The mission of Youth Making a Difference is to provide leadership training and practical experiences that make a difference in the world, transforming the lives of the participants and those they serve.
The results of the YMAD Leadership Training are based on 7 values of leadership. During the year the teens learn about leadership and how to make a difference in the world from educators, mentors and guest speakers. They apply leadership skills in practical ways, such as working with children in local schools to improve their ability to speak English, or humanitarian expeditions in a developing country to work with children in rural schools to get needed medical care and learn English. The planning, fund raising and execution of these projects gives the teens hands-on experience in taking responsibility, working as a team, serving others, developing a vision, tackling tough assignments, doing research, inspiring each other, and sticking to their commitments. After the yearlong training, the teens look for ways to use these new skills to make a difference for the rest of their lives.
“On a recent trip to northern India, in the State of Hamachel Pradesh, I discovered a discouraging state in the social affairs of the local people. This area remains to be one of the most backward regions of India with an average income of $200 dollars per year for most native residents. Outlying communities remain poor with little hope for government funding to improve their way of life. I paid particular attention to the local orphanages and facilities for battered and homeless women and their children. In the district of Chamba, eight such facilities exist. When I visited five of these facilities I discovered extremely poor living conditions, broken windows, little or nonexistent sanitary facilities, no hot water, poor or no beds and bedding, lack of clothing, minimal kitchen facilities, little or non-existent educational resources and a lack of training or vocational programs to help these native people. After discussing the plight of the local people with government officials in Chamba, I discovered that no outside humanitarian organizations have ever come to aid of these people.
I am certain that the predictable future for these people will eventually spiral downward with no outside support. Facilities that are falling apart will not be improved, living conditions will decline even more, and children will go neglected with no hope for a brighter future or nurturing environments and relationships.
As one who wants to make a difference in the lives of people around the world, I see this as a region that is in desperate need. Lives can be improved; burdens lightened and hope can be introduced into the lives of these wonderful people.”
~ Robert Baird