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Bozeman Youth Initiative Programs

Gregory Owens

I know what to do when I grow up now!
— Campbell, Youth Giving Project intern

Bozeman Youth Initiative is a highly individualized mentoring program that encourages young people to make decisions, exercise real power and learn from failure in the pursuit of ideas they themselves identify as meaningful.

These are a few of the youth-driven programs young people have created with BYI in recent years:


A collaboration with Foundant Technologies and the Bozeman Area Community Foundation, the Youth Giving Project is a program that helps young people develop leadership skills and experience the importance of community involvement and philanthropy.  Bozeman Youth Initiative interns solicit and review applications and choose youth-led projects to fund through a $10,000 grant from FoundantTechnologies.  2016 grants from the Youth Giving Project will be announced May 3 at 6pm at the Baxter Hotel in Bozeman at the Give Big Gallatin Valley finale celebration.


Bozeman High students from Cassie Ubaldo's Freshman Strategies class wanted to raise awareness about issues of drugs & graffiti at Kirk Park skate park.  Bozeman Youth Initiative got together with Bozeman Parks & Recreation, Bozeman Police, several local businesses and other nonprofits to support these young people in producing an all-ages skateboarding event that included competitors ages 6-40 and from as far away as Billings.


A youth-led production company that subverted conventional wisdom by safely producing close to 50 all-ages concerts, dances, and DJ competitions in five years with partners including Cactus Records and Chamberlin Productions.  BYI youth volunteers chose acts, promoted, and participated in all aspects of running events attended by hundreds of young people.  Young musicians, DJs, and technicians moved from these events into working professionally using skills they’d learned.


This program was begun by BYI volunteers who wanted to create an opportunity for young artists to display and sell their work.  Starting in the parking lot at Sack’s in 2011, the Art Walk program has grown into a regular part of the Downtown Bozeman Association’s Summer Art Walk series, with BYI interns coordinating up to two-dozen artists from 8th grade through high school and booking young musicians.  


BYI volunteers organized two different “clothing swap” events where young people and families with younger kids could bring their used clothes and get new clothes.


Volunteers secured the rights to the all-female ski film “Pure” for the Bozeman premiere, took donations of coats, gloves, etc. for the Warming Center, and collected raffle donations from local ski and sports shops.


BOB is a unique, youth-driven program to turn a full-size school bus into a mobile educational greenhouse with first volunteers, then paid teen interns, who traveled to local elementary schools to teach hands-on lessons, tied to district science standards, in plant anatomy, basic gardening, and sustainability.  See Ned Gall's short film, BOB: The Bozone Ozone Bus.