Young Pioneer Disaster Response (YPDR) started with the idea that the collective action of dedicated individuals, each utilizing their own skills to their maximum potential, can affect great change in the world. YPDR was founded by Christopher P. White, Joseph Ferris III, Marshall Mayer and Katlyn Murray. White and Ferris were running tours to destinations like North Korea and Burma for an extreme travel company when they heard about the devastation caused to the Philippines by Typhoon Yolanda, while Mayer was doing logistical work and Murray was filming a documentary in China.
White, who previously worked in commercial diving, oil spill response, wild land fire fighting, and construction management, and Ferris, a 15-year veteran captain of a prominent oceanographic research vessel, felt the need lend a helping hand in any way they could. After assembling a skilled team of likeminded people, fundraising through crowdfunding websites, and recruiting an international volunteer workforce, the three headed to Bantayan Island with the intention of rebuilding schools.
Upon hitting the ground, they quickly realized that short-term solutions would be ineffective in addressing the major problems faced by the people of Bantayan Island as the result of the typhoon. YPDR has committed to a 3 year operation on Bantayan Island in order to facilitate the implementation of long-term solutions designed to empower and promote the prosperity and well-being of this disaster affected community.