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December 10, 2008 > Today's Youth Matter

Today's Youth Matter

By Meenu Gupta

In a world where perfection rules the roost, there is need for those who believe in and positively mentor children who are victims of their circumstances, to bring out the best in them, so that they can too contribute constructively to society. Today's Youth Matter (TYM), a non-profit organization, provides a reason of hope and a better future to abused children.

TYM serves children ages 8-18 years. "Our 8-12 year olds attend a 5-day camp in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Our teens participate in a 5-day backpacking trip, which take place in the Sierra Nevada Mountains," said Marilyn Siden, Executive Director. All camps and backpacking trips are gender specific. TYM operates a camp for kids 8-12 years old near Pescadero, California. "We offer several 5-day sessions during the summer months," said Siden.

The Winter Snow Camps cost approximately $100 per camper, which includes transportation to the snow, all food and entrance fees into the snow park. "We also need drivers to and from the snow," said Siden. "TYM is also looking for office help one day per week, a CPA to do a limited audit and also a bookkeeper," said Siden. "The winter camps are open only to TYM children already involved with our program."

Kids are referred to the program through foster care agencies, group homes, low-performing schools, police departments and Children's Protective Services. "The entry point is during our summer camping outreach. Kids come to camp for six days, and then get involved with our year-round programs," said Siden.

"On December 20th there will be a Christmas Party from noon until 3 p.m. A donation of $25 will buy a child a Christmas present. Gift cards at Walmart or Target are also great," said Siden. "The Christmas party will be held in our office in Milpitas." Call the TYM office at (408) 719-9125 for other Christmas party needs, and more information.

To get involved with the program, please contact Marilyn Siden at or call (408) 719-9125. All volunteers are fingerprinted prior to working and attend a volunteer training that prepares them to handle potential difficult situations. Volunteers should be 16 years of age or older if working at TYM camp.

For the backpacking program, volunteers preferably should be 21 years of age or older. If you are interested in volunteering for TYM, complete a volunteer application and return it to the TYM office. You can support TYM by making a donation online at

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