About Youth Thrive


All young people in Wake County become thriving adults.


To foster and maintain a sustainable community partnership that promotes the success of youth, ages 5-18, in Wake County.


Youth Thrive employs an intentional equity focus, using targeted strategies to reach universal goals.  Every young person should have the opportunity to reach their full potential, regardless of their zip code or socio-economic status, their gender, sexual orientation, ability-level, race/ethnicity, or religion.  Our work is grounded in diversity, equity, and inclusion; we seek to identify and address the root causes that contribute to disparities in youth well-being, while cultivating the conditions that help all youth thrive.

T          Team work and collaboration
H          Honesty and accountability to the young people and the community we serve
R          Respect for diversity of thought
         Innovation and commitment to improving conditions for Wake County Youth
V          Youth Voice is a driver in our work
E          Equity is essential to achieving youth well-being

Members and Partners

Our partners include a cross section of individuals and organizations seeking to ensure that youth in Wake County become thriving adults. Youth Thrive members and partners are comprised of youth, community leaders and stakeholders, educators, businesses, community organizations, faith-based entities, nonprofits and other youth-serving organizations, local government, and many others.


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 Dr. James West, then Mayor Pro Tem. As a champion of the cause of ensuring all children can thrive in a healthy environment, Dr. West, now Chair of the Wake County Board of Commissioners, 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.

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 factors that contribute to a high quality of life that are present in Wake County, there are issues that need attention. Resources need to be marshalled for a sustained effort to ensure that 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 everyone 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 goal to support the increase of mutually reinforcing activities across agencies and organizations serving youth. Where gaps exist, Youth Thrive seeks to determine how existing or potential resources can be obtained to catch those young people 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 for young people's needs and help those who serve young people to share their voice as well.

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

As of June 2021, Youth Thrive has determined the need to revisit its operational model and will not be operating in the current structure as it is today. Youth Thrive still seeks to be a convener of collective impact for youth in Wake County but it will look different moving forward. If you are a partner or work with Youth Thrive in any way, look forward to hearing more about how the work will progress in the future. All of the toolkits, campaigns, and resources will still be accessible for you to use. Thank you for your understanding.

Our Goals

  1. Serve as Wake County’s premier collaborator and convener of youth-serving professionals and organizations;
  2. Serve as training and technical assistance provider for Wake County youth-serving professionals and organizations;
  3. Ensure shared measures to foster data-driven decision making.


Wake Network Of Care

A comprehensive online resource database with enhanced features designed to increase access to all the resources of Wake County.

iThrive Wake App

The iThriveWake app highlights places, spaces, services, and resources for young people in Wake County, NC.