FAQs for Community Partner

How does the community partnership work between WUOT, Youth LIFT and an anonymous donor?

100% of your donation to WUOT will fund our programming and operations. If WUOT receives 400 pledges by 8 p.m. on Friday, April 4, an anonymous donor will give $5,000 to Youth LIFT. This gift will help Youth LIFT help homeless children in the first through 12th grade succeed through educational outreach.

This gift to Youth LIFT costs WUOT nothing because the anonymous organization is generously providing the donation to Youth LIFT. YOUR donation can have double impact: You’ll support public radio AND give homeless children an opportunity to succeed thanks to tutoring, mentoring and other support provided by Youth LIFT.

Is there a minimum donation amount to qualify as a pledge?

No. EVERY pledge WUOT receives by phone, online or in person by 8 p.m. today counts toward the goal of 400 pledges. If we reach that goal, the anonymous benefactor will donate $5,000 to Youth LIFT.

Does how I donate affect qualification as a pledge?

No. You can donate online or call 974-5500 with your pledge. You can make your pledge via check, bank draft, credit card or payroll deduction (UT employees).

Why did WUOT form this community partnership?

WUOT is part of this community – we serve our listeners and our listeners’ support helps keep this station on the air. We form special partnerships like this one to help give back to the community that supports us.

  What is Youth LIFT? Youth LIFT is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with a mission to help homeless youth succeed through education. The organization has programs in Knoxville and Nashville, Tenn., as well as St. Petersburg and Tampa, Fla. It is not affiliated with any religion.

There are more than 1.3 million homeless kids in the United States. There are many reasons they do not succeed in school, such as transportation issues, study conditions, parental involvement, lack of school supplies and developmental delays.

Youth LIFT provides volunteer tutoring/mentoring to homeless students in grades 1 through 12. Each volunteer is matched with one homeless child for at least one school year. The volunteer meets with the child for two to three hours each week to work on homework and other school-related issues. Volunteers meet the children at the location(s) where they live and take them to the library to study. Youth LIFT also provides school supplies, as well as helps with transportation, enrollment and school fees. The organization takes the children on field trips every other month. Volunteers are positive role models who also help improve the children’s self-esteem and reinforce positive behaviors. Children involved with Youth LIFT have increased school attendance, improved grades and increased self-esteem after becoming involved with Youth LIFT.

Youth LIFT Success Stories

A 16-year-old girl dropped out of school the first week of her freshman year of high school. Shea Standefer, Youth LIFT’s CEO, met her when she enrolled the girl’s brother in the program.  Shea asked her if she wanted a tutor, and she said she wasn't in school. Ultimately, the girl decided she wanted to get her GED and go to college. Youth LIFT matched her with a volunteer who is helping her take the steps to get there. This young woman is currently taking GED classes three days a week so she can take the GED exam when she is old enough.  

A 10-year-old girl was failing all of her classes when she first enrolled in the program.  Youth LIFT matched her with a wonderful tutor, who has worked with her to improve her study skills and understand her homework. She is now making all As and Bs. She had 4 As and one B on her last report card. 

Contact: Shea Standefer, CEO    SheaS@youthlift.org                   http://youthlift.org/