Monthly Archives: August 2015

YVC Launches in Arlington, TX

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Welcome Arlington!


Join us in welcoming the newest Youth Volunteer Corps program: Arlington, Texas!

YVC of Arlington is hosted by Dream Weaver Foundation, an organization that encourages youth to reach their full potential in preparation for a productive future. Thanks to Millicent Boykin of YVC of Dallas for helping connect Dream Weaver Foundation to Youth Volunteer Corps!

Welcome YVC of Arlington!

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YVC Launches in Bay City, MI

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Welcome Bay City!

Join us in welcoming the newest Youth Volunteer Corps program: Bay City, Michigan!

YVC of Bay City is hosted by the Dow Bay Area Family YMCA. A huge thank you to Cathi Duchon and Abbey Davis of YVC of Ann Arbor for helping connect the staff in Bay City to Youth Volunteer Corps and even helping train the new team to help their YVC build a strong foundation. Bay City joins a strong community of YVC programs in Michigan, which hosts more YVCs than any other state.

Welcome YVC of Bay City!

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Lessons Learned through a Summer with YVC

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Kansas City - Summer 2015 - Tristen's blog 1

YVC is proud to be part of the Bank of America Student Leaders program here in Kansas City. Bank of America sponsors five interns to spend eight weeks working at YVC and learning the ins and outs of a nonprofit. These students just completed their senior year of high school and help YVC Headquarters in addition to serving as extra support on YVC of Greater Kansas City’s summer projects. Meet Tristen Caudle, one of our 2015 Student Leaders and hear his story of working with YVC this summer.

Rarely in life do things work exactly like we thought they would—for instance, Moses probably felt pretty qualified with the whole “staff in the sand, thousands of tons of water move immediately” thing. But when he walked through on the other side, an entire army behind him, and miles of desert in front—I’m sure he thought, “Okay, now what?”

My story is quite similar to Moses, only without the spectacular beard. I got to be a part of the Bank of America Student Leaders program and begin my internship with the Youth Volunteer Corps of Kansas City, in which getting chosen to be here was a journey all of its own.

Now sitting where I am today, I got to the Red Sea. Something that works quite well for my Moses analogy is that the Youth Volunteer Corps of Greater Kansas City’s t-shirts this year are, in fact, red.

So most of my job this summer involves working with Kansas City’s very own “Sea of Red”: The Youth Volunteers of the Youth Volunteer Corps. I went through this summer, a lot like Moses, thinking that I would need to teach and guide and discipline—and sure, I did some of that. But what I did more of was learn. The Youth Volunteers that I have worked with this summer showed me just how much hope for our future we have.

In the most unlikely of situations, I have seen…

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…and most of all, a genuine devotion to service in all of the Youth Volunteers.

On the 100+ degree days with 95% humidity, I had to bargain with the youth so that they would stop working and take a water break. On the days where the work was slow, mulching all day or sorting through supplies—the youth would find ways to make tasks interesting, often by telling the most ridiculous jokes. Overall, throughout the entire summer, no matter the condition, the youth found ways to serve and serve wholeheartedly, no matter their background, their experience, or the task itself.

So now, almost like Moses, I don’t know what’s next. I don’t know what’s next because I know that there is nearly no limit to what these remarkable youth can do. What I do know is that these youth will go on to accomplish incredible things in their communities, wherever they are.  My experience  with Youth Volunteer Corps and the way that YVC inspires that commitment to service in the youth that come to volunteer with them has assured me of that.

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I AM…A Youth Volunteer!

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When youth volunteer, not only are they making a positive difference by serving their communities, but they are also being shaped into leaders as they grow in confidence, dedication, and social connectivity. But don’t listen to us, listen to the youth telling their stories in their own words:


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Where is He Now?

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IYAB - Summit 2013 (27)_cropped

We had so much fun seeing where our graduating class of IYAB members is headed that we wanted to take a minute to catch up with last year’s class. Alex was a member of the very first class of IYAB in 2013-2014. Check out what he accomplished this year.

Alex Smith

Alex Smith 2Alex completed his freshman year at New York University, where he is studying history and law. During his first year at NYU, he served as class president for the College of Arts and Sciences, interned with a program called Generation Citizen and fought for social justice as an MLK Scholar.

Next year, he will be working with NYU’s Big Brothers/Big Sisters mentorship program, volunteering for political campaigns, serving as Treasurer of the History Society, and also plans to study in Washington, DC in the spring as part of NYU’s Global Leadership Scholars Program.

“After attending law school, I plan to work as civil rights and immigration lawyer,” Alex said. “Eventually, I would like to get involved with politics and run for an elected office. One day, I also hope to serve the country as a national state senator.”

Alex has served his community in two key ways this year as student government president and as an MLK Scholar, which is an honors program at NYU which emphasizes community service and social activism.

“As student government president, I was able to implement policy reform and lead service outreach projects for students,” Alex said. “Also, as an MLK Scholar, fellow scholars and I went to New Orleans and completed a service trip in March. Our responsibilities during the service trip included environmental protection projects, rebuilding houses and cultural renovation initiatives.”

Alex says his involvement in the YVC program have been a factor of influence in his many successes.

“My numerous years with YVC have molded me into the person I am today,” Alex said. “Looking back, I now realize that YVCKC was a major contributor toward my passion for public service. I love YVC and am so thankful I became involved with the program.”

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Where Will They Go?

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This year, many of the members from our 2014-2015 class of the International Youth Advisory Board are graduating. As they each begin this new chapter of their lives, YVC would like to acknowledge their many accomplishments and highlight their future plans and aspirations.

Meet these inspiring graduates:

Allison Abdallah – Hampton Roads, VA

Allison Abdallah - Hampton RoadsAllison graduated from Peninsula Catholic High School in the top ten percent of her class with highest honors, and will be attending the University of Richmond in Virginia in pursuit of a degree in International Studies and Journalism. One of her future goals is to attend law school.

During Allison’s high school career she was a member of the varsity soccer team, the two-time Virginia state champion cross country team, art club, Interact club, retreat team, and the National Honor Society. She was also a member of the National Spanish Honor Society and held the position of vice president her senior year of high school.

“I hope to be a journalist who writes on global issues,” Allison said. “If not, I would like to study corporate law.”

While attending the University of Richmond, Allison plans to be involved in campus clubs that are committed to volunteer service in the metro Richmond area. She also hopes to be a member of a service based sorority.

“I am hoping to volunteer with the homeless, as well as young children,” Allison says. “I hope that my major will allow me to bring awareness towards global situations, which would help me to carry on the fundamental values of volunteering into my future.”

Alyssa Barrett – Danbury, CT

Alyssa Barrett - Western ConnecticutAlyssa graduated with honors from Danbury High School and will be attending New York University in pursuit of a degree in liberal studies.

“In the future I hope to educate women and their families in China or India about contraceptives and living healthy lives.”

During her high school career, Alyssa was a member of the National English Honor Society, National Honor Society and Peer Leadership program. She was also the president of YVC of Western Connecticut’s Youth Advisory Board.

Alyssa enjoys dancing and has participated in a dancing program for the last 15 years. She also enjoys reading and writing, and hopes to use these passions in college and beyond.

“In college, I plan to apply for the America Reads program, in which I would help teach inner city children basic reading and math skills,” Alyssa said. “After college I hope to work with nonprofits or possibly the Peace Corps.”

Elena Blum – Topeka, KS

Elena Blum - Greater TopekaElena graduated from Topeka High School and will be attending Washburn University in pursuit of a degree in music education, with a minor in theatre. She also plans to learn sign language at some point during her college career and become an interpreter.

During her high school career, Elena was a part of the Link Crew program, a program that helps new freshmen transition to high school. She was also involved in choir and theatre. Elena received honors for her involvement in Link Crew and theater, as well as an award for volunteering, and a scholarship for music and theatre. Elena also enjoys crocheting and singing.

“In college, I plan to volunteer around my campus,” Elena says. “I also plan to stay active with programs I volunteered with throughout my time with YVC.”

Tony Deng – Calgary, AB

Tony Deng - CalgaryTony graduated as an honor roll student from Sir Winston Churchill High School and will be attending the University of Waterloo in pursuit of an engineering degree. In the future, he hopes to be an entrepreneur.

“I have some ideas about what I want to build,” Tony said. “It will probably be something in the robotics industry that helps humans live easier.”

During his high school career, Tony was involved in math club, the YVC club at his high school, FIRST robotics team 4719, Model UN, and the debate team. His Model UN team was the city champion, and his FIRST robotics team won the Western Canada Robotics Regionals. Tony also enjoys many hobbies, including cooking, reading and computer programming.

“After graduation, I would like to work with hospitals and animal shelters,” Tony said. “I want to both test out some inventions and make human lives as well as animal lives better.”

Lindsey Loparo – Anderson, SC

Lindsey Loparo - Anderson CountyLindsey graduated from Oakwood Christian School and will be attending Lander University in pursuit of a degree in mass communication, with a minor in public relations.

Throughout her high school career, Lindsey was a part of the varsity volleyball and soccer teams. She was also the Beta Club public relations officer, class officer for one year, and head of the prom decorations committee for one year.

“Volunteering has been a big part of my life and there will be several opportunities for me to continue to volunteer in college,” Lindsey said.

During college, Lindsey will be joining the equestrian team, and can volunteer with the university’s therapeutic riding program for children with special needs. She hopes to be a part of a campus sorority that frequently volunteers with the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital and a local children’s home. She is also considering joining Army ROTC and in order to graduate as an Army officer.

After college, she hopes to join a news station and be a reporter. She would also like to attend law school and get into politics in the future.

Ashley Plancarte – St. George, UT

Ashley Plancarte - Washington CountyAshley graduated from Pine View High School. During her high school career, Ashley was involved in Latinos in Action, Gay Straight Alliance and Future Farmers of America. Outside of school, she was involved in YVC and Washington County Youth Court, and received 3 presidential service awards for her volunteer efforts. She also boxed and played rugby. Ashley attended, and continues to attend, Dixie Applied Technology College. She will be getting an administrative assistant certificate next year, and may go on to attend the local university.

“Volunteering humbles you a lot,” Ashley said. “It has been such a big part of my life that I have to continue doing it in the future.”

Ashley wants to help in her own community, but is also interested in volunteering abroad.

“I want to help people build and rebuild homes,” she said. “I also really want to volunteer at an orphanage, because I feel like it will make me look at life from a different perspective.”

In the future, Ashley hopes to live in Australia and own a beach house. She loves new experiences, and wishes to travel the world as much as possible

“I want to keep volunteering,” Ashley said. “And when I have children I want them to volunteer like I did.”

Andy To – Calgary, AB

Andy To - CalgaryAndy graduated as an honor roll student from Crescent Heights Senior High School and will be attending the University of Calgary in pursuit of a bachelor’s of science degree, with a major in Kinesiology. His goal for the future is to become a pediatric surgeon.

Throughout his high school career, Andy was involved the badminton team, Youth Volunteer Corps school club, and the sports medicine team.

“I plan on volunteering at the local hospitals across my city,” Andy says. “I also hope to find other various organizations which I may be able to volunteer with.”

Rebecca Yang – Calgary, AB

Rebecca Yang - CalgaryRebecca graduated as an honor roll student from Sir Winston Churchill High School in Calgary, Canada and will be attending the University of Western Ontario in pursuit of a degree in Commerce. She was Chief of Staff for her Model United Nations team, as well as Head Delegate. Throughout her high school career she was extensively involved with Youth Central, which hosts YVC of Calgary. As part of Youth Central, Rebecca was a part of the Youth Volunteer Corps Steering Committee, an organizer of Youth Week, and a Junior Editor with Youth Are Awesome. This year, as a result of her contributions to the community, Rebecca was awarded the Youth of Distinction Award for Volunteerism.

While she is still unsure of what the future holds in terms of a career, Rebecca knows that she wants to use her skills to give back to the community.

“I am opening myself up to any possibilities and seeing where the doors may open. The University of Western Ontario has an excellent business program that I am confident will provide me with the necessary opportunities to see where I can best apply my skills to contribute to the society,” Rebecca said. “I used to think that the world was comprised strictly of doctors, lawyers, and engineers. However, my volunteering experience with Youth Central and YVC has exposed me to an increasingly cognizant perspective and the dynamic prospects of the world. I cannot simply commit myself to one ‘future goal,’ but I can commit myself to the potential of what lies ahead.”

Her involvement with YVC and the International Youth Advisory Board allowed Rebecca that opportunity to discover what it is like to be a part of a group of individuals with a common goal of serving their communities.

“Being a part of YVC and Youth Central, I know that I am a part of a vast network of like-minded youth ready to implement positive change in the world. I am confident that I will keep in touch with the fellow youth who have been a part of such a significant portion of my life. With this mindset, I want to encourage youth volunteerism and altruism in general on a larger scale,” Rebecca said

The University of Western Ontario is partnered with service organizations, such as Free the Children and Amnesty International, to provide a global platform for students like herself to get involved.

“I cannot wait to immerse myself into international issues, and I am honored to represent the experiences and lessons I have attained throughout my time volunteering with YVC and Youth Central along the way. Organizations like YVC and Youth Central produce global leaders and I am thrilled to see what we can all accomplish in the years to come.”

Thank you Allison, Allyssa, Elena, Tony, Lindsey, Ashley, Andy, and Rebecca for your commitment to service and for your contributions to Youth Volunteer Corps! We would like to also like to congratulate the rest of our IYAB Graduates: Brian Du, Olivia Harris, Patrick Robey, Maichael Wang and Krystal Young. We are so excited for what the future has in store for each of you. Best wishes in all of your future endeavors!

Meanwhile, graduates of the first-ever class of IYAB (2013-2014) just finished their first year after high school. Catch up with one of these alumni, Alex Smith.

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