About Peace First
Peace First is a 501(c)3 organization co-led by young people that empowers youth ages 13-25 to create a more compassionate, just and peaceful world by providing digital tools, community support, start-up funding and stories that celebrate their social change journeys and impact.
We were founded by teenagers in 1992 at Harvard University upon a simple idea: if we are going to solve the world’s greatest problems, we must support young people with the skills and commitments to solve problems by connecting with others with compassion, standing up for ideals and others with courage, and creating collaborative change.
Our work began as a school-based youth empowerment model in the US and, since then, we have matured into a global NGO supporting youth-led projects and connecting thousands of young social change leaders from over 150 countries. Through our digital platform — the world’s largest incubator for youth-led social change initiatives — Peace First offers young people ages 13-25 the skills and resources necessary to turn their ideas into action. We currently host over 19,000 young users on our digital platform and are supporting over 7,000 youth-led projects.
The Problem We Are Addressing
There are 1.6 billion young people on the planet - a group brimming with ideas to solve the challenges they face each day. Yet many young people never act on these ideas because they lack access to the resources to get started, or because they feel disempowered by stereotypes that young people are somehow less capable or trustworthy. This is especially true for young people on the margins of society.
Working with Deloitte to understand social movements over the past 120 years – from the workers’ rights movements that ended child labor and the civil rights movement of the 60s to the recent Arab Spring – we found they had one common element: each was powered by youth. Young people have been and still are the world’s most powerful drivers of social change.
Young people are continuing this tradition today – rising up, speaking truth to power. From Parkland to Ferguson, from Lagos to Stockholm, they are solving entrenched problems that our communities experience every day. They are working towards a more compassionate, more livable, more just and more peaceful world. Young people believe in the good in themselves and others and they want to unleash that good in the world. They aspire to write a new story for the world – one that turns the page from broken systems and walls of exclusion to compassion and inclusion.
As young people work to write a new narrative, Peace First has their back. Peace First is working to close access gaps and empower all young leaders, no matter where they are from and the resources they have, to solve the problems in their communities. We are committed to investing in youth – by providing mini-grants, digital tools, personalized mentorship and access to a global community of young social innovators. Our work to invest in young leaders around the world including all decisions about which projects to support with funding is led entirely by young people.