Cart 0
Connecting youth to each other and to their purpose

Founded by an educator, a social worker and a university student, GYEC is a nimble nonprofit that has been working to improve the well-being of youth around the world since 2007.

Instead of a mission statement, why not a mission question?

Statements are definitive and absolute. Questions leave us open to experiment and to innovate. With that in mind, we happily share our mission in the form of a question instead of statement. It may be short and simple in structure, but finding the answer is a lifelong journey, one on which we hope you'll join us. 

QUESTION: How might we unite youth around the world?

What is our vision?

We see a world where youth cross difference, connect with each other and work together to answer the most pressing and perplexing questions that confront them at the local, regional, national and global levels.

What are our values?


Our words and our actions are aligned. We say what we do, and we do what we say. Naturally, this leads to us being rather transparent.


We listen first. We speak second. And we make room for different thoughts and opinions, seeking always to get at the truth, together. Through this process, we aim to awaken and unlock the capacities of our partners and promote a spirit of interdependence.


We are joining our partners on their journey, just as our supporters, donors, and volunteers are joining us on ours. We don't take over or pretend that we know the answers to all the questions. We don't even think we know all of the questions. Our aim is to be with our partners, to join them on their journey and use our access, resources and privilege to help in any way that we can. We don't dictate. We co-create.


This work is hard. There are no quick fixes, and progress comes slowly and in waves. Yet there is nothing we would rather be doing. We work tirelessly, and we are determined despite whatever obstacles and difficulties we may face. Should we struggle, we seek only to get better—to improve and keep going because we know that reaching our goals is possible.


We don't do this for fame. We don't do this for profit. We do this because we've built relationships. We've come to know people, families, groups and organizations around the world, and we're committed to helping them succeed. We want to build their capacity, promote their resilience and improve their well-being. Their success is the true measure of our own.


Our team

Paul Brown
Executive Director


Our board

We're looking for people to serve on our board. If you're interested, let us know and we'll schedule some time to talk about how we can work together.

Erin Lamb
CEO, ER Sports and Leadership

Canciss Ford

CEO, Travelology Travel Group

Jeanne Gazel
Co-Director, The mruleICA Program @ Michigan State University

Meghan McCullough


What do we want to learn?

When we think about impact, we think about more than data that's easily presentable in charts and graphs. That's important, of course, but so is learning how we can improve our work.

With that in mind, we ask a lot of questions and seek to find the answers. We've posed a few below—what we're calling our learning agenda. Over time, we'll share our progress in answering these questions as well as reports with more details about our successes and our biggest lessons learned along the way. But for now, we wanted to share these with you. If you have a moment, tell us what you think.

If we’re promoting unity, resilience and well-being, what’s the best way to make these concepts measurable?
What are the similarities between our local and global partners, and how can we share what we learn in one setting to help those in another?
How might we demonstrate to our supporters and stakeholders that we’re achieving our short-term and intermediate outcomes while leaving a lasting impact?