The Youth Philanthropy Initiative makes social entrepreneurship concrete and sustainable. Teenagers participate in a three-year program focused on a community project of their cohort’s choosing, and they become experts in a particular area of philanthropy through research, organization, and long-term planning.
We are leaders in a growing movement to transform millennials’ desire to do good and their ability to actually do it.
One student defines the Youth Philanthropy Initiative as “AP Life.” YPI is today’s best students addressing clear needs of their peers—from education to mental healthcare—and developing into leaders in their communities, better prepared for academic, professional, and emotional challenges they will face in college and beyond. We focus on the following four pillars:
The entire YPI program is based on the idea of helping others. Over the three years, participants learn about the nature and types of giving, non-profit management and social entrepreneurship. Students eventually identify their own philanthropic values and create an individual giving plan that reflects their personal priorities.
YPI participants experience leadership from many angles during their three years. They have multiple opportunities to practice leadership through committee work and experience what its like to mobilize others toward particular outcomes. Through YPI they will get to meet face to face with many adult leaders from business, education and nonprofits. The lessons they learn from YPI are meant to serve them over a lifetime of service and leadership.
Most teenagers approach college without a clear sense of self. YPI provides many experiences that help students discover their values and personal strengths. Through the wide ranging experiences of YPI, students are able to identify areas of interest and passion. Each member takes the Strengthsfinder assessment and is encouraged to continually develop their areas of natural strength while concurrently developing awareness of their weaknesses and how to manage them.
YPI participants gain hands on knowledge of how to identify community problems, research them and develop intervention strategies to improve them. Students learn advanced strategic project planning, and also experience the realities of implementation. By the end of the three years, YPI members are highly capable of turning ideas into action.