Monthly Archives: October 2011

‘Fires to be lit’

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Here at YVC, we design youth service projects to ignite a passion in our Youth Volunteers–to get them hooked on volunteering. We plan interactive projects and service-learning to meet each individual volunteer’s needs and interests. A recent TED presentation echos these sentiments and articulates them perfectly.

Peter Benson, president and CEO of Minneapolis-based Search Institute and one of the world’s leading authorities on positive human development, delivered thispresentation on youth development. Here’s an excerpt from his speech, followed by the full presentation:

Most choose to work with our youth from the outside in, filling them with our values, with factoids and expectations. Instead, what if we worked from the inside out? What if we let this person emerge for who he or she is, encouraged their spark, nurtured that?


How do these ideas affect how you interact with youth? And how can we better implement the idea of sparks to engage youth in service?

Back to School with YVC of Western Connecticut

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Today’s blog is a guest post by Samantha Sommerer, Program Coordinator of YVC of Western Connecticut.

On 9/11 the YVC of Western Connecticut, which is hosted by United Way of Western Connecticut, participated in the Taste of Danbury, a two day event where different restaurants sell samples of their food, agencies come out to advocate for their causes and great music is played. In order to combine our participation in the Taste of Danbury with the 9/11 Day of Service, the YVC of Western CT decided to sign pledges to commit to community service hours and write cards to veterans, military families, Military spouses, and soldiers through a program called Operation Honor Cards. Seven Youth Volunteers completed a total of 14 community service hours!

Our YVC also participated in the Back to School Program hosted by the Volunteer Center of the United Way of Western Connecticut. The Back to School Program provided brand new backpacks with school supplies and gift cards to about 300 children in Danbury. The YVC participants truly enjoyed the opportunity to  hand out the new backpacks filled with supplies. The YVC volunteers said seeing the smiles on the kids faces when they got their backpacks was so amazing!

Thanks to Samantha for submitting a guest post! Do you have a story to tell about youth volunteerism? Email Lacey at [email protected]

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