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Using philanthropy as a vehicle, YouthRoots engages high school students in personal development, community partnerships and innovative ventures to foster leadership, integrity and social action, therefore cultivating a network of thriving adults who envision a better future and realize their full human potential.
YouthRoots believes it can empower youth to change the world today and tomorrow. Every day we teach high school youth about themselves, their passions, and their strengths through the lens of philanthropy. Because if we empower our youth to change the world today, we empower our youth to save the world tomorrow. At YouthRoots, it’s about helping our communities today and tomorrow. It’s about making sweeping local change. But behind the scenes, it’s about teaching a group of teenagers "to fish".
YouthRoots is based around a Youth Board that includes 15 of Denver’s most energetic and passionate high school students. The program consists of community leaders and experts mentoring the students around leadership styles in a boardroom, assessment of community needs, setting a strategic plan to impact other local youth, raising funds, and making grants to youth-serving nonprofits in Denver that meet the needs of the community. The money raised by the YouthBoard not only greatly impacts the youth who raised it and granted it away, it also has a huge impact on the end users: thousands of youth in Denver each year. The YouthBoard sets the goals. The YouthBoard does the work. We give them the support they need.
See, we remember being teenagers. We remember having lofty goals, faith in humanity, and little fear of failure... and we also remember people who told us why our big ideas couldn’t work. Frankly, though, it’s up to the next generation to determine how to make their big ideas work. It’s up to today’s teenagers to solve tomorrow’s problems. And instead of tossing up limitations or naysaying their dreams, we want to give them the tools and mindset to do it. Hey, if Denver’s teenagers realize they can make an impact today, there’s a pretty good chance they’ll keep doing it tomorrow. And paying it forward is what changing the world is all about.
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