Posts Tagged ‘youth in service’

City Year: Go Big or Go Home

Decalsquare_largeSpring break is over now or wrapping up, so students everywhere have turned wistful minds toward summer vacation–some will need to find jobs, others will kill time with friends and electronic devices…others will gear up for something huge, a way to make a mark on the world that is indelible and profound. They will take on a City Year. This is an education-focused non-profit that unites young people from all backgrounds in a year of full-time service. The organization is focused on fighting the national dropout crisis, and their corps of super-committed young volunteers serve as mentors, tutors, and role models to keep other kids on track. Using early warning indicators: attendance, behavior, and course performance, corps members engage in communities and districts in 24 U.S. locations–more than 6,000 volunteers are part of the effort. The volunteers start their day before the morning bell rings, and stay after the last student goes home, spending time in academic support, attendance and behavior encouragement, and school improvement projects on the campus. Teams also create new initiatives and leave-behind initiatives like study centers, clubs, community service projects, social education classes, and environmental awareness programs.

To be part of a corps team, you must be a high school or college grad (or GED equivalent); be able to dedicate ten months to service; be between the ages of 17-24; be a US citizen or right to work; pass a background check. Who do you know that’s got the right stuff and is up to the task of dedicating all they’ve got to youth being ever more exceptional? Find out how to join here.

Youth in service–it is the future.

Know a Kid Who is Changing the World? Nominate!

The Hasbro Community Action Awards are for young people, ages 5-18, who are engaged in extraordinary community service activities. Between now and March 6, you can nominate a young person who is dedicated to improving our world. You are never too young to make a difference, and these kids should give the rest of us pause…and perspective. If five- and six-year-olds are doing things like raising money for Haitian relief and starting recycling programs in their schools, what are we each doing to live up to that? I’m not saying any of us is NOT a source of inspiration, but if you’re not engaged now, these heroes ought to be the kick in the pants you need.

The Hasbro Children’s Fund and the Points of Light Institute got together to form GenerationOn, inspiring and empowering young people to change the world. These Community Action Awards are part of that partnership. Younger kids, tweens, and teens really get it and are exceedingly creative with problem solving. We would be wise to listen to them and all they have to offer. Truly, if more decisions about fairness and equality and saving the planet and making sure everyone at life’s table has enough were made from the points of view of young people, we could put a large share of this world’s strife behind us. Finding ways to empower and engage kids has to be at the top of the priority list–it is no less than our future.

Know a young hero, or a bunch of them? Nominate him or her or them, and give them the recognition they deserve. Then tell them you did it. Then thank them…and thank them again.