The Yay Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) recognized nonprofit organization whose mission is to bring hope and strength to young adults ages 14-24 in underserved and disenfranchised communities negatively impacted by mental health issues such as addictions, suicides, depression, and hopelessness.
The Yay Foundation hopes to achieve this through…
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Why YAY! is Needed
Many individuals from all walks of life face feelings of shame, isolation, and hopelessness on a daily basis. The worst thing in the world is to feel alone in one’s pain and to feel powerless to change the circumstances which are driving the pain.
When an individual has a traumatic experience or is in an unwanted life circumstance that they feel powerless to change, they can develop a base self-concept of shame. Too many people are in this painful cycle, which oftentimes leaves them feeling like they must suffer alone. When this happens, individuals feel helpless, unwanted, and alone in isolation. This can lead to anxiety, illness, addictions, depression and in some cases death.
How We Help!
We believe that healing starts with an improved mindset and experiencing a sense of genuine care from those around them. We hope to create a difference in the clients' lives by...
YAY FOUNDATION STORY!
The Yay Foundation was developed with the help of the folks in Kalispell, Montana!
Aidan, the founder, and executive director had been good friends with a young comedian named Vincent Carr. Through Vincent, Aidan was able to connect with a new community of lifelong friends.
However, in November 2020, Vincent Carr tragically took his own life after a long battle with depression and suicidal ideation. As a tribute to him Vincent's girlfriend, Cara Elise, his best friend Nick Kynett along with fellow comedians Angie Krum and Aidan Park decided to organize a yearly comedy show in his memory with the lineup that Vincent had hand chosen at the final show he had produced.
In September of 2022, Cara Elise saw that suicide and depression was big problem in her Montanan community and decided to approach Aidan about bringing his YAY program to Kalispell. Cara, Nick, Angie, and the Montanan crew then ran a fundraiser and raise all of the money to start The Yay Foundation and handed it to Aidan in all cash (in a very Montanan moment).
The foundation was approved in record time by the IRS as a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization!
GRAND JUNCTION COLORADO- YAY PROGRAM
November 30th- December 3rd 2022
NEW ECONOMICS FOR WOMEN'S BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
January 12th 2023
BERKELEY HIGH SCHOOL YAY PROJECT
January 15th-January 21st 2023
KALISPELL MONTANA - YAY PROGRAM
January 25th-January 30th 2023
Colorado Springs, CO- YAY PROGRAM
June 2th -9th 2023
The YAY Guy’s Joy Journey was born from the personal experiences of Aidan Park, the creator of the program. Aidan was brought to the United States from South Korea as an undocumented immigrant. He grew up in poverty in his grandmother’s government housing in San Francisco on $600 a month. When he graduated high school, he was still undocumented, so he could not get a job or go to college. These painful events were further compounded when as a homeless desperate young man, he was diagnosed with HIV at the age of 19. As a gay, HIV+, homeless teenager, Aidan identified that the two most painful aspects of that time were…
Luckily, he found a mentor who encouraged him to study empowerment and allowed him space to feel a sense of self-worth during an incredibly difficult time. Aidan has been able to cultivate a joyful and successful life. Aidan is an award-winning keynote speaker, best-selling author, internationally headlining comedian, and creator of the brand “The Yay Guy” in which he advocates for joyful living. Aidan’s best-selling book (with a foreword by Margaret Cho, his hero), two comedy specials on Tubi and NBC’s Peacock, and his workshops encourage self-love and empowerment through the power of humor and storytelling. Aidan’s success and joy were only possible because he was able to work through the feelings of shame and isolation that he experienced at a young age through the power of mentorship and connection.
Aidan was also able to create a vision and hope for the future at a time when he felt hopeless. The YAY Guy’s Joy Journey’s mission is to...
Receive an autographed copy of The Art of Being Yay!: The OMG NSFW Memoir and Guide to Authentic Joy by author Aidan Park.
Aidan Park, The Yay Guy will lead the participants through a process in which they will write a comedy act sourced from their personal experiences. Through the process, the students will see that they, in fact, are not alone in their pain. Their painful experiences are not ones to be hidden away in shame, but rather brought to light and shared with others who may be going through the same experience. The students will have an opportunity to see the incredible power of vulnerability and storytelling and feel valued for their courage. Performing on stage and sharing personal experiences can encourage confidence, a sense of agency and belonging in their community. The sharing of personal experiences can be a profoundly healing experience for the performers and audience members alike.
Hilarious, spirited, and thought-provoking; Aidan Park, The Yay Guy, will lead a 4, 6, or 8 hour workshop, in which the participants will be led through a series of exercises to inspire hope and empowerment. The two most painful things in life are to feel isolated in the shame of one’s pain, and to feel hopeless in life. The Art of Being Yay! Program aims to address these feelings and foster self-acceptance.
Some of the topics covered will include:
VALUES: Identifying personal values that are most important to the participants and taking action in the direction of creating more of that which they want.
MANAGING DIFFICULT EMOTIONS: Understanding Emotions. Soothing Techniques. How one can leverage negative emotional experiences to create more joy in their lives.
SELF-SABOTAGE: An innovative way to identify “Self-Sabotage” and strategies to create internal resolve.
SELF-CONFIDENCE: Identifying and managing negative self-talk, strategies for building confidence, and identifying and leaning into personal strengths.
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