A series of articles profiling the dedicated individuals who make the agency’s success possible.

Cristina Hoyt is a co-founder of Young Friends of YSI

Tell me about Young Friends.

We established Young Friends to raise awareness of YSI’s work among Young Professionals. I really encourage Young Professionals to become involved with YSI and learn more about the organization. We want to establish a core group of Young Professionals who are passionate about YSI’s mission and can be involved as volunteers and donors, and then later as potential board members.

Why are you passionate about YSI’s work?

I became passionate about YSI’s work when I went to the YES shelter for an open house a few years ago and heard a young man speak about what the organization has done for him and his family. It was then that I saw the amazing things YSI was doing. Since then I have been continually impressed with the passion and dedication that everyone at YSI demonstrates as they work to help our city’s youth.

Tell me about adopting a family for the holidays.

This past Thanksgiving I got to deliver food that my office had gathered for a family that desperately needed the support. It was incredible to deliver the food, feel the family’s overwhelming appreciation, and see the love and happiness shared by the family members. I’m forever changed by that experience and by witnessing people band together to provide for those less fortunate than they are.

What would you tell someone who is considering becoming a supporter of YSI?

There isn’t an organization more passionate about the youth of Philadelphia than YSI and its amazing work happens every day. I can’t think of a better organization to support because the staff cares deeply about the future of this city – its children – and are working to help those children become great citizens of Philadelphia.