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YA Clients Tell Us Their Stories (A Pandemic Zoom View)

One Client's Story...

Our Mission

Youth Advantage serves children who qualify for free or reduced-fee lunch, are in grades K-12, go to school or reside in the boundaries of Stillwater Area School District 834, who wish to participate in academic, artistic, or athletic extracurricular activities, our in-house mentoring group for at-risk girls in grades 6-12, or receive financial assistance for reading/comprehension or math tutoring services.

Youth Advantage recognizes that giving children these opportunities puts young people on a path to success.

Youth Advantage helps young peopleā€¦

  • Participate in athletics
  • Pursue their passion in music, fine arts, or theater
  • Join a science or computer program
  • Access math and reading/comprehension tutoring
  • Develop to their fullest potential through our middle school girls' mentoring group
  • And more!

Youth Advantage is a nonprofit organization that provides eligible young people access to activities offered in our community through financial need-based scholarships and loan of new or gently used athletic equipment, musical instruments, or other necessary items.

Families who live in Independent School District 834’s boundaries and 1) whose children qualify for free or reduced-fee lunch programs, or 2) who have experienced a recent financial hardship, likely qualify for a Youth Advantage Scholarship. Serving students in grades K-12.

Assistance is available to qualifying youth for:

  • 4-H “Whether youth are building rockets, raising dairy cows, or writing musical plays, 4-H gives them the skills they need to succeed in life.”
  • Afton Alps/SOS Outreach (ski or snowboarding) Call Y.A. at 651-342-1266 for details.
  • Applewood Junior Golf League
  • ArtSpoke
  • Ashland Productions
  • Boy Scouts of America
  • CHEM Tennis Contact YA for lessons with Coach Scott
  • Curio Dance and School
  • District #834 Community Education classes
  • Extracurricular fee-based classes, camps, clubs and activities that emphasize arts, educational enrichment, or athletics.
  • Girl Scouts of the USA
  • Hidden Pines Ranch Summer Day Camp (3 day mini-camp only) (Registration opens in January annually)
  • MN 7 on 7 Passing League (touch football)
  • MYSL (Minnesota Youth Ski League) Cross-country ski league
  • Oak Glen Junior Golf League
  • Pony Pride Hockey Training
  • St. Croix Rec Center’s Learn-to-Skate classes
  • St. Croix Sailing School
  • St. Croix Valley Athletic Association programs
  • St. Mary’s Point Hockey Program
  • School sports teams and music programs
  • Stillwater Area Baseball Association
  • Stillwater Area Fastpitch Association
  • SAHS Pony Activity Center- student memberships
  • Stillwater Area Lacrosse Association
  • Stillwater Boys' Traveling Basketball
  • Stillwater Elks' Summer Overnight Camp Call Y.A. at 651-342-1266 for details.
  • Stillwater Girls' Traveling Basketball
  • Stillwater Swim Club   Call Y.A. at 651-342-1266 for details.
  • Stillwater Zephyr Theatre
  • StoryArk
  • Young Engineers STEM & Robotics Program

Contact Youth Advantage to learn more.


Stillwater Gazette recently had a series on female nonprofit leaders in the St. Croix Valley and Youth Advantage's Executive Director, Suzanne Block, was interviewed as a part of this series. 

Due to Stillwater Gazette's membership requirement on its website, we are including a .pdf version of the article below for your convenience, should you decide to read it. The Stillwater Gazette is a high quality local paper that will keep you connected to the happenings in our community so we encourage you to subscribe!

Testimonial on How Participation in the Arts Can Change Lives

On January 29, 2018, the SEC Music Festival was held at Stillwater Area High School. The guest conductor for the  All-Conference Choir was Tesfa Wondemagegnehu. Here is a two minute clip that Mr. Wondemagegnehu approved for Youth Advantage to use which shares his personal story on the value of the arts. This video emphasizes the need for Youth Advantage in our community and throughout the United States.

Fox Sports North's Story About Youth Advantage

As part of its Hockey Day Minnesota line up of hockey games from morning until night on Saturday, January 21, 2017, Fox Sports North produced several stories related to hockey from all over the state of Minnesota. Youth Advantage was selected to be one of those stories. Youth Advantage is grateful to Fox Sports North for doing such a fantastic job capturing what our mission is through this story.


Youth Advantage held a community open house after its Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting ceremony on September 26, 2017 at its new office which is located at 904 4th St. S. in Stillwater. There was live music, games, light snack and beverages. Youth Advantage's staff and current, past, and honorary members of its Board of Directors were on-hand to greet community members.

After seven years at our original location, Youth Advantage simply outgrew its space! Our new location is modest, but solves all of the previous space issues and has room for future programming. Thanks to everyone who helped make this happen, either by volunteering your time during the move, participating in the Stairs of Stillwater or Mardi Gras fundraisers, the annual campaign donation, or however you lend us your support—thank you, thank you, thank you!!! 

A Testimonial To Make Your Heart Sing...

During a time of need Youth Advantage has been a wonderful gift to our family. Our son, Christian, wanted to participate in a youth choir event with the district, but due to a recent job loss, 2 children, and a new baby, there was not enough money for extra activities. After contacting Youth Advantage, he was able to receive a scholarship to participate. The people were extremely helpful at Youth Advantage and we were able to now afford the cost. Christian gained confidence in performing in front a group and increased his enjoyment of singing. Christian enjoyed the choir so much that he hopes to be in it again next year. What a wonderful experience for an 11 year old, all thanks to Youth Advantage. The exciting news was also to know he can enroll in other classes and sports events during this year and qualify for additional scholarships. What a wonderful program, someday we hope to give back to Youth Advantage, but for now, we are grateful.