Mission & Strategy


Youthlinc invests in the service ethic of youth in order to foster individuals in our society who understand local and global needs, and who are deeply committed to work to relieve those needs through personal service, partnership, and good will.


Youthlinc creates lifetime humanitarians.


Our core programs (Service Year, Local Service Directory, Young Humanitarian Award, Real Life) are based in principles from educational and service learning research:

  1. Student leadership: We expect students to take leaderships roles in our Service Year, both locally and internationally, and in developing our Local Service Directory. The Directory is filled with service sites recommended by students to students. We honor student leadership through our Young Humanitarian Award, recognizing role models of youth service leadership. Our Service Year students take leadership roles in our Real Life peer mentoring program where we partner with South Salt Lake to provide a life skills curriculum that benefits under-served youth and our Youthlinc students.

  2. Hands on, sustained service which creates an emotional bond: Service learning research shows us that when a person becomes a relied upon volunteer, with direct and meaningful contact with those in need, an emotional bond forms and a deep commitment to service develops.
    Hands on service is central to our Service Year. Service sites included in our Local Service Directory must provide hands on service opportunities to youth. Young Humanitarian Award candidates who have provided sustained hands on service are recognized for their achievements. Service Year students can make Real Life their main service site.

  3. Mentoring: Adult professionals are critically needed mentors in our Service Year. They are role models of service and guides to developing the leadership skills of encouragement, delegation, cooperation, and focus on the common good.
    We include service sites in our Local Service Directory where youth are mentored, and we expect our Young Humanitarian Award candidates to have served as mentors to other youth. Our Real Life Program Director, Real Life interns, and South Salt Lake supervisory staff  mentor Service Year students and South Salt Lake students as they prepare curriculum for the after school program.

  4. Project based learning: Though our formal educational system in the United States values memorization and testing of isolated information, the natural way for humans to learn is to employ interdisciplinary skills through projects.
    Our Service Year emphasizes the planning of projects – locally and internationally. We want the service sites in our Directory and our Young Humanitarian Award candidates and finalists to focus on service project planning as the most effective way to accomplish large, meaningful goals. Real Life curriculum — life skills, health and hygiene, financial literacy, cultural exchange, English language practice – provides a perfect setting for project based learning.

  5. Cooperative learning: When there is a meaningful project to accomplish, the most effective way to reach the goal is to work together. Our Service Year participants work together to accomplish projects locally, and in committees to complete the projects needed at the international site. These projects have been determined with the villagers who work with us to accomplish these goals at our international sites. We want the service sites we select for our Directory and the Young Humanitarian candidates we select for recognition to stress cooperation and teamwork as critical strategies for meeting societal needs. The Service Year students who make Real Life their main service site work together and with South Salt Lake staff and students to plan all activities.