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SYTA Youth Foundation partners with the American Experience Foundation to invest in youth with inaugural one-day field trip to experience some of the city's iconic sites and attractions.

June 30, 2014—With the help from the SYTA Youth Foundation and other partners, Destination DC hosted inaugural DC Backyard Bound Program, June 13, 2014. Forty students from Kelly Miller Middle School in the Washington, D.C., metro area were selected as the first recipients of the DC Backyard Bound program and granted a one-day field trip to experience some of D.C.'s iconic sites and attractions.

There were no cars, no horns, no gunshots. The familiar noises were replaced by nature, challenges, adventure, and snow! For twenty students from the Theodore Roosevelt High School "Outsiders" Club, a trip away from Los Angeles became an experience of a lifetime.

"It was my first time seeing snow. I've never seen snow."
"My favorite part was walking through the meadow."
"To get out is just awesome."

Watts. Say the name, and most people think of a dead-end existence—of a world surrounded by housing projects, and tainted by drugs and guns. They probably don't think of bright young people with an equally bright chance at a positive future. And they probably don't expect them to go out into the world and succeed.

"If there's a person—a little person like me—doing big things, it might make people feel differently about Watts."
—Rosie Hernandez, Markham Middle School student

SYTA Youth Foundation donates $15,000 to help save student trip to Space Camp

The SYTA Youth Foundation (SYF) announced today that they will provide a $15,000 grant to St. Albert Public Schools to help restore the funds needed for 71 students/chaperones to take a trip of a lifetime to Space Camp in Montreal – a trip which has been put in jeopardy as the result of a travel company’s financial insolvency.

Just two weeks ago, the school board informed parents that their trip, as originally contracted, would not proceed despite being paid-in-full. Soon thereafter, a Facebook page “Save Our Space Camp” was established in an effort to raise the $105,000 needed to ensure the trip they’ve been planning for over a year could go on. The donation from SYF is the largest donation to date to replace the funds needed.

I want to start by thanking you all for your support. The money I was given from the Foundation helped me so much, and because of the grant, I was offered an amazing opportunity that gave me an unforgettable experience. I am 14 years old and the 5th of 7 children in a musical family. I was recently a featured performer at the World Harp Congress in Vancouver, where I represented the United States.

"I teach, I touch the future," became a mantra in the late 80"s for every educator and kids philanthropist in America. The words were memorialized after Christa McAuliffe, New Hampshire high school teacher aboard the space shuttle Challenger, died. McAuliffe was selected from 11,000 applicants to participate in the NASA teacher in space program. She was scheduled to become the first teacher in space.

"Thank you for the once in a lifetime experience you gave me. The trip to Washtinton D.C. was awesome. I will remember it forever. I learned many things and had a great time. You made a dream come true! - Laura, 14