YOUTHanasia Foundation, Inc., founded on September 1, 1997, as a movement more than an organization. The foundation was established at a time a well known rapper (at the time) publicly bragged on Greater New Orleans being "the murder capital of the nation". Teenagers were dying almost daily. Thus, the organization's ironic name (based on the word 'euthanasia') was coined marking the eradication of contributing factors to youth deaths - illiteracy, violence, ignorance, and a lack of recreational venues. YOUTHanasia Foundation provides a platform for teenaged youth to develop leadership skills while including their voices in community problem solving. The kids create and implement community service projects to combat problems they identify in the community. Thus, the foundation educates high school students about community involvement while keeping them off of the streets and out of trouble. Every move YOUTHanasia Foundation Inc. makes is grounded by its motto: "We kill what's killing the teenagers of Greater New Orleans". Preservation of young life is YOUTHanasia's way of helping to preserve the successful future of New Orleans.
YOUTHanasia Foundation, Inc. founder Kimberly Dilosa was prompted to action by skyrocketing statistics and college professors who pinpointed New Orleans as a desolate community of despair. She took action and decided to help save her community utilizing those she felt had unlimited, untapped energy and creativity – high school students. New Orleans loses someone between the ages of 14 to 19 to violent death or incarceration daily. In addition, 19% of all births in the city are to young women between the ages of 15 – 19. Thus, the creation of YOUTHanasia Foundation, Inc. was not a desire, but it was a necessity. Its ironic name was coined to mark the annihilation of contributors to youth delinquency – violence, illiteracy, teen pregnancy, stagnancy and ignorance. YOUTHanasia Foundation, Inc. is responsible for the creation of innovative youth intervention programs such as the Teen Center for Non-Violence, Talented YOUTHfest, Citywide High School Task Force, Self Respect Extravaganza and the Citywide High School Explosion. Foundation mentees are trained to look beyond personal differences and unite to address the issues confronting them and their peers in the community as a whole.