Our History

We are building on 70 years of history!

Youth Incorporated was founded by the late Allen Dobson, a Nashville banker, businessman and philanthropist. Chartered on June 25, 1945, under the laws of the State of Tennessee, Youth Inc. has focused it's efforts primarily in the Middle Tennessee area.

In 1950, Allen Dobson inspired another innovative program called "Hands Across the Sea." Twenty-two European teenagers were brought to Nashville for an opportunity to experience an American lifestyle in an effort to promote international understanding and cooperation. Co-sponsored by a variety of Nashville business and professional leaders, this was one of the first Foreign Exchange programs ever.

In 1955, Circle YI was forced to move from its original location because of the expansion of the Nashville International Airport. In the late 1960s, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers flooded the area to create a reservoir for the Nashville area. More than 400 acres of the farm land was submerged in water. However, instead of having a river front area for just swimming and canoeing, Youth Inc. owned a 175-acre property with a beautiful overlook of the new lake.

The other services provided by Youth Inc. were added during the mid-1980s, including Youth Baskteball, In-Line Hockey and Off-Season Rentals. To date, thousands of young people have been served by the mission of Youth Inc. in Middle Tennessee, and the organization continues to effect positive change in today's youth.