Since 1994, YouthLaunch has advocated for youth empowerment through service.
Our mission is to foster programs and partnerships that empower young people to become change makers in their schools, communities, and the world beyond.
What we do: A systems-level approach to youth empowerment.
Through our strategic partnerships, we advocate for youth service learning programs that give young people the chance to make a positive difference.
The focus of our work is to create systems whereby young people can recognize and experience their capacity to be change-makers. Participants in our partnerships, programs, and initiatives develop a sense of community and purpose. Additionally, they gain empathy, leadership skills, and an appreciation for giving back.
YouthLaunch believes that collaboration is key to successful youth service programs. We currently partner with a variety of schools, government agencies, and community organizations to design, implement, and operate programs through which young people develop the skills and assets they need for lifelong success, while providing needed service to the community.
Board of Directors
President + Founder: H. Grant Thomas
Vice President: Michelle Rossomando
Principal, McKinney York Architects
Secretary: Rebecca Yerly
Project Analyst, TXP, Inc.
Treasurer: Stuart Block
Tax Manager, Powell, Ebert & Smolik P.C.
What We Believe: The YouthLaunch Theory of Change
After more than two decades in the youth service field, YouthLaunch has distilled some essential characteristics that underly all that we do: the YouthLaunch Theory of Change.
YouthLaunch was founded in 1994, under the name Peer Assistance Network of America (PAN-America). Its founding was inspired by the success of the PAL (Peer Assistance Leadership) Program, a peer mentoring program that began at one Austin high school in 1980 and is now being implemented by hundreds of school districts throughout Texas and beyond. The central purpose of the organization was and is to serve as a champion of the concept of youth empowerment through service.
In 2004 the organization was renamed YouthLaunch, reflecting the expanded scope of its work. Since its founding, the organization has initiated and participated in a wide variety of noteworthy programs and partnerships that exemplify the youth as resources concept.
Read about our legacy programs here.