YFC supports teens looking for a sense of belonging and offers hope and encouragement through meaningful relationships
April 4, 2022
DENVER— A recent study by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) found more than a third of high school students suffered with mental health issues in 2021, with 44% saying they consistently felt sad or hopeless during the past year. The study also found that half of the students reported experiencing emotional abuse by a parent or other adult in the home, including being sworn at, put down or insulted. However, the study also pointed out that a sense of being cared for, supported and belonging at school had a positive effect on students despite the disruptions of a pandemic.
These findings highlight the importance of the work Youth For Christ (YFC, www.yfc.net) has been doing for over 75 years. YFC comes alongside youth and helps point them to the One who offers hope —Christ. YFC is dedicated to meeting young people where they are and supporting youth in pivotal moments, such as the current mental health crisis. YFC also offers a variety of methods to reach young people, such as collaborating with community partners to build a youth community center and partnering with likeminded organizations to better reach youth with the Gospel.
Jacob Bland, president and CEO of YFC, stated, “Youth need to feel a sense of belonging. The teenage years can be some of the most challenging times in a young person’s life, and we want to be available so every kid feels valued, appreciated, and loved. From City Life to Juvenile Justice to Campus Life programs—and more—YFC leaders all across the nation provide many different avenues for youth to get involved and be part of a loving community that points them to an unshakable source of hope through Christ.”
Lane County YFC Campus Life Director Jess Olsen commented, “Some believe students are too young to understand God’s message of hope. But YFC knows that God’s story and transformation transcends age.”
One YFC student stated, “I have a lot of struggles in my life right now. Through all of it, YFC Campus Life has helped me. I continue to go because the energy is so positive; everyone is so unbelievably nice and sweet, and they just treat me like family.”
YFC chapters impact thousands of communities across the nation, seeking out and serving youth from all walks of life. Young people are silently struggling through a wide variety of challenging issues—and through the YFC ministry God empowers, they see the living power of a loving God. YFC trains its leaders in a proven, relational ministry model called 3Story®, which encourages staff and volunteers to be good news while also sharing the stories of the Good News of Jesus. It involves building relationships through the ups and downs of everyday life to lead people to Christ.
YFC has been a pillar of missional ministry since 1944, when the Rev. Billy Graham served as YFC’s first full-time staff member. Since then, Youth For Christ has continued to be both a rural and urban ministry on mission, and it is always about the message of Jesus. YFC reaches young people everywhere, working together with the local church and other like-minded partners to raise up lifelong followers of Jesus who lead by their godliness in lifestyle, devotion to the Word of God and prayer, passion for sharing the love of Christ, and commitment to social involvement. Youth For Christ operates in over 100 nations and has over 130 chapters that impact communities across America.