What is Youth Thrive?

Youth Thrive is the source for youth-serving professionals and organizations in Wake County.  As the primary convener and collaborator in Wake County for youth-serving professionals and organizations, Youth Thrive serves as a place for every voice to be heard. Youth Thrive is the home of the Youth Thrive Network, an avenue to receive training and technical assistance to help those helping our young people.  Youth Thrive is also home to the Wake County Youth Services Map.  This resource helps identify youth-serving organizations and services throughout Wake County.  Youth Thrive also seeks to be a place where shared understanding through data-driven decision making identifies gaps and seeks to align services reaching all youth and helping them toward becoming thriving adults.

For more on the infrastructure of Youth Thrive, check out our 12-Month Action Plan.

What Youth Thrive is NOT…

Youth Thrive is NOT a program. It is a collaborative. We do not provide direct services to youth, but instead seek to serve those serving our youth.  Youth Thrive’s efforts amplify the reach of what it available to youth in Wake County by increasing communication, identifying gaps and aligning resources for youth programs and services.


Youth Thrive is a community-based collaborative comprised of individuals and organizations working to create positive change for Wake County youth (ages 5-18). By ensuring an effective and unifying partnership, Youth Thrives seeks to provide a space for communication, alignment and sharing of resources to better serve our young people.

When community concern arose after an increase in youth homicides in Wake County, community conversations were led by then Mayor Pro Tem, Dr. James West. As a champion of the cause of ensuring all children can thrive in a healthy environment, Youth Thrive, Dr. West sought to bring key stakeholders together to determine how to solve emerging problems facing Wake County youth.

Local community foundation, The John Rex Endowment, provided a generous investment of $1.25 million dollars to establish a collaborative that would increase the likelihood of positive outcomes for youth. Funding began in March 2011 and will continue until March 2016.

Wake County prides itself on being a great place to raise children. It has a vibrant business community and is home to North Carolina’s state capitol. Despite all of the positive quality of life factors present in Wake County, there are issues that need attention, resources and efforts to ensure all young people, no matter what zip code they live in, can become thriving adults.

Today, Youth Thrive continues to serve Wake County by being the collaborative body inviting any and every person to the table to be a part of a common agenda that speaks to a shared vision for community change. In doing so, Youth Thrive also seeks to determine shared measures that are geared toward the alignment of efforts and consistent, long-term results. While a collaborative effort can often surface where service gaps exist, it is Youth Thrive’s position to increase mutually reinforcing activities across agencies and organizations serving youth. Where gaps exist, Youth Thrive seeks to find an understanding of how existing or potential resources can be sought to catch those slipping through the cracks. Because this effort requires the input and involvement of many, Youth Thrive serves as a communicator for the community and for youth-serving professionals and organizations. We want to be a voice, increase the voice and help those serving young people share their voice.

Youth Thrive is an independent organization that is housed at the United Way of the Greater Triangle. This relationship affords Youth Thrive with the opportunity to remain a neutral party and a place for the collective voice to grow and be nurtured.

Youth Thrive is grateful for the support of Jason’s Deli.

jason's deli