Background & Mission

We remember being teenagers. We remember having lofty goals, faith in humanity, and little fear of failure. But we also remember people who told us our big ideas wouldn’t work.

YouthRoots believes it’s up to today’s teens to solve tomorrow’s problems. We catalyze this natural energy and passion of youth by providing a holistic leadership curriculum that uses the philanthropic process to teach youth how to communicate, make decisions, foster their passions, and align their strengths. We develop thriving young adults and authentic leaders.

YouthBoard members set the goals. They do the work. We give them the support they need. As one participant stated, “I love that everything is real: real pitches, real businesses, real grants and real change. It’s not just a class or simulation.”

YouthRoots graduates embrace the world with the confidence, tools, and optimism to make their dreams a reality.


Founded in 2010 by Lacey Books, YouthRoots has gained esteem and recognition as our impact has grown. We’ve expanded from serving 15 students a year to 75 students in the metro Denver area. We have an additional YouthBoard in Dearborn, MI through a partnership with the Center for Arab American Philanthropy.

YouthRoots participants have increased the funding pool for community nonprofits by raising and granting $81,000. Our evidence-based program and community dedication have not gone unnoticed; YouthRoots accepted the 2014 Governor’s Service Award for Outstanding Non-Profit Organization, and was recognized as one of Stay Classy’s Top Ten Best New Charities our first year.

Our mission:

Using philanthropy as a vehicle, YouthRoots engages high school students in personal development, community partnerships and innovative ventures to foster leadership, integrity and social action, therefore cultivating a network of thriving adults who envision a better future and realize their full human potential.

“Outstanding Nonprofit Organization!”


2014 Governor’s Service Award

YouthRootsBackground & Mission