Book Testimonials

“This is not only a splendid read about the author’s 21-year journey of working with young people, but also a spectacular and insightful book about the power of youth-led changemaking. As the president of a public leadership program that has engaged over 800 next generation youth leaders from 70 countries around the world, I have seen first-hand how employing unique youth-led changemaking models can transform outstanding young change agents into self-actualized, globally-minded public leaders and game changers. The book provides compelling evidence because it is based on facts and not assumptions. It is not only informative for stakeholders who wish to design, align and deliver structures that can support youth, but most importantly, an excellent tool for youth themselves who wish to start their changemaking journey in their communities and countries around the world. Outstanding and highly-recommended!”

President Jeanne Sauvé Foundation

Diane de Mailly Nesle Sauvé

Susan Stroud


Ali Raza Khan’s work over many years to empower young people to make a positive difference in their communities through YES has been an inspiration to me and many others in the youth civic engagement field globally. With YES, Ali has tapped into an enormous reservoir of young people’s desperation to make a difference, rather than to exist in a state of despair. ”YES! Youth-led Changemaking” not only serves as a much-needed guidebook about effective programming, but it also describes Ali’s personal journey over the past two decades. This is important, because we often fail to look behind the programs to understand the personal values and very personal decisions that have been the generators of successful programs. I also admire Ali for having figured out how to take YES to scale. There are many examples of excellent youth empowerment programs in countries around the world, but very few social entrepreneurs have figures out how to scale them up, which Ali has done. How many people can claim to have provided the opportunity to so many young people to change their lives and the lives of their communities? Ali deserves our congratulations and our support.

CEO, Innovations in Civic Participation (ICP)

Since 2005, when Ali Khan was elected as an Ashoka Fellow, we have been celebrating and learning from his work. YES is not just an incredibly impactful organization but a harbinger of the movement of global youth from powerlessness to changemaking. Through his work Ali saw, over 2 decades back, that young people everywhere have the power to transform themselves and their societies, even in parts of the world known more for their challenges than opportunities. Since then, Ali’s work has contributed to grow this power exponentially, aided by the historical shifts in technology, media, and the global economy. Now it is absolutely vital to equip young people everywhere to channel this power to take charge of their future and this is why YES is not just relevant to Pakistan today but absolutely necessary to the world. Ali says “we must challenge every young person every day to become a changemaker”. This is a core part of Ashoka’s mission and this book YES! Youth(led) Changemaking serves as an essential blueprint for all youth organizations seeking to change systems and mindsets, and for any social change leader who wants to catalyze the kind of transformation that Ali has. In my interactions with Ali I have always been amazed by his humility and appetite for learning and as I read this book and reflect on the totality of Ali’s journey I see this thread in every aspect of his life and work. We are grateful and honored to have him as part of our community.

Director, Ashoka’s Global Fellowship

Maria Clara Pinheiro

Christoph von Toggenburg

“In a world that demands more and more positive changemakers, Ali and Thomas represent two young and energetic entrepreneurs who impacted the lives of countless young people. This book is testimony to a long and challenging journey to build ‘YES’ and to let young people in Pakistan discover their true passion. Ultimately, I believe the world would be a better place if people were given the opportunity to discover their true compass. In that sense traditional education fails all over the world and often literally ‘kill’ the creativity and innovation that children are naturally equipped with.”

Head of Social Engagement, World Economic Forum

“This is the journey of a visionary young man, Ali Raza Khan, whose first job as a government employee exposed him to a national resource and treasure: the youth of Pakistan. This generation, he observed, lacked faith and confidence in their abilities and uncertainty about their future. Using the foundation of his own upbringing and the inspiring example of his own mother, Khan established a non-profit called Youth Engagement Services (YES). This book describes the creative approach to youth empowerment and its implementation of a mission to create the space in which the next generation of citizens of Pakistan can actualize their true desire for a future with dignity and hope.”

Chairman Sumar Lakhani Foundation, USA

Dr. Amir Lakhani



Dr. Azra Yasmin

“Mr. Khan has written a success story of a Youngman’s belief in the potential of other young men. He initiated the idea to introduce ‘Youth led change making projects’ and ultimately YES (youth engaging Service). Author has thrown light on various aspects of youth, ranging from definition, dimensions, feelings, problems, challenges as well as covered all facets of youth led change making. Book is a guideline for all who want to be a change maker or who wish to take the responsibility of driving youth to create a difference. It will definitely be helpful in impacting the lives of both ‘the youth’ and ‘those’ who want to give youth a chance. I being a teacher/researcher strongly believe that encouragement and confidence in some ones capabilities can enhance performance of that individual. I am a witness of many such transformations, but that’s just a matter of accepting a challenge to change the mind-set. We are all living in a less trusted environment, which is not always about others, but for ourselves too. We need to re-write the software of our beliefs. I agree with Ali, when he says ‘its time for us to be open and brave’. So by selecting the ‘choice of change making’, we can create value, make progress and break barriers. Well done Ali Raza Khan, many young souls are following you for good.”

Dean, Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi, Pakistan

“This book is a commendable effort of translating the outcome of the author’s over two decades’ journey of youth engagement. It is a creative blend of knowledge, skill and attitude of youth-led change making as well as a practical manifestation of his strong belief system, conviction, and enthusiasm. Ali Raza has successfully proved the importance of youth engagement in social entrepreneurship as a single remedy for many social, economic and moral ills. He has presented “what, why, how and by whom” of youth engagement remarkably well in this book. His youth-led change making model is surely an evidence of seeing the youth as a solution rather than a problem. I am optimistic that this book can surely be a guiding document for many stakeholders including policymakers, governmental and non-governmental agencies, universities authorities, parents, and social activists to come forward and channelize the unprecedented energies of youth.”

Assistant Professor, National University of Modern Languages, Islamabad

Dr. Marium Din

Dulal Biswas

“It is really a praiseworthy initiative and a successful accomplishment. I also appreciate your capability in writing and compiling such a knowledgeable and well-informed highly valuable and supportive document. Really you have done a great task which will accord a positive result in the youth development curriculum and the model of Youth-led Changemaking to countries and communities worldwide. My sincere salute to you my friend.”

President, National Federation of Youth Organizations in Bangladesh

“Reading this book is like witnessing Ali’s journey of change, first hand. The greatest achievement of this book, in my opinion, is that it has taken the amorphous concept of ‘youth empowerment’ and turned it into a tangible and achievable reality. Youth everywhere will find outlined in this book, the steps that need to be taken for living a life that is not just productive but also meaningful”.

Senior Grants Officer, National Rural Support Program (NRSP)

Rafia Rauf

Dr Zahid Shahab Ahmed

“As someone who has met Ali Raza many times and examined his programs on youth entrepreneurs, I feel in a good position to comment on this book. This manuscript covering Ali Raza’s personal inspiring journey and details of his lifelong mission of youth empowerment is a much-needed and timely initiative. In Pakistan where roughly half of the country’s population comes within the youth bracket, it is important to benefit from this demographic dividend, therefore, Raza’s book can inspire many more young change agents from Pakistan.”

Deakin University, Australia

“Ali’s book is a much needed road map which restores people’s confidence in the latent and untapped talent, infinite potential of the youth of Pakistan. These young people which includes boys and girls who may not be educated but are intelligent enough to create opportunities not only for themselves but address the social issues of the community. The book is a step by step guide to the road of success. It identifies the gaps in the social, educational system, emphasize the critical measures necessary to mobilize/harness youth talent/energies in a productive direction to abate destructive aggression in them and channelize it into building peaceful/productive communities. It reminds the stakeholders to step up to take their roles and responsibilities seriously in creating bright future for these young people of Pakistan. Highly recommended!”

Former National Deputy Manager, FIT, GIZ

Kaukab Usman


Maureen Anderson

“Around our planet, growing smaller and closer with each technological advancement, people seem to focus on the problems, especially the societal challenges concerning marginalized people. Ali Raza Khan looks across the same landscape others deem to be bleak and sees possibilities. This visionary has spent his career demonstrating that the solution is all around us; the solution is our young people. Through the YES Network in Pakistan, Ali has demonstrated again and again that those with the least resources and greatest need can also be the most remarkable source of viable solutions. These solutions, in the form of socially and environmentally conscious entrepreneurial endeavors are transformative for individuals and communities! In their new book, *YES! YOU(TH) LED CHANGEMAKING*, Ali Raza Khan and Thomas G. Jakel show anyone invested in youth how they too can empower youth to be positive change makers wherever they may be!

This book will uplift, encourage, and energize you, as you learn the easy process for transforming young people from passive recipients of program designed to address societal problems into active, engaged community members who come to understand they have the creative capabilities within themselves to make positive changes in their lives and communities!

I met the young ladies of the YES! Network of Pakistan at the SAGE (Students for the Global Entrepreneurship) Competition in Moscow, Russia in 2014. The Pakistani team was professional, intelligent, creative, determined, and caring, outstanding representatives of their country and the YES! program. Our team of urban youth from Pittsburgh, PA, USA found them to be friendly, interesting, and inspirational. Through this experience, I reached out to Ali Raza Khan to learn more about his program and inquire if there was any way to facilitate a connection between his young people and ours. Over the years, I have learned more about Ali, his career trajectory, passion for positive, empowering change and youth engagement,and way happy to find a kindred spirit.

Join us! *It is my dream the fruits of our collective labors, multiplied by all of the youth our work touches, becomes the catalyst, and these young, empowered positive change makers from every walk of life create a better future for our planet and all of its people, creatures, and places.”

M. Ed. Activities Manager & SAGE Adviser, City Charter High School

“Having known Ali for the past few years, I have seen firsthand his commitment to the youth of Pakistan. This book is a testament to his years of on-the-ground work with youth across Pakistan. He not only clearly lays out the shortfalls of Pakistani society but also provides solutions. The book is a toolkit for every youth to be a change maker. We need more Ali Raza Khan’s in Pakistan!”

Former Associate Director, South Asia Center, Atlantic Council

Huma Haque

Charles Tsai

“What is the biggest challenge facing our youth today? Our limiting beliefs about who they are and what they can achieve. Ali Raza Khan’s groundbreaking work with youth in Pakistan shows why many of our assumptions are wrong and how *little* it takes to unleash the changemaking potential inherent in young people.”

Sr. Manager, Social Innovation Partnerships Fossil Group

“With over 60% of its population under 25, Pakistan’s youth is its asset. Enough has been said about the role of youth in the country’s growth and development; Ali and the YES Network’s work in Pakistan, has contributed practically to enable young people to strengthen their sense of agency, develop their skills and motivate them to become change agents in their communities. The British Council is pleased to have collaborated with Ali Raza on the Change Maker Institute Project which helped develop youth led social entrepreneurship in higher education institutions across Pakistan. This book is a testament to Ali’s commitment and leadership in supporting young people realize their potential and contribute to their country.”

Director Education, British Council

Nishat Riaz