Each year, we receive notes, emails, and phone calls from the parents of the students who have completed our Service Year. We share some of these messages here so that parents whose sons or daughters are considering Youthlinc participation can read what other parents have said.

Each year, at our General Orientation in November, there is a special meeting for incoming parents with a panel of past parents. Please never hesitate to contact our office so that we might put you in touch with the parents of past participants.

Youthlinc is a youth-oriented service organization with its primary purpose to create life-long humanitarians. The local service the youth engage in is an excellent way to have them connect with their communities. The international experiences are incredibly life-changing. My daughter went to Kenya and Mexico with this group, and it has truly helped her become a global citizen. I love the connection with Rotary as well! Many of my high school students have also been involved, so I have seen many lives changed because of this program! Very well organized!
We are SO excited about Morgan's involvement in the Youthlinc Service Year to Thailand. Even the fundraising was a humbling, profound experience. She raised the entire amount and then some, and has redefined generosity in her Life Book...it's been incredible.  The whole process...from application to sponsorship to service hours to fund raising to team meetings that all culminate in the two week service projects...has truly been a 'package' that will impact her life from here on out.
I was nervous the day before my daughter’s presentation to the Springville Rotary Club about her Youthlinc Service Year. I did not know how exactly what she would say, but she nailed it right on. I was so proud of her! She spoke very highly about her experiences with Youthlinc and what she had learned at her service sites both here in Utah and in Cambodia. When she was done talking the members started to ask all kinds of questions. She answered them very well and showed some pictures too. In the end she thanked them again and everyone clapped. The President of the club thanked us for coming he ended with the words: "I know we sometimes wonder and worry about our youth today but I can see that right here we are in great hands. Good job, Mom. You raised her well." Needless to say I was beaming, but I know that had it not been for Youthlinc she would not have had some of these amazing growing experiences. THANK YOU for accepting her and letting her and me be part of this great program. I hope I will be able to participate with my other children when that time comes too.
I was a mentor on the Kenya 2013 trip.  It sounds cliche, but it truly was an experience of a lifetime and one I know will live within me forever.  The other mentors were amazing people, all with unique gifts to give.  The students surpassed expectations I had before our adventure.  They worked tirelessly and always with a smile and a positive attitude.  Their compassion was an incredible model for my young son who accompanied us. Our team spoke often about service as belonging and never was it more true than with this group and with the communities that we visited.   One of the priests at the school said, "It only takes a minute to know someone, but you remember them for a lifetime."  I feel blessed to have made this journey in the company of so many stellar individuals.
 
Four years ago, a friend who has been involved with Youthlinc for years, offered to sponsor our oldest daughter on a Youthlinc trip.  He said it would change her life.  We sent our oldest daughter and our youngest daughter to Cambodia.  Our family has not been the same since.  All of our children have become more service oriented and are involved in local service where ever they are.  Youthlinc has created a perfect opportunity to get anyone involved in local and international service.  Our family has definitely caught the service bug.  We can’t thank Youthlinc – and our friend -enough for showing us the way to a lifetime filled with service.                                                                                                         ~ Jim and Shauna McMaster
Our family first got involved in Youthlinc through our daughter. She wanted to do service in a meaningful way, and wanted to avoid “humanitarian tourism” so prevalent in many organizations. Youthlinc fosters true humanitarian development because it requires that its participants devote a substantial amount of time to local service. The sites where these youth serve are carefully considered to ensure that they meet certain criteria, specifically, that they allow program participants to interact with other people and to make a substantial long-term contribution to a worthy cause. You could say that we are now deeply embedded in Youthlinc. This organization is more than a resume-builder; it is a life-changing endeavor.                                                                     ~ Mike and Karen Draper
Our Youthlinc experience has spanned five years, four daughters, and seven international service trips. Along the way, Youthlinc has provided our girls with amazing opportunities for planning, responsibility, personal growth and commitment to service, both local and international.  Service has always been an important part of our family’s values, and Youthlinc has woven into our lives a meaningful thread of personal, very real experiences with many beautiful people.                                                                                      ~ Maria and Tom Moynihan
I was nervous the day before my daughter’s presentation to the Springville Rotary Club about her Youthlinc Service Year. I did not know how exactly what she would say, but she nailed it right on. I was so proud of her! She spoke very highly about her experiences with Youthlinc and what she had learned at her service sites both here in Utah and in Cambodia. When she was done talking the members started to ask all kinds of questions. She answered them very well and showed some pictures too. In the end she thanked them again and everyone clapped. The President of the club thanked us for coming he ended with the words: "I know we sometimes wonder and worry about our youth today but I can see that right here we are in great hands. Good job, Mom. You raised her well." Needless to say I was beaming, but I know that had it not been for Youthlinc she would not have had some of these amazing growing experiences. THANK YOU for accepting her and letting her and me be part of this great program. I hope I will be able to participate with my other children when that time comes too.
Our family first became involved in Youthlinc through our oldest daughter Kajsa. She joined the Kenya team during her sophomore year in high school and it struck a cord inside us all. Three years later, our younger daughter Siri joined the Kenya team and in 2012 she became an Alumni Leader for the Thailand team. Youthlinc allowed our daughters to engage in community service locally and work on sustainable projects abroad as well. Since their time with Youthlinc, both Kajsa and Siri have continued to actively engage in the Salt Lake community – by working with the resettling refugee population and finding groups on their college campuses to engage academically. Although I am incredibly thankful for what my daughters have taken from their time with Youthlinc, I recognize it has also impacted me and my husband. We stay involved because we see what a positive impact Youthlinc can have on young people. It is a program that opens minds and engages everyone involved, whether in Salt Lake City or Iquitos.
My 15-year old daughter was one of the youngest students this year to participate in a Youthlinc service trip to Mexico. As a parent who admittedly possesses some degree of helicopter-type parental tendencies, I will in fact admit that I was initially quite nervous to have my daughter travel out of the country by herself for the first time, so naturally, I proceeded with caution in going along with her plan and desire to fulfill this giant leap of humanitarianism. (But what parent in their right mind would deny their teen the opportunity to self-embark on such a wonderful pursuit?? My heartstrings had suddenly been yanked; I was "in".) To make things even easier on me, her Team Leaders were phenomenal. To this day, I am still in awe of the heart-felt dedication and commitment that the Youthlinc Team Leaders, Mentors and Alum participants possess! From the outset, these people put in 110% effort to make sure the trips are a success. My parental anxiety was put at ease on more than one occasion by these wonderful, caring people. I can't fully express how incredible this journey has been, not only for my daughter, but for our entire family. Like other Youthlinc parents will attest, the Youthlinc experience is indeed life-changing for these students. I don't think I can mention any accolades or praises here that have not already been said by other parents, and I could go on for pages and pages about all the great things that Youthlinc truly is... but what I will say (or reiterate) here, is that as a parent of a Youthlinc student, you TOO will benefit from this incredible experience. Simply put, your child will become a better person because of Youthlinc (what more could a parent ask for?). Youthlinc is all about creating lifetime humanitarians, and as an added bonus, it is wonderfully 'contagious'. My younger 13-year old daughter is now counting the days until she is old enough to apply for Youthlinc service. Youthlinc's unique platform is a winning combination of engaging students with their peers, in both local and international service, and truly provides a broad introduction of humanitarian service opportunities, which many young people may not otherwise get the chance to experience. If your son or daughter is even remotely interested in Youthlinc and gets this chance, I urge you NOT to pass it up!
The Youthlinc Service Year 2011 trip has been our family's focus for the last year. Our daughter Jessica, who wanted with all of her heart to take this journey, also got the unique opportunity to see a different side of my husband, her father, as he traveled with her as a team mentor. The sacrifice that our entire family made, both of time and of money, doesn't even begin to compare with the rich experience that was shared during the time they spent serving here and abroad. The connections we make, the relationships we form, the value we place on an individual's life, will never be forgotten, and will never be in vain. For all of the service rendered, Jessica knows that she received so much more than she ever gave. How beautiful to learn at such a young age what brings true joy during our mortal existence...being in the service of others. Thank you, Youthlinc, for instilling this love in our children.
Katelin is our third child to participate in the Youthlinc experience. All three of them have had incredible experiences. For Katelin a defining moment in her life was an experience in which several members of the medical team ventured into one of the villages out in the bush to observe the team doctor. A woman came in with a small boy, the little guy looked ravaged by illness. The boy had malaria, worms, parasites and giardia. The medicine for all of the aliments would cost the equivalent of $5, the woman only had $2. To watch the face of mother of this sick child as the doctor through an interpreter change from despair to complete relief and then to enthusiasm and joy will stay with Katelin forever. The team doctor told the woman -- as he did all of the patients he saw during the international experience -- that the cost of the treatment would be covered by him and that to repay him he ask only that they do something kind to someone else in the coming week. Patients and their family would leave excited and happy to ‘pay it forward’. It was a great experience for Katelin and for our family to hear her tales of service and what it meant to her.
I read a draft of Elliott’s thank you letter to all those who donated to his trip. It choked me up how much his volunteer service meant to him.  His trip to Thailand was clearly a life altering experience and one that will solidify his foundation as a person.  I don’t think the notion of how fortunate we are in this country really sinks in until you’ve experienced how difficult life can be in other parts of the world.  Yet, according to Elliott, the people of Thailand are the happiest and most grateful people in the world.  He fell in love with the people of Thailand and the Youthlinc friends he served with. As a parent, I am thankful to Youthlinc for Elliott’s opportunity to serve in Thailand.  Elliott now lists his service through YouthLinc as his single greatest and most rewarding achievement.  From my perspective, this is true for the development of his character, as well as his education.
Our involvement with Youthlinc lasted from Aug 07 thru July 08 about once per month until our daughter left on her service trip organized by Youthlinc. Our experience with Youthlinc was fulfilling and rewarding for us, and especially for our daughter Marissa. We felt confident of Youthlinc providing adequate supervision and guidance to facilitate our teen-age daughter to travel to Peru and boat up the Amazon River to the village of Santa Rosa with school supplies, clothing donations, and to work on some building & pathway improvements in the village. She saw first-hand the need for the "haves" to help the "have-nots." She returned home as a young woman with a different perspective on life and how each human can have an effect on others. She raised all the funds herself (about $2,500) needed for the trip ... teaching her the skills required to raise donations for worthy causes. She solicited building supplies from local builders for some of the improvements and organized the sock donations to go with all the shoes that others collected. Each youth took an extra bag full of clothing donations for the children of the village. The skills and memories she acquired will be beneficial throughout the rest of her life.
My son was a participant in the Thailand experience. It was a chance of a lifetime and he learned so much! He was able to go to the land devastated by the tsunami and help the people and children. This organization helps youth become global citizens who are compassionate future leaders, who will definitely make a difference in this world!
As a mother of 2 students who have participated in Youthlinc all I can say is WOW! The experience changed their lives in more ways than I could have ever imagined. The service they offered both locally and internationally touched their hearts and instilled in them a rich desire to continue to serve. More compassion, greater empathy and a love of all mankind was the result of their experience with Youthlinc. Kudos to a well-run organization that empowers kids to get involved!
We had two of our daughters go to Africa with Youthlinc. I think the hundred hours of service they were each required to give at home was the best thing for them. It helped them feel comfortable giving service. I also think the meetings they attended in advance helped them both learn to love the people of Africa. In fact our oldest daughter is now living in Botswana. I'm not sure how much the short two weeks of service they gave in Kenya really helped the people there, but the experience was a blessing to my girls, and hopefully they will continue to make a difference in the world.