Founder Fire

July 27, 2022

Enkindled Spirits: Hannah Puma

Hannah Puma’s AYF experience began when she was a small child, running around Miniwanca as her mom worked at camp for multiple summers. She couldn’t …

May 17, 2022

Enkindled Spirits: Grace Blinkhoff

Upon joining City Year AmeriCorps, each member is presented with a red jacket, which they dedicate to a person, idea, or cause that inspires them …

April 22, 2022

Meet AYF board chair DD Danforth-Burlin

The American Youth Foundation has played a pivotal role in DD Danforth-Burlin’s life. The four-fold way of living has steered her through her youth as …

March 22, 2022

Enkindled Spirits: Robert Pike

by Dana Rieck High school physics teacher Robert Pike works hard to learn his students’ names within the first three days of each semester, so …

February 18, 2022

NLC finds closer connection in 2021

by Dana Rieck National Leadership Conference participants were finally able to gather on the dunes of Miniwanca once again in 2021, albeit in a new, …

January 25, 2022

Creating Conversation and Change

While the COVID-19 pandemic brought many losses, it also ushered in new methods for creating community using virtual tools instead of live gatherings. One such …

December 8, 2021

Rekindling Community in Summer 2021

For the first time in more than a year, a familiar sound could be heard across the dunes of Miniwanca and the valleys of Merrowvista: …

November 17, 2021

AYF President Anna Kay Vorsteg reflects on summer 2021

After a long year of wait and worry, the bells of Miniwanca and Merrowvista finally rang once again this summer. They signaled much more than …

April 21, 2021

Enkindled Spirits: Daniel Gottshall

Daniel Gottshall, 10, was disappointed when he found out the American Youth Foundation would not be able to welcome campers to Miniwanca in 2020. His …

kate hampson

December 15, 2020

Enkindled Spirits: Kate Hampson

Eight-year-old Kate Hampson had returned home to River Forest, Illinois after her first summer at Miniwanca in 2013. Almost every day, she watched a group …

December 15, 2020

Enkindled Spirits: Taylor Eldridge

Since the summer she spent on the sand dunes of Miniwanca in 2013, Taylor Eldridge has become an investigative journalist who has written award-winning work …

SSW women

December 4, 2020

Connecting across the miles, across the generations

by Liz Marshall As the pandemic rocked the country in spring 2020, American Youth Foundation alumni sought connection and community with their Founder Family despite …

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