people holding hands watching the sunset

The power of youth

YouthWorks makes the world a better place with an army of teenagers

The volunteers gathered around the elderly man, eager to hear another one of his captivating tales about serving in World War II. At the age of 92, he had seen just about everything – each wrinkle on his face a reminder of that fact. He was undoubtedly one of the most distinguished, interesting people the volunteers had ever met, and they were learning so much from him. But more than anything, they loved the way his face lit up with a big smile the moment he saw them.

For the past week, a mission group was befriending the residents at this home for the elderly. But these weren’t nuns or professional caregivers volunteering their time; they were teenagers.

Tapping into the power of teens.

Many people underestimate the positive influence teenagers can have on the world around them. That’s where YouthWorks comes in. The organization sees teens’ potential to make a difference and sets up service-learning experiences to communities across the continent. Each summer, Yourthworks organizes mission trips for more than 30,000 teens across over 70 communities in North America, where students lead programming for kids, complete work projects, and visit homeless shelters, soup kitchens, and assisted-care facilities.

It's an opportunity to enrich the lives of both the teenagers who go and the people they go to.


With any big organization, IT can be a challenge.

To accomplish Youthworks’ mission of helping people, the organization is faced with many logistics to keep track of: schedules, sales, transportation, names, etc. Think organizing 10 kids on the school soccer team is tough? Try 4,200 teenagers – every week! With so many volunteers, its old system was having trouble keeping up. Not to mention, some information was spread between several different programs and was only assembled in one place in binder form. It wasn’t the easiest or quickest way to keep data on hand.

So YouthWorks asked consultants RSM about upgrading to Dynamics CRM 2013. Once completed, the new system improved everything from the website to on-site management and even sales.

A good system helps YouthWorks do even more good.

With the improved website, volunteers can now quickly sign up for their trip and easily find critical information. After all, a great web experience is essential for a generation that lives and breathes the Internet.

"The user experience is much better in the way it flows in UI. People just enjoy using it a lot more."

- Ryan Lee-Norman, CRM and Sales Representative, YouthWorks

The new system also gives YouthWorks the ability to track attendance early on. Which means the organization can easily and accurately determine how many supplies are needed for each trip well in advance. And it lets salespeople track leads better (no small task in an organization that books participants 10 months in advance). So Youthworks can help prepare teens for their trip by guiding them through questions more efficiently.

RSM also equipped on-site managers with Surfaces to help them track resources better. With SharePoint, they can pass documents back and forth between the main office and mission sites on their tablets. That way, YouthWorks staff can easily take care of logistics and keep everything running smoothly, leaving volunteers to focus on what matters most: building great relationships with the community.

The key to making a difference.

Teenagers often get a bad rap, but organizations like YouthWorks, equipped with the right resources, empower young adults to make the world a better, brighter place in their own way. With the organization’s continued service, and the help of a brand-new system behind the scenes, these teens can be unexpectedly impactful in spreading good to those in need.

What will your story be?

Then get ready—because the right technology has the power to change everything.

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