Youth Impact founder Robb Hall remembered for life centered on service

Tuesday , December 26, 2017 - 5:11 PM

JANAE FRANCIS, Standard-Examiner Staff

OGDEN — Robb Hall, the founder of a nonprofit known for helping inner-city children through after-school programs, died Christmas Eve from stage 4 melanoma. He was 51.

Youth Impact gave thousands of kids a chance to realize their dreams, Hall’s brother, Tim Hall, said. But his impact was still bigger.

“Robb didn’t just change these kids’ lives. Robb changed the community,” Tim Hall said.

RELATED: Despite urgent cancer battle, Youth Impact founder Robb Hall presses forward

His brother never stopped advocating for his cause, from the Utah Legislature to many community groups, Tim Hall said.

“Adults who may not have spoken to each other came together because of Robb.”

What started out as a small after-school group hosted at The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd grew to serve about 200 kids at a time, Tim Hall said. The program, which Hall continued to lead as director until his death, is now raising $1.2 million for an expansion.

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In the early days, Hall had a vision but had no idea how to find resources, Bishop Scott B. Hayashi of the Episcopal Diocese of Utah said.

Hall started out with some orange vests and some inner-city youth cleaning up garbage off of 24th Street, Hayashi said.

RELATED: Youth Impact builds hope and family for Ogden youth 

Shopkeepers who previously had learned to be leery of these kids soon were thanking them for their efforts by offering refreshments, according to the bishop.

Support grew from there as Hall built relationships and gave back to the community, Hayashi said.

“Robb believed that everybody, if they had a chance, would be able to do well,” Hayashi said.

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Hall’s wife, Nicole Hall, said her husband was always her hero, but he managed to impress her even in his last days.

“The night before he died, he had friends over and he was making them laugh,” she said. “He always wanted people to feel better even though he was struggling so hard.”

Nicole Hall said her husband performed “hundreds and hundreds” of acts of service.

“There were the late-night phone calls,” she said. “He’d drop everything to do anything.”

Nicole Hall, who is also the chief financial officer for Youth Impact, said even as she and her husband worked and lived close together, she never met anyone who didn’t fall in love with him upon their first meeting.

Tim Hall said his brother gave up personal wealth and personal time to continually serve others.

“He did not live high on the hog. He did not drive a nice car,” Tim Hall said. “ He did everything for everybody else. You always hear about the person who would give their last dollar in his pocket to somebody else. Robb really was that person.”

RELATED: Youth Impact provides path to success for children

One Youth Impact staff member, George Bautista, shared on Facebook about a recent conversation where he said the success of Youth Impact was due to Hall’s leadership.

Hall told him he was wrong.

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“He stopped me and said, ‘No it's because of everyone,’” Bautista wrote. “That was Robb, never taking credit but always working hard for those in need.”

Staff members at Youth Impact wrote a statement Tueday about their sorrow at the passing of their “great friend.”

”His purpose will live on,” they wrote. “He left the world a better place than he found it and we will be forever grateful for Robb Hall.”

Hall’s mother-in-law, Marcy Korgenski, said the complete impact of Hall’s life will never be measurable because he served so many in silence.

On Christmas evening, a man drove from Logan to visit the family and told them how he had called Hall every week for 10 years as he grew up, she said.

“There were a lot of things like that that Robb did that nobody ever knew about,” Korgenski said. “He really cared about young people and they really cared about him. ...

“None of us can even know how deeply he impacted the lives of all these people and how deeply he will be missed.”

Some former participants in Youth Impact have organized a candlelight service for 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 28, in front of the Youth Impact building, 2305 Grant Ave. in Ogden. The community is invited to participate.

You can reach reporter JaNae Francis at or 801-625-4228. Follow her on Twitter at @JaNaeFrancisSE or like her on Facebook at

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