Upward Bound Youth is a nonprofit organization dedicated to cultivating personal growth and expanding young people’s biblical understanding of who Jesus is. It was incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1997 and is based in Wooster, OH. Through the work of Richard and Margret Jankov, the Board of Directors, Young Mentors, and many volunteers, various youth ministries in Wooster, North America, and Europe are progressing. This is a ministry of God’s Spirit and a result of His faithfulness.
In addition, young men and women from the mentoring program and other youth programs facilitated by UBY are working in churches as youth pastors, youth leaders, teachers and also contributing their talents in music and sharing their love with others.
Richard & Margie Jankov
Richard Jankov is a CPA with a heart for youth. Believing that God is faithful and would give His children the desires of their heart, Richard and his wife Margret began a youth outreach from his local church in Phoenix, AZ. Struggling to balance the needs of his employer, family, church and ministry to youth caused him to begin to ask God for a clear direction of God’s call for him and his family.
After several years of working with youth and seeing the importance of reaching the unchurched and the churched youth with the glorious message of God’s grace for abundant living, God opened the door for Richard and his family to move to Wooster, OH where the work of UBY could move forward on a full-time basis.
Richard left his full-time job as chief financial officer of a real estate development and management company and began full-time ministry work as the executive director of Upward Bound Youth. He and his wife are currently active in the community with in-school and after-school programs geared for youth of all ages. He is often a guest speaker at camps, retreats, and youth gatherings around North America.
As I look back on the last 5 years I am amazed at how much God has worked in my life and through my life. I started working here right after I graduated college. I was eager to learn and use the skills from my Youth Ministry degree.
Working here is not just about showing up and “punching the clock.” When I was living on site we would start each day with a devotion. Our minds and hearts were focused on Christ and I was taught truth. UBY created a space where I can ask questions about God’s Word and learn from those who have been Christians longer. Even after moving off site I am still being taught truth each day. . Our purpose is to glorify him in all that we do and I am challenged each day as I seek to serve Him.
UBY is also about serving others and practicing what we are learning in God’s Word and through each other. As I learn and grow I am encouraged, challenged, and inspired to go and teach others. This plays itself out in many different ways. Sometimes my day consists of sitting at my desk doing paperwork and corresponding with others in our church, or doing research on issues about our youth ministry. Other days I am in the community working with young people and mentoring them. On weekends, I pick up kids for church and try to connect with their families. No matter what my day looks like it is our goal to glorify Christ and to point others to Him. I am confident that God is at work in our ministry and I am blessed to work alongside others who love, support, and challenge me.
Judah Weinhardt was born and raised Phoenix, AZ, and moved to Ohio in 2008 to pursue Biblical studies at Bluffton University. After graduating in 2010, he moved to Wooster to help with Upward Bound Youth and a small church outreach there. Judah has been involved in teaching and curriculum development with the Legacy Bible program since its inception in 2011.