The history of IYSS can be traced back to the year 1999, when Esther Ho, founder of IYSS, started Mustard Seed Education Path (MSEP), a proprietorship to provide academic, hobbies, music, personal and family growth courses and activities to families, children and youth in the City of Richmond. This experience made her aware of the depth of the needs of new immigrant families and the lack of effective programs facilitating settlement and smooth integration into a new culture.

In 2001, Esther started putting together a group of people sharing similar goals and passion and in March 2002, IYSS was founded and registered as a non-profit society. IYSS inherited and expanded the Mustard Seed Children Theatre, Youth Band, Spring Break and Summer Day Camp, and Self-development courses—programs with proven success during the early days run under the auspices of MSEP.

From the beginning, IYSS believes in the importance of an integrated approach to youth work. We work directly with young people to help them build a good value system, <span>self-esteem and commit to personal growth. We work with children to offer the early positive formation equipping them with skills growing up in a diverse culture. We also work closely with parents knowing that a lot of the challenges young people face are rooted or related to intergenerational relations.

Since 2002, IYSS have successful launched many programs reaching over 9,000 people in the short history of the Society. In 2006 alone, more than 4800 people, mostly residents of Richmond participated in the various programs of IYSS. Some of the our best known and most popular programs include: Parent Support Group, Children Integrated Arts Summer Camp, Mustard Seed Adult and Children Theatres, Youth Book Research Project and Personal Growth Youth Pilgrimage to Yunnan, China (a partnership with Vancouver Sowers Society of Education).