Our Commitment

 Giving every child an opportunity to develop CHARACTER and live a Healthy Lifestyle in the schools and communities where they grow up.

What We Do

The SDYF recruits and trains high school students to be Teen Teachers in their school and community. Teens teach younger students to strengthen Character and how to live a healthy lifestyle. Unique to the SDYF, Teens as Teachers is a leadership development; empowering youth to be vibrant members of their community. Teens are eligible to earn scholarships based on the successful completion of the Teens as Teachers program.

Who We Are

The South Dakota Youth Foundation, Inc. was formed in Sept. 2015 by community leaders and volunteers searching for ways to better meet the needs of youth across the state.
Our goal: To serve as a catalyst to bring school and community organizations together to:

  • Help young people develop skills for healthier lifestyles.
  • Promote character education as a way of life in schools and communities.
  • Interest older youth in teaching as a professional career.

Our Impact

To date, the SDYF, through its Teens as Teachers program…

  • Has trained 234 youth as Teen Teachers
  • Has been in 42 communities across the state of South Dakota
  • Has provided 23,000 opportunities for youth to develop skills in Character Counts and a Healthy Lifestyle.

Honors and Awards


Friend of Career and Technical Education

The SD Youth Foundation was honored to be selected as the recipient of the Friend of Career and Technical Education Award by the South Dakota Association of Career and Technical Education. (SDACTE) and the South Dakota Association of Teachers of Family and Consumer Science. (SDATFCS)

Nominated by SDATFCS, consideration for the award relies on the contributions to Career and Technical Education; its promotion, development, or progress. The SD Youth Foundation Teens as Teacher program met this criterion by promoting teaching as a career choice and helping students develop leadership and workforce skills.

In addition, the Healthy Youth curriculum contributes to physical and mental health; cornerstone components for Family and Consumer Science education. This promotes Family and Consumer Sciences as a positive influence.

Leadership development is a hallmark of CTE programs. Teens as Teachers has increased leadership skills for students involved. This contribution to the profession will be ongoing and helps students become active leaders within school walls as well as in the community.

Thank you to SDATFCS for their nomination and selection and to SDACTE for their recognition. We are honored.