The purpose and goal of Humanitarian Experience for Youth (H.E.F.Y.) is “Changing lives through service.” We believe that service draws us closer to Christ. There is a great need for service in the world, and there are many youth who want to fill that need. Our mission is to provide opportunities for teens to serve in areas of the world where they can be of assistance to our less-fortunate brothers and sisters and grow their testimonies of the Gospel in an atmosphere that is safe, fun, and conducive to the standards of followers of Jesus Christ.
With headquarters in Provo, Utah, H.E.F.Y. is an LDS-oriented service group dedicated to engaging youth in global and interpersonal growth. H.E.F.Y. strives to provide a threefold experience for each youth: 1) to complete a character-building service project for those living in extreme poverty; 2) to embrace the culture and learn to love the people of the country in which we serve; and 3) to create opportunities to build lasting friendships with members of the Church where H.E.F.Y. groups are serving and with peer volunteers and Trip Leaders. Ultimately, H.E.F.Y. aims to develop and nurture a perpetual and long-lasting desire for participants and alumni to engage in humanitarian service that edifies both the giver and the receiver.
When Glenn and Elisabeth Bingham's oldest son was a teenager, he wanted to spend time volunteering on a service expedition. However, the Binghams were concerned that many of the established youth humanitarian programs would put their son in a situation that would test rather that strengthen his LDS standards.
This made the Binghams think, "Wouldn't it be great if there was a group for LDS youth?" Talking with friends, they found several other parents who felt the same way and were looking for the same type of experience. The Binghams began contacting friends throughout the U.S. in an effort to form their own excursion – one based on values they all shared as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They formed an organization called Alliance for Youth Service and in 1999 led their first expedition to Brazil, with just 10 participants.
Every year that followed, AYS expanded to take more youth participants into more international locations. In 2011 AYS became Humanitarian Experience for Youth (H.E.F.Y.), and continues to be a thriving organization for teens ages 16-19 who are willing to abide the LDS Code of Conduct. Annual summer service expeditions have grown to include over 600 participants who choose between a variety of international locations. Throughout the years, countries served by H.E.F.Y. have included Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Cape Verde, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Fiji, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Tonga, and the United States.
"Our challenge is to provide an opportunity for everyone who wants to participate,” says Glenn Bingham. “Over the years, we’ve had many participants come home and get right back in line to go again the following summer. If we can provide this type of experience, one that is really life-changing, we want to make it accessible to everyone.” With plans for 52 expeditions in 2015, H.E.F.Y. continues to expand its reach of service into new countries.
The following parents, former trip leaders and college professors have volunteered to serve as members of the H.E.F.Y Advisory Council. They provide guidance for H.E.F.Y programs and serve as knowledgeable references for both prospective participants and their parents. Please feel free to contact individuals below if you would like to talk with someone who has experienced an H.E.F.Y program.
Executive Director Crystal Trejo
Crystal graduated from Harvard University Cum Laude in Government with a Secondary and Citation in Spanish. While at Harvard, she ventured to Argentina and Spain to study abroad and improve her Spanish. In addition, she served as the choreographer and president of the Harvard Candela Salsa Club, served on the Undergraduate Council in various leadership positions, and worked as a research assistant and intern at the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau.
Upon graduating, she came to work full-time for the organization. In her time at H.E.F.Y. she has opened five new programs in Brazil, Cape Verde, the Dominican Republic, Peru and Paraguay, and managed all Spanish and Portuguese speaking H.E.F.Y. expeditions. In addition, she helped to make critical adjustments to improve the quality of expeditions, streamlined the fundraising structure for participants, and increased communication with participants before and after expeditions. She has seen and experienced first-hand the incredible impact of international service on the lives of H.E.F.Y. participants.
Program Manager Alisa Baumgartner
Alisa graduated from Harvard University in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology. A Division 1 athlete, she captained the nationally ranked Women’s Ice Hockey team her senior year. She was voted President of the Harvard LDSSA and served as a board member of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee. Following graduation she served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Phoenix, Arizona, Spanish speaking. Her professional experience includes interning with a professional player agency, organizing community sports camps, and teaching leadership classes to visiting students from across Asia. She has seen the far reaching effects of the gospel through service after leading expeditions in Latin America and the islands of the South Pacific.
Office Manager Casey Gause
Casey graduated from the University of Utah in 2011 with a B.A in Communication Disorders. During her college experience, she participated on the school Service Council and headed the LDSSA Service Committee. She served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in McAllen, Texas, teaching those she served in Spanish and English. Prior to working for the organization, she worked in education and retail management. During her time with H.E.F.Y., she has managed and prepared participants for their expeditions, taken over the internship program, and recently began overseeing the Youth Advisory Council. Through her interaction with participants and through her expedition to Brazil this summer, she has seen how H.E.F.Y. participants have their lives changed through service.
470 N University Ave Ste 201
Provo, UT 84601 phone: (801) 900 4111