Since the foundation of Altrusa, Altrusans have focused their attention on the future, directing their attention on the young generations on which the future rests.
As community service organizations, Altrusa Clubs throughout the International network have shown their concern for the problems and promise of youth by initiating and sponsoring a wide variety of youth-oriented service projects.
Early Altrusans recognized they could make significant contributions to their communities by providing vocational guidance for young women. This commitment secured the adoption in 1924 of vocational service as Altrusa's first organization-wide program focus. It was an insightful decision that later crystallized through the development of myriad programs and projects having to do with career vocations. By the shear volume of award applications for one program alone, the Founders Fund Vocational Award, this decision was proved particularly perceptive.
Altrusa International, Inc., first discussed organizing and sponsoring youth groups in the 1960's after a few clubs reported already having sponsored girls' clubs under the Altrusa name. Although this use of the Altrusa name was contrary to established policy, the Board recognized the community service potential that existed in sponsoring youth groups and the desirability of promoting greater club participation in this activity. In July 1965, Altrusa appointed a special Youth Group Committee to identify and develop a suggested structure and name for youth groups sponsored by Altrusa clubs. The youth groups would be based on the following principles, as adopted by the International Board of Directors.
Altrusa's participation in the area of youth groups should not duplicate what is already being done by other organizations. Altrusa's participation should be unique in purpose.