Earn your GED or high school diploma, start a career and become empowered by your community.


Become part of the next generation of convervationists through environmental education, preservation and service.

AYW’s Culture

We’ve created a unique employee culture, here, at American YouthWorks (AYW). This page is about that culture, and how we continuously improve as a team so that we can better serve our employees, participants, and community.

Above the Line

Picking up the trash is the metaphor for taking care of problems, small and large, and never thinking “that’s not my job.” We don’t have rules about picking up the real or metaphoric trash. We try to create a sense of ownership for all employees so that this behavior comes naturally.

Our goal is to inspire people more than manage them. We trust our teams to do what they think is best for AYW — giving them lots of freedom, power, and information in support of their decisions. In turn, this generates a sense of responsibility and self-discipline that drives us to do great work that benefits the company.

We believe that people thrive on being trusted, on freedom, and on being able to make a difference. We encourage open, curious, committed to learning, above the line spirit.



Disagree Openly

If you disagree on a material issue, it is your responsibility to explain why you disagree. Silent disagreement is unacceptable and unproductive. The back and forth of discussion can clarify the different views and help people reflect on what is the best course of action. We do not expect everyone to agree on all the matters but we expect you to be supportive in your disagreement, then commit to help make the outcome as successful as possible.


Unified Vision

Our programs are unified by a single vision: teach young people new skills and implement them to address some of the most critical issues of our communities, such as homelessness, disaster response and recovery, environmental stewardship, and access to affordable housing and healthcare.