creating lifetime humanitarians

Salt Lake City, UT   |


Youthlinc is a Utah based 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with the mission of creating lifetime humanitarians through local & international service. Our core programs (Service Year, CONNECT, Young Humanitarian Award, Real Life, Global Community Leadership) are based in principles from educational and service learning research: student leadership, hands-on sustained service, effective mentoring, cooperative and project based learning.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Justin Powell

Main address

1166 E Brickyard Rd

Salt Lake City, UT 84106 USA

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NTEE code info

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Human Service Organizations (P20)

Citizen Participation (W24)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Youthlinc Service Year

Our Service Year provides a structured school year long curriculum including 80 hours of local service and monthly meetings where young people are mentored to take leadership roles in service activities at our international sites.

Each year, >180 Utah students participate in the Service Year, with 50-60 adult professionals serving as mentors. Each year, our students provide >15,000 hours of local service

Population(s) Served
Young adults

Our online Utah Local Service Directory is a student friendly resource of service agencies recommended for providing hands-on service in a positive mentoring atmosphere. Anyone who wants to volunteer can search by category, post a review of a service agency, or log and verify service hours.

Population(s) Served
Young adults

We organize an annual statewide search for Utah’s Young Humanitarian, awarded two $5,000 college scholarship with two $3,000 and six $1,000 runner-up Awards. Our goal is not only to recognize outstanding youth achievement in service, but to inspire other young people to serve their communities.

Population(s) Served

Teen refugees in South Salt Lake are mentored by Youthlinc Service Year students through Real Life. Under the guidance of our Program Director, Assistant Program Director, and program interns, Youthlinc Service Year students plan and implement an after school curriculum of financial literacy, health & hygiene, job & college preparation, English language practice,and cultural exchange. This unique teen-to-teen mentoring program provides additional leadership & service opportunities to our students, as well as valuable learning and acculturation, and mentoring experiences for the refugee and immigrant teens who participate.

Population(s) Served
Immigrants and migrants

This program is administered by Youthlinc in partnership with Utah State University to provide students with a local upper-division credit with a capstone 2 week international learning and service component.

Population(s) Served
Young adults

Where we work


2014 Top Rated Nonprofit 2021


Top Rated 2022


Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The Youthlinc mission is to create lifetime humanitarians by fostering youth who understand local & global needs & who are deeply committed to relieve those needs.
The volunteer assistance Utah secondary & college students contribute through our programs benefits needy individuals served by social welfare organizations locally & in villages in six underdeveloped nations: Cambodia, Guatemala, Kenya, Peru, Thailand, and Nepal where we undertake education, community health, business development, vocational training, cultural exchange & construction/renovation initiatives.
To create lifetime humanitarians, we provide meaningful hands on opportunities for youth to learn service leadership in a mentoring atmosphere – locally & globally:
1. Service Year: 300+ Utah secondary & college students are accepted at the beginning of each school year. Under adult guidance, students collaborate to complete projects, assume leadership, and come to understand that through hard work & partnership, each of us has the ability to make a difference. Each student commits to volunteer 80 hours locally, becoming a relied upon volunteers.
Students take leadership in monthly meetings to plan and implement service at the team’s international site during two weeks in the summer.
2. The Utah Local Service Directory is a selective resource of statewide agencies recommended for students by students for hands on service. The Directory allows all volunteers to record, verify with a supervisor, track, and report their service.
3. The Utah Young Humanitarian Award is an annual search for college and high school students who excel at giving back, recognizing them with two $5,000, two $3,000 & six $1,000 college scholarships.
4. Real Life is an after school teen refugee mentoring program serving 400+ refugee & immigrant teens. 120+ Service Year students carry out - under the direction of our Program Director - a curriculum of life skills, financial literacy, health & hygiene, English language practice, & cultural exchange.
5. Global Community Leadership: an academic and practical humanitarian college course + international trip in partnership with Utah State University.
Near term goals:
1. We plan to accommodate increased demand for our Service Year while maintaining quality curriculum & staff oversight.
2. Through the Local Service Directory, students will now earn the President's Volunteer Service Award, for which we are now a certifying organization.
3. We want to spread the word about our Utah Young Humanitarian Award, cultivate speaking and outreach activities for the awardees, so that more young people can be inspired and motivated to volunteer.
4. We desire to maintain Real Life services at 12 sites in 2019, serving 400+ refugee & immigrant teens.
5. We desire to run three study abroad courses/trips with Utah State University in 2019.

All Youthlinc programs & operations are based in strategies from educational & service learning research: Our participants take leadership, locally & internationally. We stress hands on service by relied upon volunteers, direct & meaningful contact with those in need, forming an emotional bond & a deep commitment to service. We expect all participants to be mentors, role models, guides who encourage, delegate, cooperate & focus on the common good. We are project based – a natural way to learn & employ interdisciplinary skills. We stress cooperative learning because when there is a meaningful project to accomplish, the most effective way to reach the goal is to work together.
In 2005, our Board & staff aligned all programs & operations to our mission & strategies. This alignment continues to guide our growth & fulfillment of our near term goals.
Our small staff is empowered by our Board to take leadership & ownership, as they work with hundreds of enthusiastic alumni who also know how to take leadership, accept mentoring, & work cooperatively on projects. Because of our volunteers, sound financial management, and many in-kind donations such as donated office space, Youthlinc management overhead costs are 5.6%. We are able to invest in & keep knowledgeable, capable full time staff who can refine & grow the organization, and who are paid compensation equal to nonprofit organizations larger than Youthlinc.
Our Board actively engages in committee work and plans strategically, developing creative approaches to reaching near term goals. In our most recent strategic planning, our Board revamped our sponsorship/financial aid system to accommodate increased demand for our Service Year.

With only 5 hard-working, knowledgeable, capable full time staffers, we operate a Service Year with 450+ participants (traveling to eight underdeveloped countries & contributing 22,000+ hours of local service), an online & interactive Utah Local Service Directory, the state’s largest service scholarship Utah Young Humanitarian Award & an after school mentoring program which serves 400+ refugee & immigrant teens in South Salt Lake.
We are able to accomplish so much through effective use of volunteers. FTE hours for our volunteer leaders in our Service Year and Real Life program would increase our staffing by 10. Dozens more volunteer to organize our benefits, office & other projects. We are also assisted in the year round planning of service and projects internationally by volunteer Rotary clubs & NGOs.
Our Governing Board members are personally involved, deeply committed. They actively promote & fundraise, give generously of their money & time to oversight, financial management & strategic planning. Our Board, Executive Director & CPA/Accountant emphasize sound internal controls, policies & procedures, and organizational stability & sustainability. We have $1,000,000+ in cash reserve.
We maintain an extensive website, Facebook, blog, Twitter & Instagram. Annually, we organize a benefit event with donations of @ $100,000, receive grants in excess of $200,000, student sponsorships of $100,000+ & $750,000+ in in-kind donations.
More than 200 individuals, businesses, Utah Rotary clubs & foundations make significant donations annually & consistently for student sponsorships, financial aid awards, program grants, benefit sponsorships & international project funds.
Over 15,000 individuals in our data base have contributed to a Service Year participant, attended a benefit event, partnered or participated or benefited in our programs, or made a donation of funds, goods, or services.
Youthlinc is grateful for its partnerships with the University of Utah, Utah State University, Westminster College, Dixie College, & Utah Rotary Clubs who often put forth Rotary International grants for projects at our international sites.
University & College Volunteer Centers, Utah Government County Volunteer Centers, Key Clubs, Utah Youth Councils, Community of Caring classrooms, consistently cooperate in promoting Youthlinc programs & service opportunities.

Youthlinc began in 1999: 20 participants contributed 1600 hours of local service, met monthly & served in a small village in Kenya. In 2018, 426 Service Year participants contributed 22,000+ hours of local service, participated in an expanded curriculum & served in small villages in 6 underdeveloped countries. We are not only reasonably priced, through our Legacy Sponsorship/Sustaining Membership program, we fundraise for financial support for participating students.
We continue to improve the leadership curriculum for all our Service Year students, including our Alum Leaders and Assistant Team Leaders.
Our Local Service Directory, which began in 2005 as a magazine, is now the only online open source volunteer hours logging service in Utah, unique in its ability to securely verify hours with a service supervisor & to export tamperproof reports. In 2018, employees at the 200+ service sites in our Directory can participate in volunteer management trainings. We will make promotional videos for our best local service sites. We are partnering with local high schools to make finding a compatible service site easier for all Utah students.
The fully independent judging process of our annual Young Humanitarian Award yields finalists who are outstanding young service leaders, articulate & passionate about giving back to the community. We want to increase promotion and profile of the award & seek speaking opportunities for Utah’s Young Humanitarian so that more young people can be inspired to service.
Real Life, our afterschool teen refugee mentoring program, has expanded from one South Salt Lake Welcome Center in 2010 to 12 Welcome Centers in 2018. A Real Life Program Director, two Assistant Program Directors, and 12 interns will serve more than 400 teen refugees. We now partner with The City of South Salt Lake, Catholic Community Services, and the Asian Association of Utah. The training and curriculum for Real Life has been dramatically improved with this expansion.
Over 400 Utah students have now volunteered with Real Life. We can assess the impact on their lifetime service ethic. With the pool of teen refugees expanding, and the years the program has existed increasing, we can begin to survey the refugee teen participants to assess the impact of the program on their lives, jobs, education, and service ethic.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    We serve youth from 15-24 years old of all backgrounds, youth from 11-24 years old specially with refugee/immigrant status.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person),

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    As a result of past feedback, we started a new program called CONNECT to address the service needs of our clients more effectively.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    Youthlinc has been building itself into a better and better organization for the past 22 years by engaging in robust feedback strategies to inform our practice and ensure we are relevant. As a result, the individuals who take part in Youthlinc feel a strong ownership of their work with us, which constantly refines and defines our pedagogical approach to our work.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time,



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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Board of directors
as of 08/08/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

LeeAnn Meads


Term: 2024 - 2022

Board co-chair

Tami Ostmark

Hamlet Homes

Term: 2022 - 2025

Judy Zone

Youthlinc Founder

Scott Anderson

Merrick Bank

Stephanie Black


Christine Casper


Craig Coleby

Granger Medical

Miranda Collard


Colleen Connelly

University of Utah Health

Derek Drysdale

Tanner LLC

Jackie Hibbard


Mike Holmstrom


LeeAnn Meads


Tami Ostmark

Hamlet Homes

Morgan Parry

Ziegfeld Theatre

Kristi Phillips

Encompass Health

Jake Sharkey

US Bank

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 8/8/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation

No data


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 08/08/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.