Solar Youth has inspired and excited so many young people in the New Haven area. By bringing environmental education and leadership building to young people without many advantages, Solar youth will have impact on the world for many years to come. I have been a supporter since it's beginnings and am amazed at the amount of work they do and numbers of youth they reach with a modest staff and budget.
Review from Guidestar
Having met Solar Youth's founding executive director (Joanne Sciulli) eight years ago, I have followed the organization's work ever since. Integrating environmental and civic education with a caring, safe, supportive setting in which young people assume increasing responsibilities and leadership roles, Solar Youth is a tremendous asset to the New Haven community. Impressed by its sustained offerings and accomplishments, I have been pleased for years to contribute financially to its operations -- one of many small-scale donors who appreciate how much this nonprofit delivers on a modest budget. My most personal connection to Solar Youth has come through a young man I've mentored, now in 10th grade, who has been part of the organization since I met him when he was a 6th-grader. His maturity, social and verbal skills, environmental awareness and general sense of responsibility have grown in significant measure through his affiliation with Solar Youth. Through a collaboration involving it and the Urban Resources Initiative, he also obtained a job planting trees here in New Haven, an assignment that further fostered his knowledge of natural resources while giving him teamwork and work experience. Though youth development is not my area of professional expertise (which involves school-university partnership in development of teachers), I do have some acquaintance with the broader out-of-school field through a research project that a fellow graduate student and I did for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts about a decade ago. With that grounding in the key characteristics of high-quality youth and out-of-school programs, I can say with confidence that Solar Youth is an excellent one. It deserves greater recognition and support.
Review from Guidestar