For 45 years, we have been known as Y.O.U. That’s not changing any time soon. But we are changing what those letters stand for, to better communicate our mission and our impact. Our organization has always worked to unite youth with opportunities that empower their future. Now, we’re emphasizing that goal with our new name: Youth & Opportunity United. You can still call us Y.O.U., but the letters now stand for what’s really at the heart of our mission.
Why change the name now? With this update of our name, we are signaling that our entire organization is in an exciting moment of growth and transformation. In 2011, we embarked on a strategic enhancement and expansion of our services. We were inspired by the extraordinary 40-year legacy of our founder, Don Baker, and by the pressing need in our community. Four years later, we have an even more impactful program model and we have grown the number of youth we serve annually, from 450 to more than 1,500. More than ever, we are uniting youth with opportunities and a holistic continuum of care that ensures bright futures.
We’re not stopping with name changes, either. Y.O.U. encourages our youth to dream big and embrace bold aspirations. Now we are doing the same. We will be in touch this fall about our exciting plans to deepen and broaden our program impact, enhance our sustainability, and develop a new youth center and headquarters.
This is a momentous time for Y.O.U. and we couldn’t have done it without YOU—our volunteers, our donors, and our community partners. Just as we support youth as they grow into young adults, you have supported us as we have grown to meet the needs of more youth and families over the last 45 years. Thank you for your special role in Y.O.U.’s rich history, and for joining us in our mission to expand opportunity and empower youth.
With gratitude and excitement,