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About Us

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Lives Transformed. Community Transformed. One Life At A Time




Founded in 1999, by Former Gopher & Steelers Receiver Mel Anderson, and now sprinting towards our next twenty years, our new center in New Hope will enhance YFDS lifesaving programs and our ability to address equity and access to health, nutrition, fitness and wellness services for an area with Minnesota’s highest obesity and diabetes rates and assist more youth attend college.





  • Embrace a social venture model that is market driven, scalable and financially sustainable through earned income, grants, contracts and public support.


  • Collaborate with the community, businesses and health organizations to address the obesity crisis and related diseases, and to improve health outcomes and reduce cost


  • Develop a stand-alone center to help more children and families and provide YFDS a platform to build capacity and serve the community well beyond our lifetime.




  • Provide affordable programs to assist individuals and children to develop a culture of wellness.


  • Provide underserved youth and others quality development programs and services that lends to obtainment of  post-secondary educations in their pursuit of vibrant futures.


  • Provide access to specialty programming to increase the wellbeing of children, families, and communities.






Mike Baker - Member

Sphere Tek Solutions– President


Lisa Anderson - Secretary

Events With Taste - President


Dave Jeffries - Member

Boston Scientific – VP

Jeane Allen - Member

United Health - Dirctor


YFDS believe there is a need for a more targeted and robust strategy that focuses on one community, one county at a time.  Essentially, creating a movement within these respective communities to change attitudes and behavior; and encourage, and support their pursuit of a restoring their health and vibrancy. 

It is our hope that we can end generational underachieving by youth and prevent future generations of families suffering from obesity and diabetes so that we can also lesson the burden on an already overwhelmed social and health systems the related economic impact.


Major 3 to 5 Years Objectives

  1. To further develop a robust health, wellness and fitness organization that specializes in providing services to children and families suffering from obesity and associated diseases such as diabetes, especially for those who reside in communities with a prevalence of health disparities and lack of access to YFDS comprehensive services.

  2. ​To expand YFDS’ infrastructure and capacity to meet the growing demand for our health and wellness services for physician referrals and by individuals.

  3. To collaborate with other medical and health professionals, associations, health and human resource government agencies, health insurance companies and the community to develop and implement strategies to improve the overall healthcare system and health outcomes on a community level and individual basis.

  4. To become a preferred wellness service provider for clinics, physicians, health insurance firms, and companies and organizations with major corporate wellness programs and continuum health services for clinics to produce better health outcomes.


Obesity is still an issue, based upon an American Academy of Pediatrics journal, that without significant intervention, it is estimated that half the American adult population will be obese by 2030, further eroding the health of the population and straining the health care system.





Obesity is still an issue, based upon an American Academy of Pediatrics journal, that without significant intervention, it is estimated that half the American adult population will be obese by 2030, further eroding the health of the population and straining the health care system.



FAMILIES 4HEALTH:  (GENERATIONAL OBESITY)  The genesis and focus of Families 4Health are to raise the awareness amongst targeted population groups about the risk of improper diet, lack of nutrition in food choices, the  rising incidence of obesity among school aged youth, prevention and the realization that obesity affects all segments of  society.  Although health care professionals feel the obesity dilemma is the result of lifestyle, it is also recognized as a treatable and preventable health issue that if not addressed could become one of the most debilitating health dilemmas of the century, particularly for population groups that are regarded as most at-risk.


To address the issue of obesity at the local level, Youth and Families Determined to Succeed through its Families 4Health initiative has already conducted a pilot proof of concept project in collaboration with area Health Care Providers, Medical Professionals, and the University of Minnesota to develop a intervention model to address issues of obesity; type II diabetes, and the impact is has on school aged youth.  As a result of the pilot findings, YFDS’s launched an intense effort to combat this dilemma and established Families 4Health Program as a means to provide prevention and intervention services for families and youth most at risk.  The thrust of the programs effort is to provide workshops, lectures,  and outreach for program participants to make lifestyle changes based around fitness, wellness, and nutrition as a first step approach to minimize, and even prevent the health risk obesity has on youth, families, and community.


Major challenges experienced by Youth and Families Determined to Succeed to sustain a comprehensive approach to the issue of obesity have been affordability, the lack of public support, and limited collaboration by the health care industry to make concerted efforts to support prevention as an alternative approach to treatment.  In response we are seeking specialty contracts with health providers to support service model and client affordability and planning to launch a comprehensive research study to inspire and inform systematic changes in the health care delivery system, including specialty payment models.











Because of social media and increasing sedentary lifestyles, youth of today engage less in personal contact and activities that traditionally helped young people to naturally develop personal skills and to stay fit. With youth facing major challenges regarding crime, gangs, bulling, achievement gaps and increasing economic and social inequities, it is critical to provide youth with targeted programs to develop the necessary life skills essential to pursue a healthy and vibrant future.

Compounded by  decreasing parental support, homelessness, and other social determinants of health, the primary purpose of our programs is to support parents to help their children develop healthy habits to meet the challenges of adolescence and equip them with the tools and knowledge to navigate many of life ‘s pitfalls and temptations.  Additionally, our goal is that each participant develops the essential personal empowerment behaviors, self-confidence, determination and compassion needed to become successful adults and community leaders.

To address these complex issue YLC  provides integrated programs that include; collaborations, leadership and personal skills development, and college preparation programs in a safe and family-oriented platform to foster the  development of vital habits that lends to social, academic and life-long successes.




Leadership Component

  • Intergenerational programming that pairs youth and senior in a series of activities; including fitness, gaming, mentoring, events.  Collaboration with St. Therese Senior Services and other who serve seniors.

  • Implementation of elements of the John W. Gardner YELL leadership curriculum: Active listening, Decision making, Public speaking and presenting, Group facilitation.

Life-Skills Component

  • Personal development workshops and activities:  goal & vision setting, life and academic mapping.

  • Entrepreneurial program – Business development workshops and servicing learning projects that include the launching of small business projects.

  • Implementation of elements of the John W. Gardner YELL leadership curriculum: Decision making, Public speaking and presenting, Debate and compromise, Research techniques, and analysis

College Prep Component Major Activities

  • ACT /SAT preparation and resources (Support youth attendance to the “Deltas” University of Minnesota)

  • Personal coaching and strategic guidance

  • Athletic and Non-Athletic scholarship funding coaching   









With the decrease in sports participation and the increase of sedentary technology-based activities, TME is a vital platform to build healthy children and communities. Track & Field, is a high-calorie-burning sport that moves the body in many ways and offers events for fit and overweight/obese children to participate.


TME, a program of Youth & Families Determined To Succeed, Inc. (YFDS), is a unique year-around program that is designed to provide youth aged 8 to 18 years of age a platform to get or stay fit and develop their athletic talent into collegiate scholarships. Although the programs focus is intended to develop local talent capable of competing on a regional and national level it also, serves as a platform to enhance not only their personal development, but their competitive spirit as well. TME has been recognized for its success to instill leadership and confidence that students are able to use as they further their academic, athletic, and professional careers. In addition, TME serves as a host to several community track events that recognize exceptional student athletes and provide an opportunity for them to advance to national meets. 


Over the past several years, TME  participants have gained national attention for its ability to produce some of the area’s leading track and field champions. As a result of the dedication and passion by the organizations founder and coaches, TME participants embrace a commitment that is reflected in their uncanny work ethics, commitment to succeed, and passion to accept and overcome life challenges as a measure of success.  TME athletes are regarded as some of the most highly competitive athletes in the region and have received some of the highest honors for their remarkable achievement, including witnessing 90% of its’ participants attend college.


In relationship with our organizational mission, beyond athletics TME objectives is to increase participants wellness. Based upon research is has been proven that sports provide many lifelong benefits: children are only one-tenth as likely to become obese, 15 percent more likely to go to college, and they are more likely to be productive adults than children who do not play sports and that sports participation will certainly combat the growing obesity epidemic.

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