Posted by Outreach · June 25, 2013 4:44 PM
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The International Association for Volunteer Effort (IAVE) exists to promote, strengthen and celebrate the development of volunteering worldwide. IAVE members were particularly active on Global Youth Service Day 2013 with volunteer initiatives on nearly every continent.
Posted by YSA Engagement Team · May 31, 2013 2:37 PM
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During Global Youth Service Day, we experienced the power of youth service, celebrated the contribution of young people, and witnessed innovative strategies to solve difficult problems. Now that GYSD 2013 is over, we asked some youth leaders to share the impact of their projects. This is what they had to say.
Allison Marciniak, age 6
Be a Buddy Not a Bully
Bay City, MI
Allison wanted to teach others about the harmful effects of bullying, what it looks like, where it happens, how to stop it, and how to find help. During GYSD, Allison and her friends distributed “Be a Buddy Not a Bully” bracelets to all students at her school, Mackensen Elementary. In return, they asked bracelet recipients to pledge to treat all people with kindness.
“I feel really good about this project and I learned even though I am just a little kid, I can do big things, and so can all of my friends. We can make a difference.”
Posted by YSA Engagement Team · May 10, 2013 6:13 PM
JOVEN360: El Salvador´s National Internship Program
Almost two years ago, JOVEN360: El Salvador´s National Internship Program was launched as a project by SearchIn and USAID´s Program to Improvement Access to Employment. The initial mission of JOVEN360 was to create a culture of internships amongst the private sector and youth in El Salvador. However, JOVEN360 quickly expanded to create more than simply a culture of internships but also a culture among the private/public sector of promoting the professional development of youth.
Through an innovative online platform, JOVEN360 strives to strengthen access to youth and institutions alike through volunteerism, internships, youth employment, and information about certificate training programs as well as academic scholarships. Currently, JOVEN360.com holds over 17,000 profiles of Salvadorean youth, approximately 600 businesses, and works actively in conjunction with local universities and institutions to expand its reach
Posted by YSA Engagement Team · May 08, 2013 3:14 PM
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One of the most exciting parts of Global Youth Service Day is collaborating with partners that share the same values. The YSA Team was excited to partner with Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation, whose mission is to build a kinder, braver, safer world. We know that one way to accomplish this mission is through service, and that’s just what BTWF called on the “little monsters” to do.
Posted by YSA Engagement Team · May 08, 2013 10:32 AM
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YSA grantees, Rachael Brunson and her 3rd-grade class at Elsa England Elementary School in Round Rock, Texas have spent the semester studying childhood hunger as part of their Semester of Service. These committed 3rd graders, known as the Hunger Warriors, are showing off their moves and taking action! Ms. Brunson and her class have partnered with another elementary school in the Austin area, and together, they will lobby at the State Capitol on Thursday, May 9, 2013 to place a focus on childhood hunger.
Posted by YSA Engagement Team · April 26, 2013 3:15 PM
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In commemoration of Global Youth Service Day (#GYSD), Your Middle East highlights the positive outcomes of the Arab uprisings.
The news outlet spoke to young people across the region who describe how their lives have changed for the better. Many of them are challenging the status quo by starting businesses, studying or joining organisations. For additional news coverage of GYSD in the Middle East, join the conversation on Twitter with #GYSD and #MENAYouth, and visit http://www.yourmiddleeast.com/hot-topics/global-youth-day_66.
Posted by YSA Engagement Team · April 26, 2013 2:57 PM
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Chef Remmi, age 13, is showing kids that cooking is a part of healthy living. For her GYSD project, she's hosting the "No Kid Hungry Food Classic--Be a C.H.E.F.!" to benefit the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma and Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign. Read all about her plans here.
Posted by YSA Engagement Team · April 23, 2013 5:03 PM
“MDJunior is not just giving our people medicine; you’re giving them hope.” - In the words of 15 year old Juan Carlos one of our MDJunior Honduran youth mentees
Honduras is one of the Poorest Countries in the Western hemisphere (Source: UNICEF, CIA World Fact Book). 63% live below Poverty line …7 out of 10 in Honduras don’t have access to sanitation, or basic necessities like clean water supply…Most Rural villages lack access to medical attention within a 4 hr walk
Read on to learn how high-schooler Shaun Verma of MDJunior is making an impact in a unique way…
Posted by Michelle Pendoley · April 23, 2013 4:11 PM
A couple of weeks ago, I connected with Gabrielle Posard, a Disney Friends for Change grant recipient and founder of the nonprofit organization Donate, Don't Dump. The San Diego teen had exciting news: she was to be featured in PEOPLE Magazine for Earth Day, in recognition of her successes in persuading grocers and businesses to donate more than 800,000 pounds of surplus and short-dated food (past "Best By" date) to local food banks to alleviate hunger. Given that the Earth Day Network is a YSA partner, and that many young people celebrate Earth Day in conjunction with GYSD, Gabrielle wanted to find ways to leverage her awesome news coverage to promote her Global Youth Service Day project. Helping our grantees maximize the impact of their good work is among my favorite parts of the jobs, and as a public relations professional, I really love getting calls like this. PEOPLE Magazine--EXCITING! But then the Boston Marathon bombings happened, and plans changed....
To give younger students and siblings a guide for dealing with difficult situations, students at Elkin High School committed to a Semester of Service project in which they wrote, illustrated, and published a children’s book, Bucky’s Friends, featuring stories about character education told through the voice of their school mascot, Bucky.
"We were able to use this icon, which the younger students recognize and adore, as the basis of these stories to help teach important ideas like playing fair and sharing," explained Houston Parks, an Elkin High senior working on the project. "Throughout the book, Bucky gives his 'Stamp of Approval' when a character in the story makes a good choice, making sure that the reader gets the moral of the story. As the primary illustrator of Bucky, I am glad that I had to the chance to be part of this project and give something back to my school and community. I believe this book will help many students for a long time. I especially enjoyed taking copies of this book to our local public library where anyone in the community can take it home to read."
Posted by YSA Engagement Team · April 18, 2013 8:03 PM
Meet 15-year-old Diego Alvarez, founder of Shoeing, a nonprofit that provides footwear to shoeless youth in El Salvador. A little over a year ago, Diego and some of his friends at the American School in El Salvador decided to address this need in their local community. In less than a year and 2,000 shoes later, what started as a local high school service project has spread to high schools throughout El Salvador and now Honduras.
Posted by Charles Orgbon Iii · April 16, 2013 5:00 PM
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I hear adults say, 'I never would be thinking about doing stuff like this when I was your age.' Our generation has more access that any other generation has never had before...We are equal stakeholders in the future as much as we are today. If we want a community of young doers, we need to welcome their voice and GYSD can serve as an effective outlet for communities.
Read on for a Global Youth Service Day reflection from 16-year-old Charles Orgbon, the 16-year-old YSA Youth Council Member who also sits on YSA's Board of Directors. As the founder of the nonprofit Greening Forward, a GYSD Lead Agency, Charles will organize at least 600 young people across 10 Atlanta-area nonprofits for GYSD 2013.
Posted by Stanimirka Milovanovic · April 16, 2013 2:17 PM
American Councils, the GYSD Regional Partner for Central Asia and Eastern Europe, engages alumni from its FLEX (The Future Leaders Exchange) program, whch offers scholarships for high school students (age 15 – 17) to live in the United States and attend an American high school for one year. For over ten years FLEX and YSA have partnered in engaging these youth after they return to their home countries, to apply what they learned in FLEX by organizing Global Youth Service Day projects in their community.
Take some time and check out their FLEX blog http://flexgysd.blogspot.ru. Elina Mukhametdinova, American Councils’ GYSD assistant and a FLEX 2010 graduate, deserves credit and recognition in working with alumni to provide the blog content, in addition to editing the posts. Below is an excellent example from one of the many GYSD-FLEX projects, as described in a blog by Azhar Yerzhanova’s “Book Club” project in Kazakhstan.
"Book Club" Project by Azhar Yerzhanova
Our FLEX GYSD projects are focusing on very different issues. Ecology, education, health - all those important topics are highlighted by the projects of our alumni who are going to take part in GYSD. We have already posted stories about an educational project in Georgia and an ecological one in Ukraine. Now it's time for Azhar Yerzhanova from Kazakhstan, who is organizing a project named "Book Club".
Posted by Kiran Thadhani · April 14, 2013 11:35 AM
"Good thoughts, good words, good deeds.”
From the age of three, YSA grantees Carishma and Darius Chinoy have practiced serving each other and the community around them. Their mother, Marissa Sequeira, has created a culture of service in their home where volunteering for a Habitat for Humanity build or painting a neighbor’s kitchen is the ebb and flow of their daily lives.
Read on for Mrs. Sequeira's thoughts on how parents can help to engage their children in service.
Posted by Kevin Hollander · April 11, 2013 11:49 AM
It’s been an enlightening experience this semester at Youth Service America where the people are inspired and the energy is contagious. It is through my internship here that I became inspired to attend this year’s ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference) Leadership Symposium. Each school in the ACC mobilized students to visit Boston College and participate in the conference which encourages community development through collaboration among young change agents.
Student representatives participated in a simulation, conducted by LIFT—a nonprofit that helps those affected by poverty—where individuals took on a new identity and navigated through the social service system. I was assigned the identity of a financially burdened single mother with two sick kids.
Posted by Katherine Gerber · April 09, 2013 4:51 PM
People to People International’s (PTPI) Pyeongtaek, South Korea and Varna, Bulgaria Student Chapters organized around the issues of environmental conservation, elder care, and youth for Global Youth Service Day (GYSD) 2012.
Posted by Scott Ganske · April 05, 2013 6:18 PM
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I first met Daniel in the fall, when I visited his 3rd-grade class at Elsa England Elementary School in Round Rock, Texas. With their teacher, Rachael Brunson, the class had just started a Semester of Service, a program built into their everyday lessons, during which they would learn about, and take action against, childhood hunger. From the start, Daniel stood back in a way that I’ve seen so many students.
This video was taken in March, five months into the Semester of Service. I asked Daniel if he wanted to talk to me about what he’d been learning. He was cautious, as if he were trying to give a “right” answer. I told him to ignore the camera, and just talk with me. He relaxed, and a few minutes in, something “clicked.” This is what you see in this two-minute clip.
Posted by YSA Engagement Team · April 03, 2013 1:44 PM
YSA grantees at Elsa England Elementary School in Round Rock, Texas, are studying childhood hunger as part of their Semester of Service. These creative, committed 3rd-graders showed off their moves with their version of the Harlem Shake, coupled with a personal message about ending childhood hunger. Their Semester of Service is sponsored by a Sodexo Foundation School Engagement Grant.
Posted by YSA Engagement Team · April 01, 2013 11:34 AM
By Christine Szeryk, Teacher at the QSI International School in Bratislava, Slovakia
For the past three years, students at QSI International School (QSIB) in Bratislava, Slovakia have been participating in school-wide Earth Week activities each April. During the week, we celebrate the four natural elements and explore ways in which we're able to do our part in reducing environmental harm to our planet. On our days dedicated to Water, we learn about the importance of water, how to conserve what we have, and how we can help others acquire clean drinking water through H2O for Life’s Walk for Water, a Partner Day of Service for Global Youth Service Day (GYSD). On March 22nd of each year, QSIB celebrates World Water Day by kicking off a coin drive that we call "Buckets of Coins to Buckets of Water". We create a video with information and pictures of the school with which we are partnering to help and for the next few weeks leading up to Earth Week, students, teachers, and parents generously donate their coins, filling up three large buckets in our lobby. Although the buckets are divided into our schools divisions spanning Pre-K to Grade 12, we collectively work to attain our goals of helping others.
Latin America and the Caribbean joined the Global Youth Service Day (GYSD) campaign in 2012 with 164 projects in 15 countries. This year GYSD, which translates into Spanish as Día Global del Voluntariado Juvenil (DGVJ), affects many youth thanks to our current partners in the region.
Maribel Monroy and Camila Villar Guhl from “Sistemas Humanos,” one of the local organizers in Colombia, share a passion for youth civic participation and for service as a tool for making positive changes in communities. When they learned about GYSD, they decided to join the campaign with the aim of gaining visibility for Colombian youth service projects. They talked with YSA's Diana Florez to share their insights regarding service, youth and GYSD.
What was the first thought you had when you learned about GYSD?
First of all, we felt excited! It was a feeling that was immediately connected to the joyful faces of many kids, youth and adults that we know and who would be happy to participate in a campaign such as GYSD. Then, we thought about joining the GYSD celebration in Colombia and the region through “Sistemas Humanos,” which is aligned with the mission of facilitating and promoting youth participation in diverse roles.
How did you get involved in the arts and education?
I work for the Milwaukee public school district and manage the Partnership for the Arts and Humanities Program that supports afterschool and summer programs. I have worked with a number of non-profit arts organizations as an arts instructor and administrator, but I have a particular interest in service and youth because I served as an AmeriCorps volunteer with Public Allies. The GYSD Milwaukee team recruited me because of my previous experience working with after-school programs in the arts and humanities.
Students at the Virgin the Guadalupe School served as part of the IDB (Inter-American Development Bank) "Solidaridad Comunitaria" project in Las Garzas, Pacora, Panama. This event kicked-off the annual IDB ‘Meeting of Governors,’ which is a forum for discussion among the IDB’s Governors--most of whom are Ministers of Finance, Presidents of Central Banks, or other high level authorities of the member countries. The event on March 14 was the beginning of several improvement projects to the school.
Posted by Amanda McDonald · March 19, 2013 9:28 AM
Evan, a 14 year-old from Johns Creek, Georgia, has a passion for the environment. His dream is to go into the field of conservation ecology. But Evan has a radical idea about nature: he thinks that physical disability should not stop anyone from exploring and discovering the environment around them. That is why he is working with local organizations to create a Braille nature trail for the visually-impaired.
Working together with the Nature Conservancy and the Georgia Council of the Blind, Evan--who is not visually impaired--and his group of volunteers will get together on Global Youth Service Day 2013 and construct Braille signposts and guide ropes to educate and direct visually impaired walkers as they walk the trail.
Second only to my passion for service is my love of studying other cultures. So it has been much to my delight that, during my 12 years at YSA (Youth Service America), I have been able to combine to the two. During my time at YSA, I’ve met people from all over the world and gained insights into what service means to them and their culture.
Posted by YSA Engagement Team · March 05, 2013 5:07 PM
Students at Jones Middle School in Upper Arlington, Ohio, know that ending childhood hunger starts one canned good at a time. After hosting several food drives and learning about food insecurity, in February the students delivered their food donations to the Mid-Ohio Food Bank. The field trip was part of their year-long commitment to focus on childhood hunger as part of their Semester of Service, a service and learning program offered by YSA.
"It was amazing to see how much students were retaining and learning, as they were touring through the Mid-Ohio Food Bank. The information they heard was real, and alive, and had a 'voice,'" says Scott Ganske, YSA's Director of Education, who traveled to Ohio for the field trip.
Posted by YSA Engagement Team · March 04, 2013 3:28 PM
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A five-year veteran of Global Youth Service Day, Indira Dasguptais the Executive Director of People’s Institute for Development and Training, an official Regional Partner organizing GYSD activities in Madhupur, India. As a Regional Partner, PIDT will engage 100,000 young people in over 50 organizations, and help to raise the visibility of the role that young people can play as community leaders. Indira Skyped recently with YSA Outreach Manager Chris Wagner to share highlights of GYSD planning. This is Part I of their conversation; part II will focus on the role of service-learning in PIDT’s Global Youth Service Day project.
Tell us a bit about your GYSD Coalition.
We have many partners working on Global Youth Service Day, but the one that has been planning for a while now is Anandalaya, a private school of 5th-10th grade students. Anandalaya means “Place of Joy,” and it’s located in a tiny picturesque village called Jaga-dish-pur, or “World like Place,” near Madhupur in the state of Jharkhand in eastern India.
At Northview High School in Atlanta, 16-year-old Darius Chinoy is in the driver's seat--literally! Concerned that too many teen driver safety campaigns didn't speak in a language that teens could appreciate, Darius created this public service announcement. Written and produced by Darius, and starring teens from across different school groups, this video is just the first of many of his Semester of Service initiatives.
Posted by Hasib Muhammed of Greening Forward · February 14, 2013 5:10 PM
Wake up, eat soggy cereal, go to school, study, eat soggy rice, sleep. Lather. Rinse. Repeat daily. Several months ago, I found myself in the perpetual cycle of the daily grind. Bereft of a passion, of something greater than myself, days became undistinguishable. I realized that I was not living life. Rather, I was just letting life pass through my fingertips. Sure, I was alive: breathing and conducting electrical synapses in my brain, but so were seven billion other people on the earth. What set me apart from them? A was a number, a statistic – not an individual.
Haile Thomas is on a mission to introduce kids to healthy lifestyles. She’s spoken about health issues at the Clinton Global Health Matters Summit, serves on the advisory board of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, and started an online healthy eating program, “Kids Can Cook.” This is all in addition to co-founding the Healthy Girls’ Adventure Club, a healthy-living nonprofit. This Tuesday, Haile was vaulted to the highest levels of power, when she was one of First Lady Michelle Obama’s special guests at the State of the Union.
I grew up in a family where community service was part of our lifestyle. My parents incorporated service into my life in fun and rewarding ways—that coincided with hobbies or passions that I already liked. It made service fun and inspiring.