building strong, safe, and dynamic communities through youth-adult partnerships


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Our programs offer more than recreational activities or a place to “hang out,” focusing instead on fostering connections between youth and their communities.

Youthlinks offers a wide variety of activities in four program areas to serve a diverse population of youth with varying interests. These activities all have certain core components in common:

  • they are all process-oriented, so that youth focus not only on the task at hand, but also their own growth and learning
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  • they all offer individual attention and flexibility
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  • they provide youth with mentors
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  • they all encourage youth to take the lead in some way, developing their own critical thinking and leadership skills
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  • and, rather than simply providing a safe, separate place for teens, our programs all actively engage youth in their communities, helping them to learn and practice ways in which to be valuable, contributing, healthy community members.

Our programs are offered during school in our Classroom Connections program; after-school; on Saturdays; and throughout the summer.

Click the photos below for more information about each program area.

Community Connections: This program focuses on volunteering with other nonprofit organizations. Youth volunteer with elders, in animal shelters, in arts organizations and other agencies. These activities not only provide constructive after-school activities, they involve the guidance of adult mentors and facilitators, and they provide youth with valuable learning experiences, both in terms of their own growth and in their knowledge of the community.

Challenge Me:Our challenge and adventure program builds self-confidence, self-esteem and self-knowledge through games, exercises, and outdoor activities. The Directions program, a weekly program incorporating challenge, adventure and community service,  is specifically for youth at-risk and youth in the corrections system.

Learning Links:This enrichment program focuses on leadership, aspirations, and  technology. Our activities vary from tobacco use prevention advocacy to web design in this program that builds self-esteem and reaches out to youth who are just discovering their leadership skills and other talents.

Cultivating Connections:Our year-round Garden Program provides youth with opportunities to spend time with mentors, learn horticultural skills, study hunger issues, learn craft and culinary skills and give back to their community. The 4,000 square-foot garden provides over 2000 pounds of food each year to local food banks, soup kitchens, and homeless shelters.