Catalyzing Change:
Our 2023 Impact

Introduction from IYF President & CEO, Susan Reichle

Significant global events have marked 2023, including unprecedented temperatures, mass migration of refugees, and conflict. However, at IYF, we are inspired by the resilience and determination of young people and how they are tackling some of the most difficult challenges of our time. In IYF’s 2023 Impact Report, Catalyzing Change, you’ll meet some of our dedicated partners and supporters and learn how together we are equipping and supporting young people to pursue jobs and lives that align with their values, passions, and dreams.

2023’s record temperatures remind us of something young people have been saying for years—we need to care of the planet! IYF’s strategy, Transformation 2025, was refreshed to include climate as a cross-cutting theme. You will read about initiatives like Green Generation MX which focuses on equipping young people with the green skills they need to secure the jobs they want in the rapidly emerging green economy. Learn more about IYF’s climate change initiatives.

In 2023, we also launched several ground-breaking programs with new global corporate and foundation partners. UP for Change, with support from the Oak Foundation, provides opportunities for young people with learning differences to contribute their perspectives, skills, and other strengths as part of a grant-making process. Burberry Inspire unlocks the creativity and leadership potential of youth in five countries and also serves as a testament to our commitment to cultivating the next generation of leaders. Our dedication to youth leadership goes beyond our programs, with a quarter of IYF's Board having young social entrepreneurs as full Board members, embodying our belief in the power of youth to shape the future.

Since IYF’s founding, locally led development, and especially local partnerships, have been integral to how we work around the world. In our 2023 Impact Report, you'll discover how LEAP Africa, a long-standing partner of IYF, is addressing a crucial need by supporting young, early-stage social entrepreneurs in Nigeria through the Youth Enterprise Fund, generously funded by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. You will also read about Quest Alliance, an Indian organization created in 2005 by a young leader IYF invested in to lead a program funded by the United States Agency for International Development. Eighteen years later, Quest is a powerhouse nonprofit serving over 500,000 young people each year in India’s education sector. I’m hopeful and inspired to see organizations like LEAP and Quest which continued to grow after our initial program ended. These are just a few examples of localization and progress beyond programs that began long ago as part of IYF’s approach to achieving sustainable results.

We also “glocalized” IYF, reimagining our operational model and leaning deeper into our long-standing practice of all our programs and offices being locally led. That means positions previously held by Americans in the United States—in departments such as Communications, Monitoring and Evaluation, and Finance—are now based in the Global South. Later in the report, you’ll hear from Jorge Barragan, promoted to the role of Executive Vice President of Programs, as he explains more about the value IYF places on localization, not only under our own roof, but in our programming and partnerships, too.

I’ll end with one of my favorite parts of 2023 to date. Several years ago, IYF launched a summer Diversity, Equity and Inclusion paid internship program, In 2023, we were privileged to host six interns who brought creativity, digital skills and energy as they collaborated closely with teammates across the organization. They contributed to IYF’s mission in ways that left us stronger than when they arrived—including this terrific video they created for International Youth Day 2023.

Everything you discover in this Impact Report is made possible by your generous support. Together, we can empower and inspire young people to reshape their lives and create the world they deserve.


Susan Reichle

IYF President and Chief Executive Officer

Programs and Partnerships

Meet IYF’s Executive Vice President for Programs, Jorge Barragan

Our collective challenges, such as youth unemployment, mental health and environmental degradation vary in their impact on youth worldwide, depending on geographical, social, and economic contexts. This diversity implies that solutions in one region may not be readily transferable to other places due to distinct socio-cultural, economic, and environmental factors.

IYF's approach to tackling these challenges is uniquely “glocal,” seamlessly integrating global issues while crafting customized strategies in collaboration with local communities. IYF's commitment to this glocalization approach is evident in my own journey within the organization. I joined IYF a decade ago as a USAID project manager, working at the grassroots level. Today, I have the privilege of overseeing our global programs, a testament to IYF's dedication to this transformative approach.

Tailored solutions are the linchpin of this approach, resonating with local values and priorities. IYF's approach involves crafting bespoke solutions alongside local communities, tapping into the insights, networks, and perspectives of local partners. A cornerstone of this process is the active involvement of young people and key stakeholders.

The power of tailored solutions lies in their ability to yield enduring transformations that persist beyond the program's duration. IYF nurtures and champions local change agents, fostering true partnerships with local government, private enterprises, and civil society groups. These partnerships empower local collaborators to leverage IYF's profound expertise in youth development and resources to experiment, refine, and scale effective solutions that cater to local needs, sustained by local resources.

In the following section, you will be introduced to several remarkable IYF partners—both funders and implementers—and gain insight into the collective impact we’re generating and understand why investing in young people holds such profound significance.


Jorge Barragan
IYF Executive Vice President, Programs


Localization 15 Years Later: The Story of Quest Alliance

From 2005 – 2008, Quest Alliance was a three-year program that IYF implemented in India with funding from USAID. Under the leadership of Aakash Sethi, then 23 years old, the program thrived for three years until it came to a natural close. In 2023, fifteen years after the program ended, Quest Alliance is an independent powerhouse organization that serves 500,000 young people each year, equipping them with 21st-century skills.

In August 2023, Quest Alliance achieved a significant milestone by receiving a MacKenzie Scott Grant. Aakash, who still directs the organization, explains: “After the program ended, USAID was keen that we didn’t close the project in India. My team and I agreed—we felt as though we were starting to gain momentum just as we were wrapping up. So, we drew up a plan for incubating and registering Quest Alliance in India. Incubating an organization wasn’t the norm back then, and we knew there would be risks and challenges. But my team and I were excited to continue running with the program mandate around ed tech, technical learning, partnerships, taking an ecosystem approach, putting youth agency at the center, and leading through collaboration. It was part of IYF’s DNA to ensure knowledge was transferred not only during the program life cycle but even after the formal funding relationship ended. Back then, this wasn’t part of the operating model for most nonprofits. As a value proposition, it was unique and something we thought we could take to potential funders. We were excited by it and thought it was something donors would be excited by, too.” Hear more from Aakash in this recent interview.

Systems Change for Skills-Based Hiring in Banking

Before the partnership between Bécalos, the Asociación de Bancos de México (Mexican Bank Association, ABM by its Spanish acronym) and IYF, major banks in Mexico reserved bank teller positions in the country for college graduates. This practice contrasted with the global norm, where high school graduates often filled such roles. IYF facilitated the transition to skills-based hiring in the Mexican banking sector by leveraging its systems change and bridging the gap approaches.

IYF first quantified the challenge banks faced - their struggle to meet talent demand - by calculating the costs associated with high turnover, lower productivity, delayed digitalization, and branch openings. We linked these issues to exclusive HR policies and presented their findings to bank executives.

Leveraging its partnership with ABM's nonprofit arm and IYF's long term strategic ally, Bécalos, IYF advocated to align HR policies with Bécalos' mission to empower disadvantaged young Mexicans. Bécalos successfully persuaded the board of directors of ABM, a consortium representing major banks, to launch a pilot program for competency-based hiring, provided candidates met eligibility requirements. This decision was based on the data indicating the labor market challenges faced by administrative technicians and the proven success of previous IYF programs.

IYF worked with major banks' HR representatives to develop industry-focused curricula, train instructors, and ensure the quality of the program. In a historic move, all six of Mexico’s most important banks sent HR teams to the employment fair for the pilot program graduates. These technicians will be the first non-college graduates to work as bank tellers in Mexico.

Today, skills-based hiring is a standard policy among ABM member banks, and the consortium Bécalos-ABM-IYF-developed curriculum is part of the technical upper secondary curriculum in three Mexican states. This initiative has already empowered 2,200 young individuals to participate in the approximately 45,000 entry-level positions that the industry requires each year, with a direct connection to banking institutions, on-site visits, learning sessions with bank personnel, and direct recruitment efforts. The potential impact on the Mexican banking sector and its workforce is profound, bridging the gap between education and employment, opening doors for countless new graduates, and transforming the industry's recruitment practices.

Being the Partner Young Social Entrepreneurs Need

IYF believes young innovators and doers are some of the most effective, responsive, grassroots changemakers and are at the forefront of addressing the biggest challenges of our times such as climate change and education inequality. That’s why supporting young social entrepreneurs has been a core focus of our strategy for over 20 years. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, IYF launched the Global Youth Resiliency Fund (GYRF) to put resources directly in the hands of youth-led ventures delivering vital services to address COVID and create a better post-COVID world. Read the final impact report to see how awardees used catalytic funding to develop new models and scale innovation in their communities, like Miriam Reyes Oliva whose team at Aprendices Visuales created an online platform to train 1,500 teachers to utilize visual learning tools to provide more inclusive education to 30,000 young students in Spain.

Our co-design and partnership with the 28 GYRF awardees taught us much about what it takes to partner well with young people, and the distinct needs and experiences of early and mid-stage entrepreneurs. To replicate successful elements of the GYRF model and explore new horizons in creating more youth-friendly entrepreneurship systems at the local level, IYF is partnering with LEAP Africa to implement the Youth Enterprise Fund (YEF).

IYF first partnered with LEAP Africa, a youth-focused leadership development organization based in Nigeria, in 2013 to support the initiation and strengthening of their Social Innovators Programme (SIP). Our work together focused on building the skills of young social entrepreneurs, facilitating access to networks and resources for youth-led projects, and advocating for the importance and credibility of youth-led social innovation. SIP was one of the regional institutes of IYF’s flagship YouthActionNet program and is one of nine that remains active to this day. In the past decade, LEAP has sustained and scaled the SIP initiative, including cultivating new funders, expanding its reach to 12 African countries by leveraging technology, and growing the SIP alumni network to almost 300 emerging social entrepreneurs. Recent evaluations confirm the model's continued effectiveness, with most Fellows reporting the usefulness of mentorship for personal and organizational development, along with the creation of new partnerships and access to fresh local and global opportunities.

With continued support from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, YEF allows IYF and LEAP Africa to resurrect their historic partnership to refine approaches to assessing the capacity of youth-led enterprises, providing needs-based mentorship and training, and strengthening the enabling environment for early to mid-stage social entrepreneurs. The initiative is expected to generate valuable evidence for how actors engaged in philanthropy and entrepreneurship may better assess the needs and potential of young social entrepreneurs and provide the appropriate support at various stages in venture maturity. The YEF project also highlights the importance of partnerships like IYF and LEAP’s for strengthening enabling environments for young people around the world and supporting the efforts of local youth-led and youth-serving organizations.

“The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation proudly invests in youth all over the world to promote agency, create opportunities and build momentum so today’s youth can play a role in shaping a positive society for all of us.”

—Peter Laugharn, CEO, Conrad Hilton Foundation

Climate/Green Jobs

Green Jobs = Good Jobs

Mexico's shift towards a low-carbon economy is reshaping its employment landscape, driven by automation, decarbonization, increased nearshoring investment, and evolving energy demands driven by environmental, social, and governance requirements. In response, companies are investing in self-sustaining power generation and energy-efficient facilities that incorporate robotics and remote sensing, focusing on producing items critical to the energy transition, such as electric vehicles.

IYF's Green Generation MX program proactively prepares young people for this evolving job market, with an emphasis on digital disruption, the energy transition, nearshoring, and artificial intelligence (AI). Graduates will have the expertise to effectively manage automated processes and use AI to improve energy efficiency, especially in the production of cutting-edge products such as electric vehicles.

With the generous support of the TK Foundation, the program is in the process of developing three curricula:

  1. Data Science for High School Students: Developed in partnership with the Mexican Energy Efficiency Association and UCLA’s Introduction to Data Science Project, this curriculum prepares students to discern what questions can be resolved with what data, how to collect that data with remote sensors, and how to analyze it.
  2. Energy Efficiency for Industrial Engineers: Developed in partnership with the Mexican Energy Efficiency Association, this curriculum provides industrial engineering students with essential energy efficiency skills they need to optimize entire factories, recognizing the importance of cross-departmental collaboration.
  3. Electric Vehicle Assembly: A customized curriculum is being developed in collaboration with major Mexican automakers and parts manufacturers to support the transition to electric vehicle production.

These curricula aim to equip individuals with the skills necessary to succeed in Mexico's evolving labor market by powering the energy transition.

“The TK Foundation partners with IYF because it shares our commitment to investing in youth. IYF offers a variety of programs and services that help young people succeed in school, get good jobs, and become engaged citizens. We believe that by investing in IYF, we are investing in the future.”

—Patricia Benevenia, Program Manager, TK Foundation

Transforming South Africa's TVET Education System

Launched with great anticipation in November 2019, High Gear has been a beacon of hope, ushering in a new era for South Africa's public Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) college system aligning it to industry labor market demands, particularly with the energy transition to elecrtic vehicles. This dynamic collaboration led by the National Association of Automotive Component and Allied Manufacturers and the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), working in tandem with IYF, High Gear is a transformative initiative aimed at empowering South African youth and revolutionizing the country's technical education system in the automotive and engineering industry. High Gear draws on industry knowledge and skills imperatives—along with IYF curricula enhancement tools—to strengthen the market relevance of select public TVET college courses.

For over two years, High Gear has been connecting electrical and mechanical engineering TVET students to the automotive industry. During its first phase, High Gear established sustained partnerships between industry and TVET colleges to align courses with employer needs while ensuring that TVET students have equitable access to high-quality, relevant training and improved employment opportunities.

In response to the increasing demand for STEM skills and the need to support the transition to new energy sectors, High Gear is committed to using best practices and knowledge from the High Gear model to expand our work in STEM fields, emphasizing employability, future-ready skills, and emerging energy sectors such as solar, hydrogen, green energy, renewables, and artificial intelligence. As the automotive sector continues to evolve, High Gear remains dedicated to equipping students with skills that will be relevant in the near future.

For example, as electric vehicles rise in popularity, there’s a greater need for upskilling automotive engineering TVET students to deal with the emerging demands that new technology often brings. In collaboration with the British High Commission of South Africa, High Gear is currently in the research phase to identify priority electric vehicle competencies necessary to support the growth and functioning of South Africa’s electric vehicle manufacturing and servicing sectors and enable more TVET graduates to enter this emerging industry with the ultimate goal of creating a sustainable avenue from graduation to employment.

The goal is to equip all budding automotive engineers in TVET colleges with the necessary skills to attend to both fossil-fuel and electric vehicle requirements. By doing so, High Gear will not only increase the country’s talent pool in the sector but also provide essential skilled human capital to the fast-growing electric vehicle industry.

Ultimately, High Gear aims to demonstrate a model for greater industry involvement in TVET course design and delivery that generates enthusiasm from TVET educators and industry, while also generating positive returns for young people and employers. The UK Government’s Skills for Prosperity Programme is funding High Gear implementation in KwaZulu-Natal Province, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation are funding implementation in Eastern Cape Province.

“High Gear is a transformative initiative aimed at empowering South African youth and revolutionizing the country's technical education system. Under the leadership of IYF, High Gear has already made significant strides in addressing the challenges faced by the TVET system. By bridging the gap between industry demands and student skills, High Gear is equipping young people with the relevant knowledge and opportunities needed for successful career pathways.”

—David Modiba, Deputy Director: TVET Curriculum Development and Support, Department of Higher Education and Training

Economic Opportunity

Bridging the Skills Gap in Brazil

In 2012, IYF and the Caterpillar Foundation joined forces to launch EquipYouth, a global initiative to increase youth employability prospects and fostering entrepreneurship. Implemented in 14 countries on three continents, this initiative has been instrumental in preparing young individuals with quality technical and vocational education and training, or TVET curricula and training practices to address industry needs.

Since 2016, EquipYouth has strengthened TVET systems in Brazil, Mexico, Panama, and Peru, with a focus on developing practical, industry-relevant skills. In these nations, a remarkable 85% of program participants have successfully completed their training, while 63% of graduates have gone on to secure employment in their chosen fields. 92% of employers have expressed their satisfaction with the graduates they have hired. By tailoring its approach to address the unique needs of youth in different regions, we anticipate EquipYouth will positively influence the lives of approximately 30,000 young individuals through high-quality TVET programs by 2024.

The recent success of this partnership in Brazil has been so profound that it has paved the way for expansion. Currently, the program is in its final phase, during which 1,071 young individuals have received training in both technical and socioemotional life skills over the past two-and-a-half years. In Brazil, the program has observed the positive outcomes of the approach, exemplified by success stories such as Clarissa, who graduated from EquipYouth in 2021 and secured employment at the flour mill Grande Moinho Cearense in 2022. She also underwent training in teamwork and emotional intelligence, which prepared her for college and the workforce. “This for me was a great achievement, and it helped my family a lot because I could contribute to the expenses at home,” Clarissa said. Her experience is a testament to the transformative power of equipping young people with the skills they need to succeed in the workforce. Today, Clarissa envisions a future where she can create a lasting impact while adeptly managing a job, contributing to her family's income, and pursuing her college education. As Clarissa puts it, "We are young with an immense future waiting for us."

“IYF has a long-standing commitment to innovative approaches to close the skills gap. Caterpillar Foundation is proud to have partnered with IYF since 2007 in several countries around the world to connect young people with opportunities to transform their lives and create innovative ecosystem-based approaches.”

—Asha Varghese, President, Caterpillar Foundation

Empowering South African Youth and Beyond

In a proud partnership between IYF, De Beers Group, and the Department for Higher Education and Training (DHET), the Skills for Life (S4L) program has been making waves in South Africa. Designed to fortify the public TVET college system, particularly in Limpopo's Vhembe and Capricorn districts, S4L is transforming the lives of disadvantaged youth with a mission to equip them with essential life skills and technical know-how to amplify their academic and career prospects. Here's a snapshot of its impact:

Capacity Strengthening of TVET Colleges: A key milestone was the successful integration of IYF's Passport to Success® (PTS) life skills content into existing TVET qualifications, a feat that was approved and funded by DHET. This integration reached approximately 144,000 students across all 50 TVET colleges in South Africa as of May 2023. Nationally, 363 lecturers have been capacitated through IYF’s virtual training programs to use pedagogies and methodologies that are more youth-responsive.

Enhancement of Student Outcomes: Improved student results are reported and attributed to S4L's commitment to student success. Lecturer capacitation and enriched teaching methods have been widely observed and lecturers and college management unanimously testify to the significant benefits received from IYF's training, enhancing learner engagement, comprehension, and academic performance. Additionally, workplace readiness targets have been exceeded, with 1229 young individuals successfully placed in learnerships and employment opportunities.

Engagement of the Private Sector: A core programmatic strength lies in the facilitation of effective engagement of the private sector through strategic partnerships and collaborations with employers and industry associations. This inclusive approach, coupled with support from key government entities, has led to the creation of various job opportunities for young people in the region. This success in the area serves as a model for sustained partnerships, further strengthening TVET institutions' capacity to secure valuable work placements for youth across various sectors.

S4L is marked by tangible achievements and a commitment to the empowerment of South Africa's youth through strengthening the TVET college system and nurturing the potential of young individuals. Building on the success of the S4L program in South Africa, De Beers Group and IYF are extending their collaborative efforts to establish a sustainable skills ecosystem in Botswana. The project kickstarted with the implementation of an ecosystem-based skills gap assessment in Botswana. This project’s aim was to comprehensively research, analyze, and document various aspects, including the economic and employment growth opportunities in Botswana, the skills necessary for young individuals to access these opportunities, the extent of knowledge and skills mismatches, and the systemic issues contributing to these misalignments. Through such interventions, the program aspires to bridge these gaps and foster a brighter future for Botswana's youth.

“At De Beers Group, we continuously strive to improve the lives of the people in our host communities and producer countries, guided by not only our purpose – which is to Make Life Brilliant – but also our Building Forever framework. This includes investing in education and skills development to aid young people transition into the world of work and realize the future that they want.”

—Gregory Petersen, Principal – Socio Economic Development, De Beers Group | Johannesburg, South Africa

Celebrating Five Years of the Youth Opportunity Program

Now in its fifth year, the Youth Opportunity (YO) program has reached 16,528 young people in partnership with 10 community-based organizations (CBOs) in Washington D.C. and Chicago and a national partner, Jobs for Americas Graduates (JAG). Among these participants, 57% identify as female, 62% are Black, and 23% are Hispanic. In addition, 55% of the program’s participants have secured employment or advanced their education, and 79% self-reported an increase in life skills, such as self-awareness, time management, communication and problem-solving skills, and conflict management.

Since 2018, McDonald’s and IYF have been on a mission to reduce barriers to employment for adolescents and young adults, and we have made great progress! By training 300 Passport to Success (PTS) facilitators in our partner CBOs, engaging 99 YO Ambassadors and Global Youth Council members, as well as increasing access to creative digital curricula, such as PTS Explorer and the SOAR Leadership program, the YO initiative underscores the importance of local partnerships, youth voice, and effective life and leadership skills curricula to strengthen youth agency and achieve positive youth outcomes.

“McDonald’s created its Youth Opportunity Initiative to reduce barriers to employment for two million young people by 2025. We want to ensure that youth are prepared for success in any career path they choose, whether it's working in a McDonald's restaurant or pursuing other opportunities.”

—Jenny McColloch, McDonald’s Chief Sustainability & Social Impact Officer

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Youth-Led Grantmaking

UP (Unique Perspectives) for Change is a new IYF initiative, made possible thanks to the support of Oak Foundation. UP for Change engages youth with learning differences, or youth interested in learning differences advocacy, empowering them to co-design, manage, and learn from a grant fund in support of Oak Foundation’s learning differences strategy. Through this unique 3-year program that elevates youth leadership and agency, young people from the United States will play a leading role in the grantmaking process to fund approximately six community-based organizations through subgrants that promote more equitable education for students with learning differences, particularly those who experience further marginalization due to racism and poverty. UP for Change strives for young people to experience increased belonging, agency, purpose, and engagement in their communities, as well as to build knowledge and understanding of what works best for diverse learners and influence systems to embrace and adopt enabling conditions.

Transforming Young Lives through Creative Expression

Designed in partnership with Burberry Group plc and supported by The Burberry Foundation, the Burberry Inspire program aims to create opportunities for more than 500,000 young people over the next three years to unlock their creativity and drive positive change in their lives and communities.

At the heart of Burberry Inspire is a commitment to respecting the diversity of young people’s lived experiences, valuing their perspectives, elevating their authentic voices, and supporting their creative development and expression. This approach to youth development, referred to as Creative Youth Development (CYD), recognizes that creativity and creative expression take different forms. For example, some young people may demonstrate their creative spark through painting, music, theatre, or dance while others may express themselves in a STEM-related field by finding innovative solutions to serious challenges faced by people close to home, or across the globe. From a CYD perspective, we know the positive role creativity—of all varieties—plays in the development of a young person’s self-confidence, connection to self and others, and sense of hope for the future.

This commitment to CYD is shared by IYF, The Burberry Foundation, and nine youth-serving partner organizations that are already empowering young people in their countries and communities. Among these local partners are organizations that focus on the creative arts; science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM); life and leadership skill building; and a variety of other programming that makes them a perfect fit for the Burberry Inspire initiative. Operating in Italy, Japan, South Korea, the United Kingdom, the United States–and as of October 2023 in Hong Kong S.A.R., China– these organizations bring critical expertise and a deep understanding of local contexts, including the unique challenges and needs of the young people in whose lives they are already making a powerful difference.

Empowering Youth and Embracing Equity

IYF's commitment to the Coalition for Racial & Ethnic Equity in Development (CREED) is a natural alignment with our mission to connect young people with opportunities to transform their lives. By signing the CREED pledge, we emphasize our dedication to promoting racial and ethnic equity within our organization. This collaborative initiative allows us to work alongside other organizations with similar values, amplifying our collective efforts to create a more inclusive and equitable world for youth. Watch this video to hear our President and CEO Susan Reichle share IYF's commitment to the CREED pledge.

To ensure ongoing training for our current and new IYF staff and to establish a common understanding and language, we have developed training sessions to understand racism, its consequences and impacts on employment and conflicts, how to detect it, and how to contribute to its elimination. These sessions are designed to update our team on the global perspectives surrounding racism and to emphasize the importance of an intersectional approach to gain a deeper understanding of the issue. This, in turn, equips us to continue our mission of supporting and empowering young people through IYF's various programs and activities.

Learn More About IYF's Initiatives

Individual Donors

It is thanks to the unrestricted support of our donor base that IYF is able to urgently and effectively innovate and refine our program offerings to better meet the most pressing needs of youth today. Gifts of every size make a big impact on the youth we serve—from monthly online donations, to employee giving and matching campaigns, to larger annual contributions. Thank you to all of our supporters for your dedication, trust, and generosity! Together, we truly are transforming lives.

This International Youth Day, celebrated on August 12, we reached out to our donors and asked them to share their thoughts on why they choose to invest in youth and support IYF. Here's what they had to say:

“The youth of the world represent our legacy and our values. It’s up to all of us to ensure they have every opportunity to succeed. IYF does exactly that. Let’s collectively strive to ‘leave this world a better place than we found it’ by assisting every child in succeeding in this mission.”

—Andrew J. Elder, President & CEO, The Elder Group, LLC

“There is no better way to change the world than to inspire, train and educate youth to believe they can make a positive difference. The International Youth Foundation, through its global programs, is helping young people all over the world realize their potential both personally and in community. IYF leaders are passionate and dedicated and constantly seek to innovate. IYF is worth learning about.”

—Maureen Orth, Founder, Marina Orth Foundation, Medellin, Colombia

“Investing in our youth provides the greatest return of any investment we can make—the S&P 500 return is dwarfed by what a single young person can do if they reach their potential. By investing in youth, we are compounding our interest —they become the greatest asset we have as a society, nation, and world.”

—Frank Salvatore, IYF Supporter
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IYF's Global Board

“As the Chairman of the International Youth Foundation, I am truly inspired by the potential and energy that young people possess. Investing in youth is not only a moral imperative but also a strategic necessity for building a brighter future. I believe that empowering young individuals with the right skills and opportunities is the key to driving positive change and sustainable development worldwide.”

—Joe Matalon, Chairman, ICD Group Limited

“IYF saw potential in me when I applied for the Youth Action Net program, which truly transformed my life and startup. When the opportunity to join the IYF Council presented itself, I didn't hesitate because I aspire to contribute to IYF's efforts to create a positive impact on the lives of young individuals.”

—Cinthya Andino, Co-Founder, Beleaf

“I invest in youth and believe in IYF’s mission because in this time of rapid change and unprecedented challenges, I believe that it is not only our responsibility to make a positive impact in our world now, but more importantly, we will be held accountable to ensure that we enable our youth to make an even greater impact by fully leveraging their agency in ways we never imagined to meet these challenges head-on and change our world for the better.”

—Donzel Leggett, VP, International Supply Chain, General Mills, Inc.

“Youth will be the key component to establish all the positive changes we need for our world, but this will be only possible if we boost inter-generational collaborations that can connect people in power with young changemakers. IYF has being a world-leading organization doing this.”

—German Santillan, Founder and CEO, Oaxacanita Chocolate