Youth Service America

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Youth Service America
Youth Service America logo.png
Logo of Youth Service America
Formation 1986
Type Youth organization
Legal status Non-profit organization
Purpose Youth Service America’s mission is to expand the impact of the youth service movement with families, communities, schools, corporations, and governments.
Headquarters Washington,DC
Young people ages 5-25
President & CEO
Steve Culbertson
Website Youth Service America

Youth Service America, or YSA, is a resource center that partners with thousands of organizations committed to increasing the quality and quantity of volunteer opportunities for young people, ages 5-25, to serve locally, nationally, and globally."[1] YSA has a reputation for supporting and promoting youth voice, youth service, and service-learning through advocacy, resource sharing, and handing out over $1 million in grants. Steve Culbertson is the President & CEO.


Founded in 1986 with support from the Ford Foundation, Youth Service America’s mission is to expand the impact of the youth service movement with families, communities, schools, corporations, and governments. Founded and led by Roger Landrum for over a decade, YSA organized the youth service movement that led to the National and Community Service Acts of 1990 and 1993. YSA pioneered National Youth Service Day, New Generation Training Program, Working Group on National Youth Service Policy, National Service Leadership Seminar, Prudential Youth Leadership Institute, Fund for Social Entrepreneurs, and National Service SuperConference.

YSA seeks to improve communities by increasing the number and the diversity of young people serving in important roles. With programs focused on youth ages 5-25, Youth Service America envisions a global culture of engaged young people who are committed to a lifetime of service, learning, leadership, and achievement.

According to research by Independent Sector and Youth Service America (Toppe; Golombek), youth service is a fundamental correlative to lifelong volunteerism and philanthropy as adults. Americans gave $295 billion to charity in 2006, and most of these donors were also volunteers for various health, education, human service, and environmental causes. Surveys show the majority of these generous adults who volunteer actually started the practice as children.


With the support of the State Farm Companies Foundation and PARADE Magazine, Youth Service America organizes Global Youth Service Day, a public education campaign to highlight the amazing contributions that young people make to their communities 365 days of the year. As the largest youth service event in the world and YSA's premier program, it draws together a remarkable consortium of local, regional, national, and international partners. YSA developed the Global Youth Service Day program in 2000 which now takes place in more than 100 countries.

Other programs include:

  • Technology, such as, the nation’s largest database of volunteering opportunities; to deliver state specific resources to students; to support the organization's outreach to partners; and to support Global Youth Service Day;
  • Microfinance grants that use a teaching application process to encourage hundreds of high quality, measurable, service-learning projects by young people around the world;
  • Government relations to encourage an ongoing Federal and State investment in national service programs such as AmeriCorps and in service-learning programs including Learn & Serve America;
  • Youth Voice initiative to help young people influence adults and contribute to policies and problems that affect them;
  • Communications to spread the word to media about young people as assets and resources.

YSA has also been a long-time partner supporting the National Service Learning Conference, co-sponsored by the National Youth Leadership Council.


  1. ^ About Us YSA website

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