we are youth roots

Our Program

45 high school students, 3 YouthBoards, 7 months, Tens of thousands of lives changed.

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Our story

At YouthRoots, it's about helping our communities. It's about making sweeping local change. But behind the scenes, it's about teaching a group of teenagers to fish.

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our mission

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.

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Time + Energy + YouthRoots = The Ability to Change the World (by Cassie)

Time + Energy + YouthRoots = The Ability to Change the World

My Nana always told me that my time and energy are the most valuable things I can ever give in this world. That it is time and energy which keep the world moving forward and progressing. Time and energy are important. Time and energy are valuable.

Earlier on in life, I superficially recognized the power of time and energy. I saw it as a simple equation. Time + energy = positive outcome. I applied my time and energy into my schoolwork and sporting endeavors relentlessly.

Around April 2014 my friend Chaye, one of the most inspiring and kind-hearted people I’ve been lucky enough to meet, told me to apply for this thing called “YouthRoots”. Originally, I thought YouthRoots was some sort of evening church youth group. I never imagined YouthRoots to actually be a gateway and catalyst for dozens of teenagers to jumpstart their passions in philanthropy. Once Chaye clarified this to me, I applied immediately.

I’ve always volunteered in my life, whether that was helping at a community run, taking on a summer volunteering responsibility at a shelter, or helping at a hospital. Volunteering is fun and rewarding, but truthfully I never saw the benefits which my volunteering created. I didn’t see how my time and energy had been utilized for the better. As a result, even though I liked volunteering, I wasn’t passionate about it.

So here is where YouthRoots comes back into the picture. Like I said before, time and energy never meant much more to me than a comprehensive way to achieve what I aspire to. YouthRoots is what changed the meaning of time and energy for me. Truthfully, it was a paradigm shirt. For the first time in my life, I finally understand what the value of time and energy really means when it comes to keeping the world going. I have YouthRoots to thank for that.

YouthRoots has shown me that my time and energy alone can make a huge impact in my community though youth philanthropy. Time and energy alone have the ability to drive compassion, kindness, charity, and so much more. YouthRoots has enabled me to uncover the power of time and energy, and what the application of the two can create.

This year, I had met tons of awesome people my age with the same vision to change the world, and I have learned that even though I am “just a 17 year old girl”, I can be the change I wish to see in the world through utilizing my own time and energy.

Thank you YouthRoots—for empowering teenagers to change the world (literally).

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Governance: Communication Tools to Help Build a Relationship (By Ariana)

Throughout the course of YouthRoots, we develop leadership skills through different classes. One of the classes was based on decision making in a group, called Governance. In order to have an effective outcome in one's decision making, we need to develop a relationship and trust all through communication. Relationships are complicated therefore, trust is absolutely needed. Relationships also impact interactions due to influencing the decision making. (Click to read more!)

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The Importance of Initiative (by Mac)

I’ve learned a lot over my two years at YouthRoots, but as strange was it sounds I think the most important thing YouthRoots ever did for me was emphasizing the importance of taking the initiative. As a board run by us youth, there’s a lot that we have to directly due in order to raise the money needed to fund other non-profits, and all of them require us taking the initiative. WE identify the problems in the community, WE start discussions about how we want to solve these discussions, WE brainstorm and organize our various fundraisers, and WE are the ones who make the final decisions about who to fund. For a bunch of high schoolers, that’s a lot of WE, seeing as most of us still have our parents around and have them help us out here and there. But after realizing how much initiation is critical to the success of our YouthBoard, I realize just how important taking the initiative is to me as an individual.

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Join us

Year-End Celebration was a Huge Success!

The night brought laughter, tears, amazing food trucks and tons of fun! The Space Gallery was filled with 250 people celebrating the fact that three YouthBoards raised $22,000 for 14 nonprofits!!! The students led the entire program including check presentations, testimonies, and we even had an aluni from the first two years come make a big ask! The power of youth philanthropy was evident that night and I encourage you to sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date with our exciting growth and impact! 

Also, we almost doubled our expected fundraising goal so it was a very successful night on that front as well! Thank you all for coming and if you missed it, you are in luck because we get to do it again next spring!   

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Every year, Denver's most passionate high school students come together to learn how to make a difference in the world. YouthRoots is a leadership development program that uses the philanthropic process as our experiential classroom to teach students how to change the world and give back to their community. Check out this video that summarizes the 2013/2014 program year!

15 Students Changing the World!.

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we're looking for you

Members of YouthRoots have some things in common. They're ambitious. They're creative and innovative. They're leaders. They want to make big dreams come to life. And at the core, they're motivated to make vast improvements in their world and community. Sound like you?

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