The Young Philanthropists is About World Peace!
It wasn’t originally about money or business – it’s been a moral impulse driving us. People told us, when we were growing up, that we could make a difference in the world. We figured we should go and see it first. We’ve always wondered why that wasn’t standard procedure. Today, very few leaders understand the impact of their decisions on communities around the world simply because they have never visited, let alone engaged them.
It all started going and seeing things for ourselves. That’s where we met – Matt and Andy Friedlund were cycling across America in 2010 when they met Professional Adventurer Leon McCarron, who was cycling around the world. That changed all of our lives in a big way, and it convinced us that showing other people the world could do profound good. So we started The Young Philanthropists (YP), a non-profit working to make traveling the world an accessible way to educate, serve, and inspire others toward World Peace!
We do that by setting up safe and inexpensive routes around continents that allow groups of all sizes to work jobs, volunteer at local charities, take college courses, and explore an entire continent! To develop these routes, we started by traveling them ourselves. Then we led small groups on them, volunteering and studying a curriculum, until the communities along the way endorse(d) larger groups!
Matt led the Young and Wild Expedition 2013, a 5 month trip that would break a world record while cycling, without a support vehicle, more than 8,000 miles from Jacksonville, Florida to San Diego, California to Seattle, Washington. The group of young adults had not cycled since middle school, and many had never camped in the woods. The group did various service projects – from marketing to tutoring to manual labor – and studied a curriculum in Literature, Philosophy, Leadership, Economics and Religion. They listened to local leaders around the country, investigated ecological crises and made personal and professional connections that would change their lives forever. This trip became the model for future small to medium sized expeditions – all future adventures would feature service projects, educational curriculum, human power, community engagement events, and exploration of anything individuals on the trips find interesting.
Young and Wild Expedition 2014
Elijah Smith and Georgie Jacks, two Young and Wild Expedition 2013 participants, led the Young and Wild Expedition 2014, The YP’s first cross-continental trip for high school students around the United States.
Matt led the EuroTrip 2014, The YP’s first European trip, from London, England to Istanbul, Turkey.
The Young Philanthropists used 2015 to restructure their leadership team and research scaling their route around America – which was composed of a lot of awesome #MicroAdventures! Thousands more people will soon be able to work, volunteer, study, and engage communities! #Adventure2016 has capacity for hundreds of people at a time, buses (for those not wanting to cycle), and a safe, warm, dry base to provide things like showers, food, and (sometimes) a stage for speakers and performers!
Our Leadership Team and Board of Directors lead a medium sized seasonal staff to plan and execute major expeditions. We’re a movement of adventurers, academics, business-people, and pastors who think traveling the world is an important step toward World Peace, toward helping everyone understand that the “others” do not need to be enemies. We also think it’s the best way to prepare individuals to succeed in careers, education, building wealth or a network of friends, and, well, excellence in general. The general population should be able to see the whole world before settling into a career.
Our goal is to create a safe, inexpensive and self-sustaining Adventure Platform that travels routes around the six populated continents so that anyone can see the whole world by 2021!