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2016 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 & 7 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

37 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 5

Youthlinc provided an excellent opportunity for my daughter to provide service in Guatemala - it was an amazing program with a lot of volunteer work and just plain helping other people both at home and abroad - they were well organized and I was very impressed.

Donor

Rating: 4

My daughter came home from school one day and asked if she could apply to the Youthlinc international service program. I am so glad that we let her apply because this has been such an amazing experience for her and us. She has not been on the trip to Thailand yet but she has been volunteering in the community on a weekly basis. She works with local refugee children, planning activities with them and being a constant friend to them. I don't know who benefits more, these refugee children or my daughter. Youthlinc requires that members commit a certain number of hours volunteering in the local community in order to qualify for the international trip. Team members also must fundraise to pay their way. Youthlinc wants to create lifetime humanitarians. The rewarding feeling of helping others is invaluable and by completing these volunteer hours, members get hooked on the way it feels to do something for another human being, one who you may not have encountered before, one who you may not have understood before.The international trip will be eye-opening for the participants as well. It will be an experience that our kids will share for years to come and have such an impact on the people they visit. I cannot recommend Youthlinc highly enough! It is such a good cause and helps so many people.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

My daughter has participated with Youthlinc in many ways for a number of years. She has seen and experienced things that have helped her see the world more clearly, and more importantly, she has more clearly seen her place in that world.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

Simply put, Youthlinc is a stellar non-profit organization, and I will attempt to tell you why, though there is not enough space here to mention everything that makes this organization so great.

I was introduced to Youthlinc several months ago when my 15-year old daughter's membership application was accepted and she was asked to join. She is one of the youngest students of Youthlinc this year and will be participating in the service mission trip to Mexico this summer. Within just a few short months, she was warmly welcomed with open arms by Youthlinc, and has gotten to know some wonderful fellow members. She is already having a great humanitarian experience and thoroughly enjoys her local service work at the Real Life refugee center in Salt Lake City. Having observed her sister's experience thus far, my 13-year old daughter is 'waiting in the wings' to apply to Youthlinc as soon as she is eligible.

One of the best things that sets Youthlinc apart from other "youth service organizations" is the fact that there is the requirement for students to commit to completing a minimum number of LOCAL hours of community volunteer work, in order to be eligible to serve at an international site in the summer. The exposure to both local and international community needs is a giant step toward Youthlinc's goal of creating LIFETIME HUMANITARIANS, something that few non-profits accomplish, and that more high school and college students should pursue.

Through my daughter's involvement, I have become very fond of Youthlinc and have also gotten to know some of the Youthlinc staff and students. Because of the heart-felt dedication and clearly established goals of this organization, I decided to become a member of their Annual Benefit Planning Committee. Every person I've met at Youthlinc is nothing short of incredible and commited. It is instantly obvious that they truly love what they do. The Director/Founder, Judy Zone, is a contagious force of enthusiasm and passion, which funnels down to the office staff, the international team leaders, the alumni members, and of course the students and volunteers of this organization. Judy and her small, dedicated staff truly keep this organization performing at top-notch levels and continually aim for success. Having volunteered and worked with various other non-profits, I can tell you that Youthlinc is one of the "smartest", most well-run, well-supported and most dedicated organizations there is, that is committed to bettering both our youth AND the needs of local and international communities. I strongly encourage all high school and college students and their parents to take a much closer look at Youthlinc. You will be very impressed.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

Youthlinc provides great humantarian service opportunites for youth and adults. They encourage service in our community as well as in other countries. Humanitarian service trips are available in many parts of the world. This is a great opportunity to mold our youth and to help them develop care and concern for the less fortunate in our world and to give back to others when they are blessed with so much.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

Great organization, developing young people to be lifetime humanitarians. My son was involved with Youthlinc, and we are now ardent supporters. He earned his scholarship for a trip to Peru by volunteering with a local organization mentoring elementary hispanic students. He then went to Peru and was involved in construction projects, health education projects and youth mentoring. His Youthlinc experience is an experience he will never forget, and has encouraged him to continue his volunteer work in the community. Currently, he is volunteering at our local hospital, as he is considering a career in the medical field.

Donor

Rating: 5

There are many groups who travel around the world performing wonderful acts of service to those in need.
What sets Youthlinc apart is the requirement for service on the home front. Being able to build a school in Kenya, or help with sanitation needs in Peru is generally a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Becoming service-minded and working to address the needs around you is where a lifetime of change can occur.
Youthlinc works to open the minds of young men and women to the service possibilities all around them. It also encourages these wonderful youth to stretch and grow and see what they can do to truly affect change.

Review from Guidestar

9

Donor

Rating: 5

As a mother of 2 students who have participated in this group all I can say is WOW! The experience changed their lives in more ways than I could have ever imagined. The service they offered both locally and internationally touched their hearts and instilled in them a rich desire to continue to serve. More compassion, greater empathy and a love of all mankind was the result of their experience with Youthlinc. Kudos to Judy Zone for a well run organization that empowers kids to get involved.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

My son was a participant in the Thailand experience. It was a chance of a lifetime and he learned so much! He was able to go to the land devastsed by the tsunami and help the people and children. This organization helps youth become global citizens who are compassionate future leaders, who will definitely make a difference in this world!

3

Donor

Rating: 4

We had two of our daughters go to Africa with Youth Linc. I think the hundred hours of service they were required to give at home was the best thing for them. It helped them feel comfortable giving service. I also think the meetings they attended in advance helped them both learn to love the people of Africa. In fact our oldest daughter is now living in Botswana. I'm not sure how much the short two weeks of service they gave in Kenya really helped the people there, but the experience was a blessing to my girls, and hopefully they will continue to make a difference in the world.