Youth As Resources

Three kids from the First Robotics Team grin and hold a check in front of a blue backdrop covered in United Way's logo and "Live United" slogan. The check has the YAR and United Way of Racine County logos and is for $1,000 for the team's stem robotics merit badge workshop.

Empowering Young People

to make a positive difference in Racine County through the principles of youth-adult teamwork and youth-led service, Youth As Resources is a youth leadership development initiative whereby middle school students are recruited to grow towards their highest potential.

Purpose and Function of Youth As Resources:

  • Promote youth as capable community contributors who have valuable ideas and are able to take on responsibilities with energy and skill
  • Empower youth to develop and apply their capacity to transform themselves and the world in which they live through active participation in the relationships, events and institutions that impact their lives
  • Foster youth/adult partnerships where adults play a significant role as respectful partners and where both youth and adults share power and decision making
  • Promote the direct involvement of youth in their communities as productive workers, as agents of change and as advocates for themselves and others in organizations and institutions throughout the community
  • Promote in youth the development and acquisition of new knowledge and skills by providing support and challenging opportunities.

Youth As Resources History

The Youth As Resources model was conceived in the mid-1980s by the National Crime Prevention Council with the idea that young people who feel invested in and valued by their community are less likely to commit crimes against their community. Youth As Resources recognizes youth as valuable resources and engages them as partners with adults in bringing about positive community change.

Youth As Resources began in Racine County in 1996. Original funders include United Way of Racine County, the S.C. Johnson Fund, Racine County, the Racine Community Foundation and private individuals. Since 1996, Youth As Resources has funded 420 community service projects totaling $286,000.

In 2007, Youth As Resources began operating as an investment committee of United Way of Racine County. The Youth As Resources board would make funding recommendations for approval by United Way of Racine County’s Community Investment Committee.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, YAR permanently ceased funding grants. It continues to operate as a youth leadership initiative.

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