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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

3 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters



Rating: 5

Protect Yourself 1 is a great program! Using horses for therapeutic purposes is ingenious and provides many with an opportunity to get outside of city limits, and gain an experience that many others are not privy to.

Buffy B.


Rating: 5

I've helped the organizers of PY1 get started in their virtual office at the Nonprofit Commons in Second Life (www.nonprofitcommons.org) and they were very professional about all the little details to ensure their office was inviting and informative because they are dedicated to their cause. They are innovative and wanting to make a difference, and I know will be very successful in reaching their goal.


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.