YouthCharge Program

Change the world from anywhere.

“I have always been told that youth have the power to change the world, but YouthCharge is one of the first places that truly demonstrated that belief.” – Participant

YouthCharge brings together groups of 8-12 students from anywhere to virtually tackle an issue they care about. The program is 100% youth-led and youth-directed. Participants work collaboratively to complete a community needs assessment to determine the biggest issues facing youth, raise awareness and funding for those issues, and make grants to organizations they think best meet the needs of the community.

12 students tackling community issues from home


YouthCharge is comprised of a group of teens using the YouthRoots curriculum to make real community change. We use a unique 3-step philanthropic process to teach teens the skills they need to make an impact. Each YouthCharge board is a mini foundation working to tackle the biggest needs in their communities.



We kick off the year by diving deep into the most pressing issues facing youth in your local communities under a shared interest area (e.g. mental health, education, or equity). Participants interact with a Panel of Experts with decades of experience in changing the world and make the final decisions about what issues the group will focus on.

Next participants get to expose the community to the work their team is doing by meeting with professional movers and shakers and putting on creative fundraising events. They learn the essentials of giving a meaningful Fundraising Pitch and start bringing in the big bucks by meeting with professionals in the community who are looking to contribute to the most pressing issues.

This is where all the hard work pays off! Teams decide which nonprofits are doing the best at meeting the community needs and give away 100% of the funding raised to these organizations. Participants provide much-needed services to at-risk youth who may otherwise not receive them. This program helps develop leadership skills while changing the world!

How it works

YouthCharge is an exciting opportunity for youth ages 14-21* to make community impact from the comfort and safety of their homes:

  • It is entirely virtual. Boards can have members from anywhere around the globe.
  • It is entirely youth-led. Each YouthCharge board will be independently driven by participants, with support from YouthRoots staff as needed.
  • It is entirely experiential. Every meeting has a tangible outcome, and participants gain real-world leadership and change-making skills as they progress through the program. In just 19 weeks, they will make a real, lasting impact on their communities and gain skills needed to succeed in today’s world.

*Youth will be placed into groups based on age, when possible.

Check out the work of the past YouthCharge boards here!


Learn more about YouthCharge’s impact on students and the community – read the Fall 2020 Grant Report, and listen below to hear what it’s like to participate from our alumni.

          Please note that YouthCharge will not be running for the 2022-2023 school year. If you’re interested in being notified about when this program will run again, please contact

Educators: If you’re interested in using YouthCharge at your school for virtual learning or as part of a leadership curriculum, please contact the Program Manager at You can also read more about the program here.