History of EFY
In the mid-1970s, Ron Hills and other BYU employees developed a program to “create an Education Week for teenagers where youth could interact with other young people from various places in the country, rather than just with those from their own ward or stake.” That program was called Especially For Youth (EFY).
In 1976 the first session was held in Provo, Utah. It was nearly cancelled because of low enrollment. On the very day of the enrollment deadline, an envelope arrived containing 25 registrations, bringing the total to 172 participants. Brother Hills and others decided that was enough to hold the first-ever EFY.
The following year two EFY sessions were held, and 863 people attended in Provo. Enrollment continued to grow every year. In 1980 four sessions were held in Provo, with over 3,600 participants. In 1986 five EFY sessions were held, four in Provo and one in San Diego, California, with a total of more than 4,900 participants. By 1990 EFY had 12 sessions, one each week of the summer, with over 10,500 total participants.
In 1993 the decision was made to hold more than one session during a single week. That year 21 sessions were held with over 15,500 youth attending. In 1999, 46 EFY sessions were held throughout North America with more than 30,000 youth attending. In 2008 a remarkable 109 sessions were held with over 46,000 participants enrolled.
Now approaching 40 years since its inception, EFY remains a successful BYU program. The many young single adult counselors and leaders, past and present directors, administrators, staff, session directors and teachers who have worked for EFY have made it what it is today. The objective of EFY is provide an uplifting, edifying, learning experience where youth can strengthen their commitments to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
From 1976 through 2012, more than 747,000 youth have attended in 1,453 EFY sessions.
We are grateful for each and every participant and counselor, and those who have done both. We hope the EFY experience was awesome for them, and that those interested in coming to EFY for the first time will have a great experience like those before them.