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2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Protect Yourself 1, Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Health, Health Support, Nonprofit Management, Public & Societal Benefit, Public Health

Mission: PY1's mission is to increase precautionary awareness and individual responsibility with respect to HIV/AIDS through music, art, STEM and other media via educational events, programs and activities. PY1 strives to eliminate the taboos, myths and stigma associated with HIV, and to reduce risky behaviors and new infections.

Results: Since the SAFE2LIVE Program inception we have directly served 350 students in school settings and 500 children at community events. PY1’s Safe2Live© Program educates pre-adolescents and helps them to understand and identify risky behaviors, enhance their decision-making skills, and alleviate their fears. Safe2Live empowers youth with the information they need to take charge of their future, and the knowledge to make healthy lifestyle choices and changes. Based on our pre- and post- surveys, we can report that youth’s knowledge of HIV and other related diseases increased over 25% after participating in Safe2live. Since its inception Project Arrowhead© has served 320 adolescents’ at-risk youth from different organizations in Baltimore Maryland and Washington, DC: United Planning Organization (Providing Opportunities with Educational Readiness), Guide Program, Inc., Woodbourne School and Park Heights New Fellowship Christian Community; UMAR (Boxing and Youth Development Center) and Boys Hope - Girls Hope. The youth expressed satisfaction with the program and service workers and parents commented on increased positive behaviors of attendees.

Target demographics: Educate At-Risk Youth about HIV/AIDS/STIs

Direct beneficiaries per year: 100 At-Risk Youth scholars

Geographic areas served: Maryland and Washington DC, nationally and internationally.

Programs: Protect Yourself 1 has three complementary signature programs: Safe2Live Program – An HIV/STI awareness, education and prevention program that integrates dynamic health education and STEM skills acquisition in a student avatar-based virtual reality simulation. The Safe2Live curricula and content are certified and authorized by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and Baltimore City Public Schools. Project Arrowhead – An award winning HIV and well being awareness, education and prevention program that incorporates health education, life skills and leadership development though horse husbandry, community gardening, nature education and physical challenge. The program strengthens disenfranchised youths abilities to achieve their potential through teamwork and collaboration. Be A Protector Campaign – A social media and distance learning campaign to promote environmental education and sustainability.

Community Stories

6 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters



Rating: 5

Over the years I have had the opportunity to work in various diciplines with children and young adults. They would use horses, art, music or another animal such as dogs to work with kids and I saw how successful this was. PY1 and Project Arowhead should have places throughout the United States. There are so many kids that need help, need recognition, need to feel empowered in a positive way which changes their lives for the better. Many of which will go on as adults to help others. Horses and animals in general do not judge. They do not care what your background was or is, what color you are, what sex you are or your political views. Children are not under pressure to perform, they are aloud to just be. In watching this charity and it's work many of these kids would have ended up in juvenile hall or jail or worse. They have been given the opportunity to see another world free from gang pressure, sex, drugs or other substance abuse. And when they do they also find out how great it feels to see the world and their life in a completley different way. It is my hope to see PY1 and Project Arrowhead become offered worlwide and funded. They changes we make in a childs life today will become tomorrows dreams and accomplishments. Thank you PY1 and Project Arrowhead foryour outstanding committment to bringing change-one child at a time!



Rating: 5

I am involved as a volunteer with PY1 through their Be A Protector program. By introducing life-changing information about wellness and health in an entertaining way the program engages participants from all walks of life to be responsible, to change their behaviors and generate the change to protect our planet. Great organization to support....


Rating: 5

We are an organization that provides academic residential housing for at-risk youth in Baltimore, MD. We have partnered with Protect Yourself 1 which has given our scholars a tremendous awareness of HIV/AIDS prevention through youth-friendly technology. Also, it gave them an opportunity to have hands-on experience in nature (gardening, yoga, horseback riding, and overnight camping).


Rating: 5

Project Arrowhead is an extraordinary and unique program for at-risk youth in Maryland. It is my great pleasure to serve as a donor and to help keep this farm and its horses in a position to serve youth in need of healthy and humane learning experiences. Not only is Project Arrowhead important for youth, but also for its mission to help protect wild horses. I donate to this project as I know that all of the funds are used to directly serve horses and humans in a healthy and natural environment.

Previous Stories


Rating: 5

As an educator and librarian who values top quality programs for at-risk youth, I am honored to serve as a volunteer and advocate for ProtectYourself1 and Project Arrowhead. This unique program offers experiences with horses, nature, technology, and classical instruction to students who are most at-risk and most neglected. All of the youth who participate in the camp and in the school game activities receive memorable experiences that will never be forgotten. Learning to trust others, to take care of oneself, and to help create a healthier and more humane environment are the invaluable lessons learned by those who participate in this program.


Rating: 5

I have witnessed an amazing group of people who are dedicated to educating our youth about risky behavior and the danger of HIV/AIDS. The cutting edge technology in which they communicate their message keeps children interested and excited in learning. PY1's team has used imagination and shown extreem effort in making a difference in young people's lives.



Rating: 5

I volunteered over two weekends with Project Arrowhead, a project of Protect Yourself 1, in the summer of 2011. I watched Jean Albert Renaud, or JAR, work with youth from Washington, DC, and teach them how to respect, handle, and ride horses. JAR is magical to watch, with both kids and horses. He speaks their language. It was clear that the experience was transformative for the young people -- their faces lit up as soon as they climbed atop a horse! The program also included education on AIDS prevention., and the youth seemed to be quite engaged with this educational piece. PY1 and Project Arrowhead provide a unique and inspirational adventure for the youth and for everyone involved.