing skills. When we were in Guatemala and gave our business fair it could not have gone better. The men and women could not have been more responsive. We all felt like what they learned will now help small businesses in the community to grow which will help with the villages economy. However, this would not have happened if each person in my committee didn't work as hard as they did and commit to our projects. We were fully prepared which was why the business fair was a huge success. Another thing our committee lead was computer lessons to the students at Las Escobitas. This was an experience I will never forget. The kids were scared to use a computer, something I use everyday. They simply did not know how to use one. Showing them and watching their faces light up while they were learning was unforgettable. These lessons will now benefit the students in school forever, they can now learn and do their work on the computers. It's examples like these that makes Youthlinc such a unique nonprofit. The work we do locally and globally is not work that will be forgotten. Everything we did in the villages the people will use forever. It's not something they saw and will now forget as they move on with their lives. Youthlinc provides people with skills and tools that can make their life more prosperous for a lifetime, not just the two weeks we are there. Another example of this was our construction project in Guatemala. The people in the community had dirt as their floors, and stoves with no ventilation. These were both health hazards that our team was able to help with. As a team we put in cement floors in 37 homes, and in each of these homes installed a new stove with ventilation. They will never have to cook on an open stove again. This made the people so happy and they were so thankful for the floors and the new stove. Not only were we working hard with construction, but each student taught an English lesson to the students of the villages. These lessons varied and it was a great way for the students to advance their English and learn something new. Regardless of what we did we were always having fun, and creating memories that we will never forget. We being my team and I and the people of Guatemala. We came together as a community and created so many emotional bonds that were difficult to say goodbye to. On this trip I learned many things, developed several friendships, and developed many skills that I will use for the rest of my life. Not only did my team change the lives of Las Escobitas and Pacoxpom but our lives were changed as well. All these memories, and this whole experience was because of Youthlinc. As a nonprofit Youthlinc's goal is to create lifetime humanitarians. I can confidently say that the 2016 Guatemalan team is now full of lifetime humanitarians, all because of Youthlinc, I simply cannot wait to participate with them more in the furture.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This summer, I had the opportunity to be a part of the 2016 Guatemala Youthlinc team. The entirety of my trip provided me with new opportunities and experiences that changed my overall perspective for the better. This is largely thanks to the organization and positive support of Youthlinc and the leaders on my team. By working so closely with its in-country coordinators at People for Guatemala, Youthlinc is able to aid long term sustainable projects each year. For example, our vocational team worked with People for Guatemala to maintain a safe place to keep Youthlinc's sewing machines and ensure the villagers from Pacoxpon will continue to have access to sewing lessons even after we have left.

As a whole, I highly support Youthlinc and hope to continue working with the organization as an alum leader next year. My experiences mixing cement, installing stoves, teaching English lessons, and leading the Mondo Art project have allowed me to form lasting relationships with my team and the people of Guatemala, learn more about myself, and make a lasting impact in the community. I treasure each and every memory made during the trip and am forever grateful for the lessons on gratitude and kindness that I have gained and will continue to cherish throughout the rest of my life.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been very impressed with the organization of Youthlinc and the way they have their system set up. I felt very prepared heading into country where we would be serving and safe as well. One of my favorite parts about this organization is that they require the students to do 80 hrs of local community service prior to leaving for their in-country experience. This requirement makes the kids work hard prior to leaving and results in a team of people who really want to make a difference in the world no matter how hard the work may be. I would highly recommend working with Youthlinc. They are a fantastic organization!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Love, compassion, teamwork, acceptance, hardwork, respect, leadership and happiness all discribe my experience with Youthlinc. I traveled to Thailand with 36 other wonderful people and I completely came back with my heart filled with happiness and love from teaching the kids, hanging out with my other teammates, trying all the new exotic foods and meeting and greeting the people in county with kind smiles and respect. My whole life perspective and outlook has changed and I would do anything to go back again. Youthlinc has given me so many memories and joy from serving 80 hours of service to running away from the kindergarten kids in Thailand who loved to tickle. Youthlinc has taught me so much, and the lessons I have learned with my service year I know I will always use them throughout my life.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

I have plenty of used toys and clothes that I don't need. My family is moving soon so I'm getting rid of a lot of my stuff, and since its near the holidays I thought I would donate my stuff to the less fortunate... Thank you!
Sincerely
Brooke.


Volunteer

Rating: 5

I went with Youthlinc to Cambodia in 2012 and it was an amazing experience! What I like the most about Youthlinc is that they put so much emphasis on local service before going abroad, which is exactly why I chose to volunteer with them. The staff and team leaders are extremely helpful with everything, and make sure everyone is included. The time I spent with them in Cambodia gave me a whole new perspective on serving others, and I'll never forget the kindness of the villagers and how incredibly thankful they were for the service we provided. Youthlinc is definitely the best nonprofit out there if you're looking to serve both locally and abroad instead of just going on a vacation. I would definitely (and do) recommend Youthlinc to anyone looking to make a difference in the world!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Youthlinc for two years now and it has absolutely changed my life. I am more dedicated to service and strive to make it a major priority in my life. Youthlinc has such a great program set up for anyone who wants to volunteer. They give you so many chances to take leadership opportunities and to take charge of your experience and make it everything you want it to be. In country, I have never felt more safe. I was really nervous about going to Thailand last year because it was the farthest I had ever been away from home. When I got to Thailand my team leader was amazing at making sure we all felt safe and he knew where each of us were at all times. Our mentors were also fantastic at keeping us all together and keeping us safe. Overall I would recommend Youthlinc to anyone who is interested in local and international service!

Sidney D.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been involved with Youthlinc for two years. My first year I was a student and the second year I was an assistant team leader. My experiences were both amazing and have helped make me the person I am today.

Youthlinc isn't just a great organization because it lets you travel the world, it's also amazing because of the emphasis they have on local service as well. As a Youthlinc student you have to serve 80 hours in your local community before you can go on your international trip. I LOVED that part of Youthlinc. It showed me the need for service in our communities and it helped me develop a love for service. I still volunteer regularly in my community because I love it so much.

Youthlinc is also filled with amazing people. Youthlinc has helped me meet some of my best friends who I wouldn't have met If it wasn't for Youthlinc. They also gave me mentors who I look up to and still talk to on a regular basis. Also everyone in the office is incredible and so helpful, I loved working with them once a week when I was an assistant team leader. All and all you should do Youthlinc. It's a life changing expirence that introduces you to new cultures and amazing new people who are all Intrested in serving others. I love Youthlinc and I know you will too!

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Youthlinc is the best non profit in the world!! I love Youthlinc. Youthlinc changes lives, not just those we serve, but our own. My life was changed and touched from my Youthlinc experience. It taught me that by serving others we can truly find happiness, and that we should all make it our common goal to serve and help others. By doing that we can make this world a better place. I love Youthlinc with all my heart and I am so grateful for the opportunity that I had to be apart of Youthlinc, and wish that I will stay involved.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have done two trips with Youthlinc, the first as a student going to Kenya and the second as an alumni leader going to Thailand. During both of my trips, I felt that we were able to not only provide help in completing many construction projects and teaching the people valuable vocational and business skills, but we were able to learn so much about their respective cultures. Youthlinc not only emphasizes helping the communities through construction and teaching, but emphasizes learning to understand people of a different culture and appreciating their culture.

I also love Youthlinc because it stresses the importance of performing local service that helps students learn responsibility, commitment, and how to interact with others professionally. Students become so aware of the fact that local service is so easy to perform and is the type of service one can see lasting results with over time. Youthlinc also has amazing leaders and staff that wish to know every student personally. While the leaders provide guidance and supervision throughout the whole service year, they allow the students to create and organize their projects that are to be performed in-country. Overall, Youthlinc is an amazing organization for introducing students to local and international service.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I returned to Youthlinc in 2013 to be an Alumni Leader for the Thailand team. It was amazing getting to experience helping other teenagers make a change in the world, both locally and internationally. Locally, everyone worked hard to serve their communities by consistently volunteering at various sites, while internationally, we all committed ourselves to helping the generous Thai and Burmese people around us. Youthlinc provided an excellent avenue for young adults to experience serving others while learning about life and the world from the people they served.

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1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Youthlinc honestly has changed my life. It humbled me to the max and opened up so many doors. I have been involved with Youthlinc for two years now and have loved every second of it. Youthlinc makes me feel so invloved and I love all the local service opportunities it provides. Youthlinc made me a humanitarian for life!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My family has been involved with Youthlinc for about 4 years now, myself a total of 2. I was a student on my first trip to Thailand and an assistant team leader in Nepal the next year. I really enjoyed my time with this organization, because it focuses on many different aspects of service. Yes, you get to go to a foreign country and experience the culture. Yes, you get to help people in genuine need. Yes, you get to make lasting friendships with people you would have never met otherwise. But the best part of Youthlinc is the emphasis they put on local service. Students serve for a total of 80 hours throughout the year, and 40 at a main service site somewhere in their local community. This really helps students to realize the impact they can have right in their own communities and encourages them to keep serving on a regular basis.

I also loved all of my leaders and the people I interacted with on my teams and in the Youthlinc office. They were always helping me to become my best self and to push myself to accomplish my goals. They were on top of all of our tasks and projects were able to answer our questions. Even when our plans changed before and even in county on a few instances, they were very flexible and adapted to what we needed to do. They handled everything in a professional manner.

Overall I enjoyed my experience with Youthlinc. It changed my outlook on my personal life and made me more grateful for what I had. I would recommend a Youthlinc service year experience to anyone.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Youthlinc really helped to change my perspective on life in general. It helped me to get over myself and focus not on the inward of myself but the outwards of others. When I did that, I was able to help those around me and not think of myself. Youthlinc has the best participants, mentors, and leaders anyone could ask for. They help you to become the best you, and thats all you can ask for in a humanitarian program.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been on 4 trips with Youthlinc in various roles and each one was absolutely incredible! No other organization that I have found is more well rounded. With different committees to help each individual maximize their talents and grow. Leadership both in country and traveling has been phenomenal. These trips have been some of the happiest times in my life and I am truly grateful to Yourhlinc for making it possible. It's amazing to see how much a team can accomplish when working together. In my trips we've helped to build school class rooms, libraries, a community home, and a nursing station. We also put in two septic systems, dug a lot of holes and laid cement, painted classrooms, held English camps, taught vocational and micros terrorize training. These are just a few things we did but I could go on and on. They definitely ache live their mission in taking high school students and turning them into life long humanitarians. I can't wait for the chance to go with Youthlinc again and hopefully lead a team down the road. If you have the chance to go with Youth Linc DO IT! Your life will not be same and you will make lifelong friends.

John368

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been on 1 trip with Youthlinc and I have to say it's one of my favorites, I went to Guatemala 2 years ago and had the time of my life... The leaders Ruth and Jordan were rad our team got very close and we did a lot of great work even when things were not that fun we made it fun.. The work was hard and busy but the trip in all was fun and rewarding...

Former staff

Rating: 5

My experience with Youthlinc is something I hold near and dear to my heart. My experience started out in 2012 as a volunteer to Kenya. After falling in love with the mission, I knew this was a organization I wanted to work for.

I was employed at Youthlinc for over two and half years. In this time, I was able to see the immense effort that the staff plays in making sure everything runs smoothly. This organization goes above and beyond to make sure every person has a positive experience. They are always seeking to improve their processes.

The people I encountered during my experience are truly some of the best people I know. Youthlinc attracts wonderful people, staff and volunteers alike. I would recommend this organization to anyone!

Volunteer

Rating: 2

I have been on two trips, my first trip as a student and my second year as an alum. My first trip was fantastic although I felt like we weren't doing much other than playing with kids and teaching them a few words of English. (I'm not sure how English would help them at all in Thailand) I loved playing with the kids and frolicking around but I wanted and expected to do more then just go take pictures with kids? I was hoping we would do you some type of construction. But the first year the only type of construction we did was level out a "field" which is an area that is often flooded that at the end of the two weeks was unleveled again.
The only type of construction I did the second year was dig trenches for rain (which would fill up and disappear in one day) to me it just kinda felt like busy work and trying to pretend we were actually helping. The second year was when i was an alum we were supposed to build the bathroom but instead they hired several local workers to build the bathroom which is understandable because they did it 10x better and faster than we would have. But then were kinda left with nothing to do other than dig holes in the mud and bring the works some water.

I'm not complaining about the work of digging in the dirt at all. I wanted more of it. Just the work we seemed to be doing was just to make it look like we had something to do while we weren't playing with the kids. Don't get me wrong, these places really do need help. But the help we were offering didn't seem to be very helpful.

Now on to the leaders of my trips,
First year- Bobby and Carson. The most fantastic positive people you'll ever meet. Love them to death and they are the reason I signed up the second year.

Second year- Dave and Linda. The reason i hate Youthlinc. Not only did they favor their kid who was on the trip and her friends. they were completely clueless and unhelpful to the whole team. NOT leaders. A girl went MISSING IN THAILAND ON MY TEAM and the leaders/ mentors were talking about adding each other on Facebook while the whole team was looking for her? Then when we found her Dave tried to comfort her but made her more homesick and MORE uncomfortable. Oh let's not forget when the kid rented a motorbike and rode into downtown in the rain and bought alcohol. Did Dave or Linda ever find out? Yeah at the end of the trip when our group had a charge for a motorbike on it. But the kid was gone for hours and missed dinner. Why didn't they know? Oh probably because they were chatting about Facebook. When we were on location Dave and Linda sat in the shade all day and yelled at people for not working. Dave told one of my team mates to "get back to work" when they had just sat down to drink water then got passive aggressive when they asked if they could have minute just so they could have some water? This trip was complete chaos. Kids renting motorbikes, girls missing and under age kids drinking? Not to forget that Dave is a complete and total sexist bully. Let's talk about the team doctor (not a doctor a fertility nurse ?) she knew nothing about medicine and everytime someone would ask her for help or was having a health problem she would say take and Advil or put a bandaid on it. Some of my teammates were riding elephants when the elephant slipped and sling shoted them into a tree and also get one of them stuck under the elephant. You know what the doctor did after that to help? Nothing. One of the bus drivers pulled out a first aid box and helped the girls out. Then later at dinner she said do you need an Advil (of course)

My final thoughts and advice for Youthlinc,
Interview your leaders better and don't pick any stupid adults with the money. They are watching teenagers and need to pay attention.
Do more construction and less pictures? I feel like this a tour group or something and not a humanitarian trip.

In the end I do not regret signing up for Youthlinc because of the friends and memories I've made . But they need to improve because my last trip was straight up chaos and negative

Comments ( 1 )

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Judy Z. 12/09/2015

I know who wrote this comment, and I know this individual had a particular rough year personally during her second trip. I reached out to her personally on more than one occasion. I still feel awful that she is in a bad place, and would be happy to speak with her again. I am really sorry that she feels her experience was not optimum. As far as her Team Leaders are concerned, one is still our Board Chair, and responsible for a lot of the good we do in this state and world. The comments about him, and the team nurse, are unfair - even though everyone is entitled to their opinion. The 500+ very positive reviews for Youthlinc on this website speak for themselves and the experience of the overwhelming majority of our participants. Judy Zone Youthlinc Executive Director

Former staff

Rating: 5

I have been a part of this organization for two years and it has given me the two greatest experiences of my life by far. Being able to participate in the local service as well as the international gives a truly unique experience. I have met some amazing people through this and it has opened up my views on things as well as encouraging me to stay involved. It sounds very cliché, but going on a trip with Youthlinc will truly change your life and I recommend it 100%.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Youthlinc was one of the most amazing experiences I've ever had. I truly felt like I was part of a family in which everyone cared for and loved each other. The privilege to serve children and families in need is one I will never forget, and I will continue to recommend Youthlinc to my fellow peers looking for a life changing experience.

alexandra03

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Going on a humanitarian trip to Guatemala was so rewarding in so many ways! I was able to come back and be a more appreciative and grateful person. There are so many great memories I will forever cherish! My leaders were amazing and I truly miss my mentors who were there for me every step of the way. I learned a lot from being in their community and about team work. I do think that there needs to be more emphasize on being a civically engaged person in the community (long term) coming back home.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Youthlinc is an amazing organization that allows youth to associate with other service minded teens and adults. My team went to Peru and I couldn't have asked for a better leader, assistant team leader, or team in general. We all became very good friends over the course of the service year. This cohesiveness that we developed was crucial to our success in country. We were able to complete various projects in our village including cement work, chicken coops, and a mural.
In addition to relationships within the team, I built relationships with the people of Santa Isabel that I wouldn't have without the opportunity that Youthlinc gave me to serve them.

Youthlinc isn't just some way to be able to travel outside the country, it requires students to complete 80 hours of local service before the international service trip. My local service site was a nearby elementary. I had amazing experiences with the kids that I tutored there. Overall, Yourhlinc provided me with such a wonderful experience that definitely leaves me wanting to continue serving people, both locally and internationally.

Shae B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Youthlinc is an incredible organization. I have learned so much over my 3 years of participation. It is a great way to get involved in service and humanitarian work, especially because it is so hands-on. Youthlinc has changed my life and given me a huge appreciation of all of the many things I have.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

Youthlinc provided me with an eye-opening and interactive view of the benefits on both ends of service (the recipient and the volunteer) both in a smaller local setting and the larger global community. I am thrilled to have become involved with Youthlinc.

pernille

Volunteer

Rating: 4

A service trip will always change your life for the better. It makes you think of others before yourself and helps put things in perspective.
Youthlinc is a wonderful way to do such a trip. It is extremely well organized, brings the best out in people, and teaches you life long lessons. I will recommend Youthlinc to anyone interested in working hard, making a different in other peoples life and wanting to learn about other peoples culture.
I loved my experience as a mentor.

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Volunteer

Rating: 4

My service trip to Cambodia has been amazing. It not only taught me about service, helping others in need and putting others before myself but also about the amazing history that has shaped this country. I loved how Youthlinc took time to educate and show us what the country and its people have been through. It is not until you understand a persons background that you can fully comprehend where they are coming from and what their needs are. I feel like we learned on so many different levels. While I was gone my husband was busy keeping up on his own work, the kids, running the household and several yard projects. I thought he did great, but when I made lunch for my children the first day I was home, we discovered Jason had not made it to the store to shop for groceries and therefore we were out of Thomas favorite colbyjack cheese. Thomas got really put out. What was he supposed to eat now? He could not have a sandwich without his cheese!!!! Besides there was nothing in the house to eat at all!!!! Nothing good. He was just NOT going to eat ANYthing!!!!! With my heart still in Cambodia I told him of an experience I had had the last day we were in Siem Reap. We had sat down at the restaurant to eat our breakfast. I noticed 2 boys coming in and looking under the tables and chairs. My first thought were that they had been in there to eat just before us and lost something. Silly me! It fast became clear to me that the missing object was food. They were street boys, or at least very poor boys looking for food. Starving! I quickly called the one boy over to me. He appeared to be about 8 or 9. With sign language I asked him if he was hungry and wanted food. He nodded eagerly and could not take his eyes off of my plate. I had just buttered and jamed 2 rather large pieces of bread. I had not yet touched my omelet or opened my water. I put the breads in a zip lock bag I had and did the same with my omelet. My girlfriend had now seen what was going on and helped me put another omelet in a napkin for the boys. I then gave them my water and asked one of the other students for their water as well. The expression on this little boys face when I handed him all that food was priceless. He could have run to the corner and snorfed it all down by himself, but he did not. He ran to his brother and we saw how they together sat down outside and shared. I of course was starving that morning, but hunger had never felt so good to me before. Because I was hungry, those 2 wonderful boys were full. I know you are supposed to "teach a man to fish" instead of just giving him a fish. For the past 2 weeks we had "taught men to fish". Sometimes a man just need a fish too. Those boys had nothing to eat. They had nothing in their kitchen. They were just not going to eat anything, but for different reasons than my son, Thomas. After telling this story nothing else was said in the kitchen for quite a while. My other children ate their food in silence, thankful they had food. Thomas just sat there and thought. After about 4-5 minutes he got up, got the provelone cheese out, put it on his sandwich and ate it in silence. Thank you Youthlinc for giving me this unforgettable experience. I have memories and lessons for a lifetime. Pernille Ream, Mentor.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

My daughter went to Peru with Youthlinc. It was a wonderful experience, but I'm not going to lie, the year leading up to the trip was difficult. She was awarded a scholarship for the trip but had to come up with the rest of the money herself. Working part time while going to school and doing regular community service was very hard. However, she would not have changed anything. Her local service site was amazing and helped shape her thoughts about future careers. She wants to go again but this time she thinks her parents should come!

Donor

Rating: 5

My son participated in the Nepal July group with Youthlinc. The team was assembled before the devastating earthquake. The communication with parents after the earthquake was outstanding. The leadership for the team was wonderful.

The structure of Youthlinc's program is fantastic! I was so impressed prior to the team's departure and am even more so now they are home. Kids are engrossed in service prior to leaving. This continues on the service trip. These kids worked very, very hard for the villagers in Suntakhan village. They met many new friends.

So grateful. Thank you, Youthlinc!

maggie.bradford26

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Youthlinc has shown me how I want to spend the rest of my life: serving others. I could not be more grateful to this organization and to the wonderful people who help make it what it is.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with Youthlinc for years and I couldn't be happier with the results within the community, the international community, the mentors, the students, and their parents. Youthlinc changes lives all over. One of the best parts of Youthlinc is the required community service hours--giving back to the community before going abroad.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization has helped me realize the importance of service and what it can do for your own community as well as international communities. It was a wonderful learning experience for me and I will surly do this again!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Being a part of Youthlinc has changed my life for the better! I would recommend it to anyone whether they are interested in service or not.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Youthlinc provides an amazing opportunity for youth and adults to come together and work on creating a better world by doing local and international service. You may think that the international trip is the whole reason for all of the work that you do, but really, that's just an added benefit. Doing service anywhere and everywhere is the main reason for even joining Youthlinc and you should enjoy giving your all to help others. I loved being a part of the Youthlinc team and helping those around me both internationally and locally. I loved getting to know the people and youth I worked with on a much deeper level at my main service site. I loved creating bonds with the people on my team, and with those we worked with at our international site. In all, Youthlinc is an amazing program and by participating, you will gain new opportunities that you may never get again in your lifetime.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I served as a mentor in the Youthlinc Guatemala 2015 team. I am impressed with both the Youthlinc model and learning philosophy. Students must undertake 80 hours of domestic service prior to their international summer trip along with monthly meetings--this is true committed service and not just a vacation tour masquerading as a service experience. Pedagogically, Youthlinc is very much committed to an engaged learning model coupled with reflection as an intentional piece of the educational process. In Guatemala, Youthlinc partnered with a boot-on-the-ground NGO that was a model for engaged and sustainable development. It was a pleasure all the way around working with the students, community, and NGO as we collectively made a contribution the betterment of us all.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I loved the whole youthlinc experience. i think that the organization as a whole is a much better humanitarian group than many others because of the service hours required. I loved my main service site, it was such a fun way to get involved in my community more and serve. I loved the international trip, i loved the leaders on the trip, my group was the best group ever. definitely one of the best experiences i have ever had in my whole life

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I served a trip to Thailand in 2014 and now in 2015 returned to Nepal. As an alum leader this time, I had new experiences and responsibility. From the beginning of the year, I knew as an alum leader I was held up to a standard as a leader. This new responsibility helped me focus and direct my attention to my team and I felt more involved. Nepal was a new and wonderful experience. With the recent earthquake, there were many things that I saw that changed my views on everyday life. Many people had lost their homes and family members to the earthquake and were out of hope in their life. The children in the village were loving and accepting to everyone that helped. The love you feel for the children and your team after every trip is unreal, you love them as you would love your family. In Thailand, I spent most of my construction time painting and washing floors. As much as painting and cleaning floors is important and the work still needs to get done, I decided before I went to Nepal that I would spend my time doing hard, intense labor. When it was time for the handwork, I made sure that I was willing and happy to help out. The work was hard and very tiring but the overall experience was great. As much as I was tired, I decided long before that I was going to work as hard as I could. At the end of the trip, I felt like I impacted the team and the overall projects with my work. If I have any advice to give to future Youthlinc participants it would be to work as hard as you can. What you end up getting out the trip is so much better than just sitting around. Your sense of accomplishment and that you helped contribute to something boosts your confidence and overall happiness on the trip.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My entire family has always been involved with youthlinc and my sister had previously gone on a trip to Guatemala two years before I was selected to go on my service trip. My sister came home and loved her experience so much I knew I would want to have the same experience as her. Once I was old enough I applied right away and luckily was able to be selected to go on the Thailand July team. All of out meeting throughout the year helped build the excitement to the upcoming trip. Having our 80 hours of service was stressful but well worth it in the end and helped you realize that you don't need to go to an international country to make a difference. Finally we were able to leave on our trip and it reached far beyond my expectations. Everything there was wonderful and I loved every aspect of it. The people and the kids and the whole culture was amazing and I fell in love with the beautiful country.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Youthlinc is the most amazing way to meet new people and serve others. I had the best experience. You're able to connect with new people and make memories that will last a lifetime. It's a great way to experience different culture and better the lives of others. I would definitely go on a trip again

Lori68

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Can I just say, I LOVE Youthlinc!!! My daughter heard about Youthlinc at her high school and she told me about it. Between us, we've done 5 trips. She went as a volunteer and as an alum leader. I have mentored 3 trips. From a parent standpoint, I love the connection between local and international service. I also love the organization and safety of the international trips. I slept well knowing my daughter was in good hands. As a mentor, I am so grateful and inspired. Seeing youth rise to the opportunity of service never ceases to amaze me. The growth I see over the year is huge! Students bond with each other and form international relationships that will touch their hearts forever. I will be forever grateful to Youthlinc!

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Youthlinc's mission is to create lifelong humanitarians. It is geared toward students and young adults. I went to Kajuki, Kenya as a mentor. I went to serve and to teach. But, in reality, I was the one being served and learned much more than I could ever teach. I never knew I could love a total stranger, let alone an entire community. The story and love in the Kenyan eyes I looked into and within the hands I held will last a life-time. I took so many photos hoping to capture each moment, but upon arriving home, I realized that although photos, videos, and journal entries will help trigger memories, the feelings of love and gratitude and burned deep in my heart. Being able to see another culture and give completely for 2 weeks is truly life-changing. I came home wanting to be a better wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, teacher, and humanitarian. Mission accomplished! It was also such a blessing to travel with 38 amazing team members. I felt safe, appreciated, and needed. Youthlinc has changed my life forever!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Youthlinc is an absolutely outstanding nonprofit organization doing good for the people who need it most! We take the preparation we do and apply everything to the in country experience and teach the people how to strive with the opportunities and supplies that they have. Youthlinc isn't just dropping supplies off to the villagers, they're making sure that the villagers know how to use the supplies and know how to strive with and without them. I recommend to everyone, its absolutely astounding.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Youthlinc is a humanitarian nonprofit that I have been involved with for over 3 years. I have done the local service that they require and gone on international trips and can honestly say it's the best thing I've ever done. It makes service and volunteer work more than just a summer fling, but more of daily habit.

Shalese C.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have had the privilege and opportunity to participate in two service year trips with Youthlinc, both of which have been to Kenya Africa. I have been volunteering as a mentor for the Community Health Committee (a smaller group within the team). Everything I learned while studying Public Health in college has been applicable and beneficial to this role. I've really enjoyed the focus on education while we taught about Clean Water, Dental Hygiene, Personal Hygiene, Family Health, Malaria Prevention, STD/HIV prevention, Anti-smoking/drinking, Female Health, and so much more. This last year we were able to also focus on teaching and education girls about their bodies, caring for them, and handing out Days for Girls kits that allow them to continue to attend school even when they are on their periods. This will allow more girls to finish school and go to the University and to be able to change generations in the future. It has been an incredible experience working with everyone; the staff in the office, the team leader(s), the team, and all the people we work closely with while in country. I love the focus on education and knowledge sharing rather then hand-outs. We prepare from October til we leave in the summer for the lessons we will teach, the projects we will implement, and so much more. The preparation time helps to make the experience that much more powerful! When there I feel as though we are working together with the people to help them find solutions that work for them. We are there assisting in the education and sharing of information. I loved my experiences and am excited to continue to be a volunteer/mentor with such a wonderful organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A great year-long service opportunity. Youthlinc delivers! The in-country coordinators found real needs in the community, and we were able to make a difference.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

the Cambodia 2015 trip has been one of the highlights of my life. no other experience could amount to this. leaving our everyday problems behind and traveling half way around the world to serve is definitely something I want to do again. the local service and service in country have helped me develop certain people skills and have gone towards a resume for a bright future. it was hard work in the beginning but it all comes together and is worth it! I loved getting to know the people I met in Cambodia and also the people I worked beside, these people will be life long friends. if you ever get the amazing opportunity to go on a humanitarian trip through youthlinc, just do it! it will be the best decision you have ever made!

Sylvia J.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I just returned from my 6th Youthlinc trip. It was my 4th trip to Kenya. After a 4 year break, I finally got to go on another trip. I hadn't realized how much i missed doing a service trip. From 2006 until this year Youthlinc has evolved and progressed. This was by far my best trip out of the six trips I have taken. Youthlinc does an amazing job organizing the trips. Every minute is filled with meaningful activities. I took my 17 year old on this trip. It was her first service trip and she was excited but did not know what to expect. Now all she can talk about is doing another trip. She told me that she had not expected to get so involved, love the people she served, and get attached to the children in Kenya. She had a hard time leaving and has a completely different outlook on life. Youthlinc manages to organize trips that not only serve the people in country but also forever touches the volunteers, youth and adult mentors alike. None of us comes away from a trip without realizing how much we as Americans are blessed and how fulfilling sharing ourselves with less fortunate children. We gain invaluable culture awareness, and experience. ever since my first Youthlinc trip, I have had a hard time enjoying regular sight seeing vacations. If service is not part of a vacation it seems we waste our time. I can highly recommend Youthlinc to anyone. If you are looking to serve others, while being part of a well organized trip, then Youthlinc is the charity. I don't know of another charity that stresses service in our home country to qualify for the service trip. Youthlinc strives to create life time humanitarians. It certainly has done that for every one of my family members that have participated.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I recently returned from the 2014-2015 youthlinc trip to Kenya. The trip was a fantastic opportunity to learn and grow while serving others. The trip didn't "change my life" it provided an experience that helped others in meaningful ways and in turn, helped me grow as an individual. Actively participating in the 2014-2015 service year helped me realize the impact meaningful service can have on those in need.

I have been back a week and everyday I find my mind wandering to those we helped in Kenya. I cherish those memories and they have fueled a desire to continually look for ways to help those in need. I couldn't be more satisfied with the work and results of the service year. I look forward to continue volunteering with youthlinc. It is a fantastic organization that is effective, well-run, and it changes lives.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It was an amazing experience. It allowed the opportunity to go and serve in a way that not everyone has the chance too. It really reinforced the idea that one person can make a difference if they try. Along with the international service and relationships developed, I was also able to grow through my local service and was able to help kids in Salt Lake as well.

Marci6

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am a parent that had a daughter on the Kenya 2015 trip. Not only was her youthlinc experience in Africa Awesome!!, but it has also magnified her desire to serve others in her community. She is looking for ways to be involved in serving in college and of course talking about her next trip with youthlinc. I always had confidence in Youthlinc that she would be safe and taken care of. I strongly recommend youthlinc to anyone considering it. Plan on sending my last two boys when they are old enough.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Youthlinc is an amazing organization and I really loved volunteering with them. The local service is perfect for getting involved with your community and serving those who need your service. I loved working with the people at my local service site. Real life and Youthlincs partnership is a great one. The international service trip is the perfect ending to the service year. I loved Kenya; the people are amazing, the service is real and lasting and helpful, and the experience is life-changing. I recommend this to anyone interested in falling in love with service.
-Also, for those worried about the cost, I was able to fundraise almost all of my costs. I highly recommend the letter system Youthlinc introduces you to, and if the price is the only thing holding you back, please don't let it. Fundraising works, and this experience is WORTH IT. Thank you Youthlinc!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience this year has been life changing, I was able to volunteer at a school with a high population of refugees students, and saw how important education was for them. The students I worked with were from families in extreme poverty situation here in Salt Lake. When I arrived in Kenya I experienced true poverty. My experience in Kenya was truly magnificent. Working with the children in St. Peter's and Kathwana has changed my life. I feel very close to them, and want to continue working with them in the future. The Youthlinc organization has been wonderful to work with and has Amazing leaders, and mentors that has helped me all along the way.

Tanner H.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Youthlinc has changed my life. Going into the service year, I hadn't realized the importance of local service. Through my time at Horizonte Alternative, I was able to understand the importance of giving back to the community. During my time in Kenya, I saw that poverty is everywhere. I had to go all the way to Kenya to realize that poverty exists at home in Salt Lake City. It was an incredible experience, and I can't wait to continue to volunteer in Salt Lake this fall.

Kaysville Rotary Club

Donor

Rating: 5

The Kaysville Rotary Club is a proud donor for many years. We look forward to sponsoring students each year who come back enriched with life changing experiences, while serving their fellow man in far away places.

Thank you for allowing us to be a part of Youthlinc as a donor.

Comments ( 1 )

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Judy Z. 10/22/2014

Thank you Kaysville Rotary Club - and so many Rotary Clubs in Utah who support the local and international service that Utah youth contribute through our Service Year. We love Rotary, and we love Kaysville Club!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The last time I volunteered with Youthlinc was in 2013. This year I will be volunteering again. I am so excited to meet new people with a similar vision of helping other. My experience in 2013 was life changing and one of the best experiences of my life. I am looking forward to the 2015 service year and working with so many wonderful people.

Advisor

Rating: 5

Youthlinc far exceeded any expectations I had of them. I am so glad I got myself involved in this incredible organization and will be for the rest of my life. They are organized, understanding, helpful, and truly care about their cause and every single person involved with the organization. They work so hard to make the service year the best ever and it always is. You will never regret being involved with Youthlinc because they provide opportunities you cannot get anywhere else. Meeting new people in your community and all over the world, gaining a life-long love for service, being completely changed by the people you meet on your trip and through your local service, and most importantly making a change. I love Youthlinc and recommend it to anyone!