New Pathways for Youth Celebrates 35 Years of Transforming Lives

New Pathways for Youth is marking its 35th anniversary of service to Phoenix youth, providing mentorship to those facing poverty and three times the adversity of their peers. NPFY, formerly known as Phoenix Youth at Risk, was founded in 1989 through a transformative 10-day retreat that united 40 youth with mentors. During the retreat, the youth explored behaviors they aimed to change and set ambitious goals while immersing themselves in a personalized development curriculum. On the final day of the retreat, each youth was matched with a dedicated adult mentor who would provide ongoing support as they worked toward their goals and positive change. This marked the beginning of an immense transformation for Phoenix youth, mentors and families for generations to come.

NPFY retreat circa 2007

NPFY’s mission today is to transform the lives of youth by providing the support, stability and skills they need to flourish in the community and their families. In 2020, NPFY moved to a larger facility to accommodate its growth as it continues to serve even more youth and families. Shortly after, NPFY launched a new name for its signature teen program, Level Up, and continues to hold four matching events per year.

The organization continues to grow. Last year, New Pathways partnered with two local high schools to pilot the Level Up Academy. This 12-week, in-school mentoring program introduces teens to Level Up’s important personal development distinctions in the classroom. Level Up Academy has been a hit and will roll out to more high schools in the coming years. Additionally, New Pathways for Youth has implemented a six-week training and support program called “Caregivers Circle” to ensure that caregivers receive the resources required to support the families of its youth.

In 35 years, NPFY has served over 8,000 youth, partnered with nearly 200 schools and 200 partner organizations, worked with 10,000 donors to raise $45 million, engaged 8,000 volunteers and transformed 16,000 lives. It could never have made this kind of impact without its partners, donors and volunteer mentors.

As it inches toward its next big milestone, NPFY encourages individuals and local businesses alike to join in its mission to ensure every youth can live their life with joy and purpose. To learn how to make a 1-1 impact as a mentor or a donor, visit

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