Who we are
In the spring of 2010 five high school students had the opportunity to visit Cambodia for two weeks. They immediately fell in love with the culture and people of this country. While in Phnom Penh, they visited a non-governmental organization called Tiny Toones whose mission is to provide a safe, positive environment for at-risk youth to channel their energy and creativity into the arts and education. Thus empowering them to build self-confidence in their daily lives, aim for better employment possibilities, and feel supported pursuing their dream.
Upon returning to the United States, the group knew that they wanted to revisit Cambodia to be a part of a mission similar to that of Tiny Toones. They started the Youth Ultimate Project (YUP), with a mission to invest in the community and leadership of youth from underserved communities by providing a positive outlet through the sport of Ultimate Frisbee. Since 2011 YUP has sent teams of high school students to operate summers camps for youth in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
In 2013, YUP established a scholarship program to extend its positive impact on youth in Cambodia beyond their time participating in the summer camps. In addition to financial support, YUP also fosters personal and academic growth and leadership development among scholars so these students can be positive role models for younger students and future leaders in their community.
In 2013, YUP expanded to include a high school and college internship program that provides non-Ultimate Frisbee players an opportunity to get involved. The internship program allows youth to engage in supporting YUP's mission while gaining hands-on experience running a nonprofit, learning about the importance of youth leadership, responsibility, and teamwork. Interns also benefit from learning valuable skills including: marketing, fund development, operations, and event planning.
In 2014, YUP established a Youth Coaching Program that provides Cambodian youth with a paid position as coaches. The Youth Coaching Program provides a platform for past campers to act as leaders and positive role models for youth in their community while attaining employment and developing cross-cultural communication, collaboration, and advanced Ultimate Frisbee skills.
In 2015, YUP established an Exchange Program that provides Cambodian youth coaches who demonstrated exemplary leadership in the Ultimate Frisbee community and commitment to promoting Spirit of the Game with with an all-expenses paid trip to the U.S. to develop the essential skills to recruit, organize, and coach YUP camps and clinics in Cambodia. The program was designed as part of YUP's strategic effort to build a sustainable Ultimate Frisbee community in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.