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Ketchikan Youth Initiatives

About Us

MISSION: Our youth-led and adult-mentored programs promote healthy activities, develop leadership skills and create a capable workforce of teens and young adults.
VISION: In community, teens and young adults are inspired leaders, essential voices and productive members of our society.
1. Healthy Alternative Activities – safely build the physical and emotional competency of teens and young adults.
2. Fostering Youth Leadership – provide a youth voice on issues of concern for the future of our community.
3. Developing Job Ready Workers – prepare youth to successfully enter the workforce and contribute to our communitys economy.
4. Fiscal Sustainability – assure a sound financial base to support continuity and growth of youth focused programming.
5. Capacity Building – develop and measure our organizational effectiveness to maintain continued improvement and growth.
Our paintball leadership team stands out as a sterling example of how youth can evolve into valuable team members and leaders in a business setting. With support from the community donors and the United Way, we provide on-the-job training for 15 to 20 middle school and high school students each year. The teams run the business catering to crew groups from the ships while gaining in maturity and self-esteem as the adult players give credence to their capabilities.
Your donations and volunteer time move our programs forward. Thank you for your support.

How Pick.Click.Give. makes a difference

One-quarter of our ninth graders do not graduate from high school. KYIs effort to increase the graduation rate has been focused on working with disconnected teens and young adults to encourage their involvement in positive, high-profile activities. Just one positive interaction can turn around a young persons life and their commitment to education. Its easy to see the results. At a KYI youth art auction a teen artist slouched down in her seat as the auction began. When people started bidding on her art, she sat up, looked around in amazement and a smile crept across her face. Suddenly her personal value had skyrocketed.

As a school connected organization we often hear back from families that youth who participate in our extra-curricular activities and have the opportunity to show their stuff and act as leaders show marked improvements in their school results. This is particularly important in our community where many older adults did not see the need for completion of high school or higher education as in the past they could make a good living in the timber, fishing or mining industries.

Ketchikan has one of the lowest overall wages of any community in the State, primarily driven by the seasonal nature of the tourist and hospitality industries that lead our economy. We are committed to developing teens and young adults that are “work ready.” We provide one on one coaching to youth seeking jobs as well as On-the-Job training opportunities, such as the Paintball Leadership OJT program where youth ages 14 to 18 are trained to run a business enterprise that serves crew members and tour guides during the summer season.
With use of the newly redeveloped KYI Youth Community Center the KYI Youth 2 Work program will launch additional job training programs focusing on culinary arts, retail sales and administrative jobs. This includes a prototype of a youth-run “art shoppe” attracting passersby to purchase authentic youth art as their unique souvenir as well as other products prepared and sold by youth using our commercial kitchen. With support of qualified mentors, we prepare our youth to be ready to become productive employees and encourage our employers to become more tolerant and supportive of our young people giving them a chance to prove themselves in their new jobs.

Main Address

632 Park Avenue
Ketchikan, AK 99901
Get Directions

724 Bayview Street
Ketchikan, AK 99901




Find us on Facebook  
(907) 617-5990

Past Contributions

2009: $175.00
2010: $150.00
2011: $800.00
2013: $475.00
2014: $575.00
2015: $825.00
2016: $525.00
2017: $400.00
Total: $3,925.00

Cause Types

Youth & Education
Workforce Development
Youth Development