Monthly Archives: November 2012

What did you learn at the Summit?

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Between funding strategies, youth leadership, marketing and using improv to build confidence, the YVC Summit offered all kinds of workshops for attendees to learn how to expand YVC in their communities.

The Summit is the only place to get YVC-specific training, and our attendees said they went home with ideas to make their YVC program even better. Here’s what just a few of them said:

I learned at the Summit…
Ways to volunteer after YVC
 You don’t have to start really big to make a difference.


How to spread the word about YVC




Volunteering isn’t just for hours
How to be more organized
How to plan a project


How to use social media to promote YVC


How to speak up and not be shy


While leadership is important, the first follower is also important.







  YVC has the potential to be a movement.


We are a community.

Your Impact with YVC

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Youth Volunteers changed the world this year. Here’s how:

25th Anniversary Summit: A Life-Changing Experience

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Last weekend, 105 people came together at the YVC Summit to celebrate 25 years of service with YVC and look forward to the next 25. Here’s what some of those 105 people had to say in their own words:


“It was a very good event and a great value for the expense. I think it really brought the big picture into focus for the youth.”

“It was truly one of the best experiences I’ve had with YVC.”

“One of the best! It was nice to meet YVC staff and interact with the YVC board members.”

“I had an amazing time and am very happy I came.”

It changed my life and I made tons of new connections with people from all over.”


Thank you to everyone who came to the Summit and helped make it awesome!

It’s Summit Time!

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We have sent our last reminder emails, the food is ordered, the reservations are final and all the deadlines are now in the past. The 25th Anniversary Summit is finally here, and we are as giddy as kids at Christmas awaiting your arrival!

We are taking this opportunity to share with you the one special thing each one of us is most excited about:



As it turns out (and lucky for us!) Darcy knows everyone in Kansas City. As we began planning this Summit, no matter the issue, no matter the topic, Darcy would say, “My friend so-and-so owns an amazing restaurant and she could …” So it was no surprise when she was asked what she was most looking forward to, that her answer was, “All the little extracurricular activities that folks get to do here in Kansas City. I love Kansas City and all the amazing people here doing incredibly interesting things. It is truly a thriving community.” And that will be apparent to all of you when you explore the city, taste all the amazing food and talk to Darcy about what recommendations she has for things to do.


Since Lacey started full-time as YVC’s Communications and Media Coordinator, we have completed a major branding initiative (including designing and printing numerous branding items), designed a new website, planned a nationwide 25th Anniversary Celebration of Service, moved our offices twice, hosted an open house attended by the Mayor of Kansas City and organized the Summit. Oh … and in the middle of all of that, Lacey planned her wedding and got married in Oregon in September! As you can imagine, Lacey is determined to enjoy herself this weekend, and we all support that goal. “We set up a hangout room, icebreaker games, a scavenger hunt, among other activities, so that we can all have plenty of time to get to know each other and have some fun,” said Lacey. “Look for me in the game room!”


Since Tracy arrived at YVC a little over a year ago, we have undergone some major changes! Thanks to her steady and capable leadership, we have accomplished some extraordinarily lofty goals, none more important than organizing this Summit. But if there is one thing you will learn about Tracy, it is that despite her focused determination, she insists on laughing and having a good time. Needless to say, the improv comedy show at Comedy City was her idea and it is also what she is most looking forward to. “We will be rolling up our sleeves and getting a lot of work done during this Summit and that is exciting, but I insist on having a good time,“ she said. “I have always had a blast at Comedy City and I can’t wait to share some laughs with all of our visitors.”


As Paul approaches his one-year anniversary as Affiliate Serves Coordinator, it is amazing to step back and recognize the monumental task he faced as he stepped into this new role. Fortunately his years as the Program Director of YVCKC, which is thriving in no small part due to his leadership, prepared him for the task at hand. His calm and steady presence has been a major part of our ability to make some major changes this year and not crumbling under the immensity of it all. This Summit is the culmination of a great deal of planning and effort on his part and he is looking forward to finally witnessing the fruits of his labor. “All of the workshops are going to be great, but I am really looking forward to the workshops that are being led by Directors, Team Leaders and Youth Volunteers,” said Paul. “Affiliate participation will be crucial for our growth, and my goal for this Summit is to get Affiliates excited and involved.”


Anyone who knows David knows that he is a people person. If you haven’t met David, you will this weekend! He loves to be in the middle of it all, and his enthusiasm and excitement for YVC’s mission is contagious. One of our most recent favorite “David Moments” here at the office is when YVCKC Team Leaders initiated a “How Far Can You Jump?” game, and there was David hurling himself across the office trying not to be outdone. We all could have predicted that what he is most looking forward to is participating in games and workshops and hearing from all of you. “One of the things I am really excited about is the formation of a National Youth Advisory Board,” says David. “I love having youth involved as much as possible, and the possibility of having youth from all over the country participating in our growth is everything I could have hoped for!”


We can’t wait to see all of the Youth Volunteers and YVC staff traveling across the country (and Canada!) to meet up in Kansas City! See you tomorrow!

Can’t make the trip? Follow along on Twitter at #yvcsummit.

June 8, 1987: The First Day of YVC

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YVC’s President and Founder David Battey in 1987.

People ask when I thought YVC was going to be a success. They are surprised when I am able to pinpoint a day and time—Monday, June 8, 1987, at 5:30 p.m.

You see, that was the first day of service for the 47 high school youth who had signed up to be in the brand new Youth Volunteer Corps of Greater Kansas City.

A lot had gone on right up to that June day—the United Way Volunteer Center had stepped forward to sponsor the project, six nonprofits had developed summer service projects, a very diverse group of teenagers had signed up to be on four-week projects,and the overnight team-building camp had been a success.

My main question after the first day of service was very basic and kind of important—would any of the teens come back for a second day? I needed to know before Tuesday, June 9, 1987.

So I went up to my room at my parents’ house in Shawnee Mission, Kansas. The same room that had been mine since I was seven years old; the same one that my parents thought it was time for me to move out of as a 24 year-old man.

In a time before cell phones, text messages, caller ID and call waiting, I knew what I had to do. I had to call a few of the Youth Volunteers and see how their days went.

I looked over the roster of names and with some trepidation decided to call Andi Prevost. My trepidation had nothing to do with Andi—she was a nice young woman from a public high school in suburban Kansas City. My trepidation came from how she would respond to my question—How was your day? (I didn’t feel like I should couch the question as bluntly as “Will you be coming back to be a part of YVC tomorrow?”)

Her mom got Andi on the phone, and as nonchalantly as I could, I asked my question. As only a high school girl can, she gushed about her day. She talked about the kids at the inner-city community center where she had volunteered, she talked about her Team Leader, she talked about the other teens on her team… On and on she went with little prompting from me. I’m not sure how many questions I could have formulated for Andi; I was overwhelmed in a way that doesn’t happen often in life. Her enthusiasm for service and for doing so with a diverse team of peers was validation that YVC was going to work. I knew then that Youth Volunteer Corps was going to be a success.

My conversation with Andi had energized me. I went on to call another Youth Volunteer that evening, and another and another. The responses were so heartwarming and inspiring, whether they came from boys or girls, public school kids or private school kids, those who lived in the inner city or suburbs, those who did human service projects or those who did physical service.

I never tire of talking to young people about their service with YVC. Indeed, I have been doing so for 25 years now. No matter how long I am blessed enough to hear the energy and idealism in a youth volunteer’s voice, I will never forget that call to Andi Prevost on Monday, June 8, 1987, at 5:30pm.

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