At Thirst Project, we always said we were building a socially conscious & active generation of young people. We realized that everything from awareness to empowerment to activation was something we could actually be intentional in designing programs around to help students move through that process and we realized in doing so we could do it, not just to tackle the water crisis, but any social cause or issue. We could meet them where they were and help them develop as young leaders and equip them with the tools they needed to take action around the causes they care about the most.
These programs develop very real hard and soft skills that students need in their academic and professional careers. Skills like: Organization & Strategic Planning skills, Communication & Public Speaking skills, Goal Setting, Fundraising, Marketing, Event Planning and more.
With Fundraising being one of, but not the only skill that we wanted to cultivate in students, it became incumbent upon us morally and ethically to ensure that we disproportionately provide access to these programs in schools and communities that historically have not had as many leadership development opportunities. Because of this, we have prioritized offering our programs in schools whose students and families are low-income (below the national median household income) and Title 1 schools.
We realized there really was a duality of missions — two different things we were focused on — ending the global water crisis and building a socially conscious generation of young people. So, to give each one the attention and resources they needed and deserved, I decided to create LYL.
BUT…the counter to that is, we ALSO know that when students get involved in these kinds of programs:
- 90% of young people who participate in extracurricular programs are less likely to commit suicide. *
- Young people who volunteer are 50% less likely to abuse drugs, alcohol & cigarettes. *
- Students who volunteer at least 10 hours per week are much less likely to feel depressed than those who don’t. *
- 75% of colleges state that extracurriculars are an important determining factor in the admission process. *
We are impacting the lives of hundreds of thousands of young people every day, and ushering in the next generation of young leaders. A new day is coming. And the young people are here.
Founder & CEO