A Celebration and a Story

Twelve years of giving back:

From a crumbling building came a thriving school and nonprofit. 

A Celebration and a Story

Twelve years of giving back:

From a crumbling building came a thriving school and nonprofit. 

It’s a tale that’s been told many times by our Young Living brand partners and friends: how Gary Young, on his way to the company’s Finca Botanica Farm in 2008, caught sight of a crumbling cinder-block building surrounded by children of all ages and discovered that it housed a crude school. 

It had no water or electricity, and only holes in the walls to let light, rain, road dust, and bugs in. The bathroom was a hole in the ground enclosed with broken and chipped cinder blocks. Forty-two children were taught by one teacher for all grades, about three times a week.  

That discovery prompted the beginning of what has become a nonprofit helping hundreds of thousands of people around the world every year. It’s a tale that continues to grow, involving and inviting all who want to make a difference for others, and in fact, marks the completion of its twelfth “chapter” today.

 Image  Image

The Big Day

April 14, 2009 was the day the Young Living Academy opened its doors in the community of Chongón, Ecuador and the day that The D. Gary Young, Young Living Foundation started. That was the day Gary and Mary Young began to glimpse both the reward for what they had done in the gleeful eyes of the many students that arrived (far more than the original school had ever housed), and the scope of what else could be accomplished for similar communities on other continents.

 Image  Image

Since Then

In the twelve years since that day, many brand partners, sponsors, donors, and community members have banded together through the Foundation to support the expansion of the Academy and the construction, rebuilding, or maintenance of a number of schools in Nepal, India, the U.S., South Africa, Mexico, and the Philippines. 

In fact, the Academy has since added a high school, a covered outdoor amphitheater, primary and band rooms, and soccer and baseball fields. Today, more than 350 children are receiving a solid education through the Young Living Academy, and some have graduated and gone on to pursue higher education, something that was previously unimaginable in that community. In April 2019 students, faculty, community members, and Young Living members celebrated the tenth anniversary of their school, and the Academy gained International Baccalaureate--or IB accreditation--in 2021.

Thus, the Foundation’s first focus pillar has become embodied in this creed:

 Image  Image

Champion education

meaning it helps open doors of opportunity through traditional and vocational education, skills building, and leadership development.

And the story of the Foundation continues with the development of Bromelia, a women’s artisan cooperative in Ecuador. These mothers, like many others, have seen the “hand up” that the Foundation has given their children who attend the Academy, have witnessed the belief that so many people have shown in them, and have coalesced into an emboldened group of people working to improve their lives and their communities. 

The Foundation works with them, as they do with other women’s artisans groups around the world, to connect their handcrafted items to the vibrant Young Living marketplace. As they earn a steadier, fairer income, they lift themselves and their families, breaking the generational cycle of poverty and starting on a more upward-bound trajectory.

Thus, the Foundation’s second focus pillar is clearly and inextricably related to the first:

 Image  Image

Develop enterprise

meaning empowering women worldwide to break the generational cycle of poverty for their children by investing in small businesses and fair-trade enterprises. 

As the Foundation’s education and enterprise efforts spread across the globe, so did the realization that poverty wasn’t the only villain in this story. That part was also played by a more sinister character: human trafficking, which stole not only dreams from children and their families, but also freedom. 

Thus arose the third, related pillar:

 Image  Image

End exploitation

meaning protecting the vulnerable from losing their freedoms to abuse and human trafficking

Thus armed with laser focus, backed by Young Living Essential Oil’s coverage of all the Foundation’s administrative expenses, and propelled by members and donors the world over, the Academy and the Foundation continue to tell their story, one that is no longer just a tale of the growth of Gary and Mary’s vision but also one of the power of unity, of what happens when people overlook their differences to focus on solutions. 

It’s a never-ending narrative of unconditional love and encouragement. It’s the story of the ability every human has to look outside of themselves and make the impossible true.

 Image  Image
April 14, 2021
Privacy Preference Center

We utilize JavaScript and cookies throughout our site to provide you with the best digital experience and to measure anonymous data on how users interact with our websites. We feel that it is important that you know what cookies our website uses and for what purposes. This will help to protect your privacy, while ensuring that our website remains as user-friendly as possible.

Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference.

Your cookie settings

These cookies are essential for our website to work properly and are used for things such as navigation, saving your preferences, allowing images to load, and processing donations. We cannot switch them off in our systems. Some parts of our website will not work if you set your browser to block these cookies. These cookies do not store any personally identifiable information.

These cookies are used to analyze and evaluate the performance of our website; providing information on how our site is used. Data collected with these cookies is used to improve our site design, performance, or stability. We receive this information aggregated and anonymized.

These cookies are used to track visitors across websites. The intention is to display ads that are relevant and engaging for the individual user and thereby more valuable for publishers and third party advertisers.

These cookies enable you to share the content you find interesting. This allows us to provide seamless integration between our websites and the social media networks and tools you like.