Maximizing young leaders' potential to impact their world through public health, education, and sports initiatives
Our Story Begins in 1994
YFI first began providing summer camp programs for youth diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in 1994 under the banner The Safe Haven Project. As time progressed, the organization expanded its HIV/AIDS programming to Ghana. In 2009, The Safe Haven Project was rebranded as Youth Futures International and YFI launched its first Serve, Learn, & Empower program in Dominase, Ghana in 2010. YFI has since added the Ultimate Med Internship in 2014 and Leadership Through Sportsmanship for 2016. YFI will continue adding new programs and expanding its current programs to new locations in years to come.
Programs for High School & College Students
YFI's programs are designed for high school and/or college students who are excellent students academically and who wish to broaden their horizons with unique international service and educational opportunities. Though the vast majority of all participants in YFI's programs are from the United States, program enrollment is open to all eligible high school and college students from any country that meet the organization's eligibility requirements.
Empowering & Inspirational Programs
Regardless of program location and emphasis or participant age and background, YFI strives to provide empowering and inspiring educational opportunities that will instill self-confidence, sound leadership characteristics, and maximize potential while being immersed in the culture of a program's host country and community.
Young Leaders Inspire YFI into Action
YFI also values the young leaders it meets throughout the U.S. and the world as well as those who participate in its programs. All of YFI's programs exist today because young people were inspired by a speech given by a YFI leader or their experience in a previous program ignited an idea for YFI to pursue. That is how Serve, Learn, & Empower came to be - one student had the idea that YFI should do public health programs, and in 2010 YFI launched Serve, Learn, & Empower. Since then, students have been instrumental in helping YFI launch programs in new locations because of their connections.
YFI Inspires Young Leaders into Action
Today, YFI has young leaders who act as Regional Liaison Officers in countries throughout the world promoting YFI programs in their schools and communities. Other young leaders help YFI with its social media outreach. And, of course, young leaders are instrumental in helping YFI to develop and improve upon its current programs through their participation and the input they give before, during, and after those programs.
The vast majority of schools in the U.S. require students, especially those in high school, to perform a certain number of community service hours before graduating. As a nonprofit organization, YFI is able to sign off on forms schools and school districts have for verifying those hours (all forms from around the country YFI has certified for students who have participated in its programs have stated that organizations must be nonprofit). Most YFI programs do have a service component to them, though they vary in total number of hours (programs range from 20-80 hours of service).