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This is My YSC

This is My YSC

I have been YSC’s CEO since 2011, and it has been a true honor to lead this incredible community. YSC serves communities across the entire U.S., in large cities like New York and Seattle and smaller rural communities. YSC is personal. It is family to many. YSC creates a space for all of us affected by breast cancer at a young age to feel normal and to be welcomed by a community who understands our experience.

Over the last 8 years, YSC has grown and helped more young adults than ever before. The community is stronger than ever and continues to change lives every day. However, as the CEO, my job is to answer the hard question, “So what is next for YSC?” Today, I have an answer.

Over the last year, the entire YSC organization has been working on a new strategic plan to guide our work for the next 5 years. The YSC Board of Directors and YSC staff engaged the larger breast cancer community and sought answers from the people we serve.

I am proud of the strategic work that YSC and the Board of Directors conducted this past year - they all demonstrated exceptional leadership, and we have ended in a great place.

A New Vision for YSC

Our first big change is YSC’s Vision Statement. A nonprofit’s vision statement is a declaration of our purpose and what we believe is the ideal situation that we are working toward.

YSC’s New Vision Statement

A world where no young adult faces breast cancer alone.

This ambition drives our work and focuses our attention on our most important purpose. It is our dream that every individual affected by a breast diagnosis before age 41 has the support, resources and connection they need.

You will notice that the word “woman” is missing from this statement. The shift to “young adults” seeks to reflect the incredible diversity that already exists in our community. With this change, YSC is publicly declaring a commitment to gender inclusion. We are a space that serves young adults affected by breast cancer -- those who have been diagnosed and the co-survivors who support -- regardless of gender identity. The entire YSC staff and Board of Directors will work to ensure that this is accomplished.

A new vision requires a new mission. Mission statements communicate an organization’s reason for existing and how they aim to serve.

YSC’s New Mission Statement

YSC strengthens the community, addresses the unique needs, amplifies the voice and improves the quality of life of young adults affected by breast cancer, locally, nationally and internationally.

The last word in our new mission statement is the 2nd big announcement. YSC has been engaged in the global breast cancer community for years. Adding “internationally” to our mission formally declares our commitment to all young adults with breast cancer, no matter where they live. I believe that enhancing our connection to the international cancer community will also strengthen our work in the U.S.

Over the last year I have asked myself over and over again, “Are we truly serving ALL people who need us?” My answer has been no. Last year, YSC worked with 10,000 individual young breast cancer survivors in the U.S., but this is not enough. The lack of resources, information and research on young adults affected by breast cancer is a global issue with a need for a global initiative. YSC is in a unique position to help.

A YSC for All Young Adults

We are still the YSC you know. After all, YSC is the community of which we’re made. These changes expand our direction. YSC has 20 years of history of serving young adults affected by breast cancer, and as long as breast cancer exists - we will continue to serve, evolve, and grow to ensure that every young adult on the planet that needs our community and services has access to them and feels welcome.

Breast cancer doesn’t care who you vote for, it doesn't care if you go to church, it doesn't care what language you speak, and it doesn't care if you live in the U.S. or not. It doesn’t care… and neither do we.

From this day forward, ALL young adults facing breast cancer can say with confidence…  “This is my YSC.”
Jennifer Merschdorf