Youth First began in 2009 when director, Lori Thomas joined her 25+ years of experience of youth ministry in Reno/Sparks with Youth First of Los Angeles to create a ministry focused specifically on youth in the urban areas of Reno/Sparks.  This ministry has grown into a partnership with Denslowe Community Church and expanded from a couple adults meeting with a small group of high schoolers to four teams of volunteer leaders and mentors connecting with kids and young adults from 5 years old to 25 years old. 

While the ministry has changed over the years, the priority remains to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with our community's most vulnerable population, youth in the city.


Leader Retreat
Leader Retreat


There are many ways to support the mission of YF, directly or indirectly with kids.  We believe in relationship building; our leaders/mentors come alongside our children, high schoolers and young adults to share life and share Jesus.  We have opporitunties to work closely with every age group, from our KFC kindergartners to our early 20's young adults and young moms.

Our Leaders/Mentors rely on a background support system of volunteers behind the scenes.  This is a great way to support YF if kids are not your 'thing.'  We have volunteers meeting in prayer groups,  preparing home-cooked meals for clubs (or dropping off a pizza), cuddling babies while 10-10 moms meet, sharing skills and expertise with our  Young Adults, planning fundraisers, building job networks for those new to the workforce and so much more.


The safety of our participants is paramount in Youth First.  All volunteers working with kids and teens are provided training in safety and screened, including an FBI background check.


Contact the YF office for information on volunteering as a leader, mentor or supporter of Youth First.

YF Reno/Sparks Director, Lori Thomas
YF Reno/Sparks Director, Lori Thomas


Kids First Club
Kids First Club

With The Denslowe Community

Los Angeles