Youth Development Programs

All across the world, young people face difficulties in navigating the rocky journey into adulthood. Although the challenges may differ based on their location, the untapped potential in kids is universal. Check out these resources to help support young people in the United States and around the world. Get involved! Donate time, money, expertise, or supplies. And feel free to recommend programs and organizations to help expand the lists.

Click an organization name to visit its website.

U.S. Youth Development Programs

826 National
Strong writing skills are fundamental to future success. The 826 organization offers inventive programs to help under-resourced students, ages 6-18, explore their creativity and improve their writing skills. The organization operates chapters in New York, Boston, Seattle, San Francisco, Michigan, Chicago, DC and Los Angeles.

Breakthrough Collaborative
At 33 locations nationwide and abroad, this nonprofit prepares high-achieving middle-school students, most of whom are of color and from low-income families, to enter and succeed in college-prep high school programs. It also recruits and trains high school and college students to become Breakthrough teachers and build an interest in careers as educators.

Children of Promise, NYC
NEW!!Β  This nonprofit provides an after-school program, summer day camp, and other services for New York children who have a parent serving time in prison. Children of Promise empowers children of incarcerated parents to break the cycle of intergenerational involvement in the criminal justice system.

The Food Project
For 20 years, The Food Project has combined agriculture, enterprise, and service to help youth develop skills, leadership, and mutual understanding across geographic, socioeconomic, and racial boundaries. Urban and suburban teens cultivate Boston-area farmland, participate in workshops, lead volunteers, and expand community food access.

More Than Words
This Boston-based social enterprise empowers young people to take charge of their lives by taking charge of a business. By working as a team to manage their own retail and online used book business, cafΓ©, and community space, youth develop the employment skills, leadership, and self-confidence they need to successfully transition to adulthood.

The Possible Project
This youth entrepreneurship center teaches high school students to start and run their own businesses. Based in Cambridge, Mass., The Possible Project empowers young people with the knowledge and skills needed for success — helping them to find their voices, explore possibilities, and take action on their chosen pathways.

Summer Search
With chapters across the country, Summer Search helps resilient, low-income high school students to become responsible and altruistic leaders. The program provides year-round mentoring, life-changing summer experiences, college advising, and a lasting support network.

Global Youth Development Programs

Better World Cameroon
his NGO works to engage young people in the design of sustainable agricultural initiatives. BWC operates a number of programs aimed at mitigating food crises and poverty in Cameroon, promoting ethical land use that reflects African values, and providing youth with opportunities for training and cross-cultural understanding.

Blue Kitabu
Focused on sub-Saharan Africa, Blue Kitabu believes every child deserves the opportunity to attend school so that they can brighten their future. The organization works with communities to provide educational infrastructure, materials and teacher training for the most vulnerable populations. It emphasizes viable business models to eliminate aid dependence and promote sustainability.

Breaking the Cycle
This United Kingdom-based organization works to expand access to education for girls in Bangladesh. Due to costs for books, uniforms and transportation, many girls do not attend secondary school. Breaking the Cycle provides direct financial support to help decrease the financial burden on families and expand long-term opportunities for girls and women.

The Do Write Campaign
Founded by a sophomore at Phillips Academy, The Do Write Campaign calls for teenagers from all over the world to submit writing, artwork, photography, and videos to create an online literary magazine and support system. Do Write encourages young adults to share their stories with others from polar worlds who, despite being so different, may relate.

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