Developing Positive, Healthy and Productive Youth is Priority One

YouthNetAs citizens, we should measure the intrinsic quality of our community by the degree to which we ensure that all youth have the opportunity to thrive and develop a strong sense of hope for their future. One of our community’s most precious resources is our children, but much of their potential is going unrealized. Poverty and the social ills that accompany it conspire to rob them of the gift of a hopeful future. We can do little to affect the ills of the nation, but locally, we have ability to dramatically impact the quality of children’s lives so they will have the opportunity to reach their full potential and enjoy a future filled with hope and optimism.

The United Way of Greater Fort Dodge is partnering with the Fort Dodge Community School System and the St. Edmond Catholic School System on an innovative and collaborative program to help our students overcome challenges that many of them face so they can achieve to their highest ability in school.

What is YouthNet?


YouthNet is a coalition of schools, organizations and agencies that is focused on helping youth reach their full potential academically, socially and developmentally. We do this to help our youth become productive and successful young adults and future citizens, employees, parents and business and community leaders. YouthNet is dedicated to ensuring the best possible future for our youth by helping youth get access to important services and resources they need and by promoting positive choices and behaviors so they have a greater opportunity to achieve their full potential and have a fair chance at pursuing their goals and dreams.

YouthNet is focused on addressing ten factors that are crucial to the healthy growth and development of our youth. These ten factors are interconnected and need to be addressed in an interrelated way.

  • Mental Health
  • Teen Pregnancy
  • Wellness/Healthy Living
  • Self-Esteem
  • Basic Needs
  • Physical Health
  • Substance Abuse
  • Leadership
  • Anti-Bullying
  • Enrichment

Through efficient and effective coordination and communication, YouthNet will engage and connect all sectors of our community in this positive youth development process including schools, businesses, nonprofits, government and the general public. The YouthNet coalition will be a synergistic network that effectively connects youth to opportunities that will provide them with the chance to grow and develop in a positive and healthy way; and in doing so, help them create a future filled with hope.

"Our youth are 20 percent of our population and 100 percent of our future."