Monthly Archives: November 2015

#GivingTuesday and the Importance of Giving Thanks

Posted by Youth Volunteer Corps on

Katja Lemermeyer - Calgary_web

Katja Lemermeyer is a Youth Volunteer with YVC of Calgary and a current member of the International Youth Advisory Board.

Even though Canada’s Thanksgiving celebrations came and went in October, we don’t get to escape any of November’s Black Friday madness. While Black Friday here doesn’t see quite the same level of frenzied bargain-hunting as our friends south of the border (we Canadians like to wait until Boxing Day on Dec 26th for the best sales), the annual crazed holiday consumerism has definitely set in. With that in mind, I find it’s especially important to think about giving back this time of year.

As you may know, the tradition of Black Friday has also evolved to include Cyber Monday, and, more recently, Giving Tuesday. As a volunteer, the values of Giving Tuesday come pretty naturally; giving time and donations to help others is something that YVC does a great job of cultivating. However, it’s also incredibly important to reflect upon the people that inspire us and make our impact as volunteers possible. That’s exactly why YVC started the Thank You Selfie initiative— it’s a campaign for volunteers say thank you to everyone that lends us support.

So to whom do I owe thanks? I could probably fill 10 blog posts with gratitude for all of the amazing YVC staff and volunteers in my life— both at my local Youth Central and those that I met at the YVC Summit this fall— but I’d like to pay particular attention to my YVC’s summer Team Leaders.Calgary 2015

I’ve been involved with YVC of Calgary, hosted by Youth Central, for almost a year and a half now, but this past summer was when I really took my volunteering involvement to a new level. I volunteered more frequently and broadly than I ever had before, and this gave me the chance to really get to know some of the incredible Team Leaders. Many of the Team Leaders in Calgary are university students who volunteered at Youth Central in high school but have since left to study at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, a city 3 hours away. Still, they come back each summer because they’re passionate about YVC and Calgary youth.

During projects, the Team Leaders are the ones that can make or break the sense of team, and their relentless passion and enthusiasm drive the whole group forward. Outside of volunteer shifts, however, the Team Leaders continue to make an impact. They’re constantly active on social media, sharing photos and stories from their projects and connecting with volunteers. They act as a role models for many of our volunteers and are always willing impart wisdom about university life and continuing with volunteerism past YVC. That being said, I wouldn’t say I view the Team Leaders as strictly superiors— I would consider many of them my friends, and I think many of my fellow volunteers would say the same.

Join the movement this Giving Tuesday by making a donation and partnering with youth like Katja. Donate on Giving Tuesday and your gift will be tripled.
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Congratulations to 332 Awesome Youth!

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2015-10-25 10.45.20Congratulations to the recipients of 2015 Milestone Awards! Each year we give out three categories of awards to extraordinary youth who have volunteered with YVC.

The 100-In-1 Award is for youth who have volunteered at least 100 hours with YVC in a single year. The Ethic of Service Award is for youth who have volunteered at least 500 hours with YVC in their career. The World-Changer Award, YVC’s most prestigious award, is for youth who have volunteered at least 1,000 hours with YVC in their career.

During the award ceremony at Summit 2015, we gave out 323 100-in-1 Awards, 20 Ethic of Service Awards and 4 World-Changer Awards. Below is the incredible list of youth making huge differences in their communities:

World-Changer Award:

Wentao Li – Calgary, AB

Maichael Wang – Calgary, AB

Phylisia Porter-Mayfield – Muskogee, OK

Kevin Yoo – Calgary, AB


Ethic of Service Award:

Garrett Beaulieu – Alpena, MI

Chloe Buchler – Alpena, MI

Caitlin Enloe – Muskogee, OK

Brittany Garrett – Muskogee, OK

Samantha Hamil – Muskogee, OK

Bradley Herbert-Perez – Muskogee, OK

Rose Jasman – Alpena, MI

Mary Knack – Muskogee, OK

Elizabeth Leach  – Kansas City, MO

Bohan Li – Calgary, AB

Mandy Li – Calgary, AB

Alyssa Linang – Calgary, AB

Tevin Ma – Calgary, AB

Matthew Mattheson – Cedar City, UT

Paula Ngo – Calgary, AB

Matthew Norris – Anderson, SC

Kaylin Shelley – Cedar City, UT

Andy To – Calgary, AB

Leo Wang – Calgary, AB

Rebecca Yang – Calgary, AB


100-in-1 Award:

Cristina Acevedo – Calgary, AB

Katy Addo – Calgary, AB

Staicy Alex – Calgary, AB

Hanan Anam – Calgary, AB

Hooria Ansari – Calgary, AB

Ashley Arneson – Billings, MT

Rahul Arora – Calgary, AB

Malik Asalati – Kansas City, MO

Alesia Au – Calgary, AB

Aliyah Austin – Kansas City, MO

Asma Azad – Calgary, AB

Rafia Babar – Calgary, AB

Asha Bansal – Calgary, AB

Harsh Bariyar – Calgary, AB

Sabrina Beaudoin – Alpena, MI

Aaron Becerra – Kansas City, MO

Sophie Beckerle – Kansas City, MO

Audra Beeson – Muskogee, OK

Marina Belooussova – Calgary, AB

Katelyn Beltran – Calgary, AB

Jesse Berlin – Kansas City, MO

Kanika Bharthi – Calgary, AB

Makenley Billings – Muskogee, OK

Katharine Birkness – Calgary, AB

Zachary Bittmenn – Cedar City, UT

Tessa Blair – Kansas City, MO

Miranda Blosch – Muskogee, OK

Allie Bonebright – Billings, MT

Alex Bratton – St. Joseph, MO

Sydney Brown – Anderson, SC

Sammie Buschman – Cedar City, UT

Joshua Bush – Anderson, SC

Alexis Byrd – Muskogee, OK

Julia Caddy – Calgary, AB

Rosa Cai – Calgary, AB

Bryan Capilla – Muskogee, OK

Jesus (Tony) Capilla – Muskogee, OK

Victor Capilla – Muskogee, OK

Ashley Carmona-Gutierrez – Calgary, AB

Bailey Carter – St. George, UT

Amanda Cha – Calgary, AB

Aubrey Chapman – Alpena, MI

Nigel Charlson – Kansas City, MO

Sophie Chassé – Calgary, AB

Christy Chen – Calgary, AB

Bernice Cheung – Calgary, AB

Dana Chhuor – Calgary, AB

Camila Ching – Calgary, AB

Maggie Chopra – Calgary, AB

Sanchit Chopra – Calgary, AB

Logan Clark – Kansas City, MO

Cameron Clinkscales – Anderson, SC

Destani Cooksey – Kansas City, MO

Celine Copeland – Calgary, AB

Sara Cortes – Calgary, AB

Jack Dai – Calgary, AB

Shovon Das – Calgary, AB

Eryl David – Calgary, AB

Malika Daya – Calgary, AB

Kaitlyn Dehais – Kansas City, MO

Rochelle Deloria – Calgary, AB

Tony Deng – Calgary, AB

Mamta Devi – Calgary, AB

Mahtab Dhaliwal – Calgary, AB

Rohit Dhawan – Calgary, AB

Sonia Dhawan – Calgary, AB

Preston Diemond – Alpena, MI

Roubert Dilidili – Calgary, AB

Bryan Dorsey – Kansas City, MO

Katie Dotson – St. Joseph, MO

Allyson Dresslaer – Kansas City, MO

Brian Du – Calgary, AB

Amy Duckett – Calgary, AB

Julia Durham – Kansas City, MO

Chris Dyke – Muskogee, OK

Alisha Ebrahim – Calgary, AB

Inaara Ebrahim – Calgary, AB

Caitlin Enloe – Muskogee, OK

Jacob Erickson – Calgary, AB

Jeremy Fan – Calgary, AB

Yvonne Fang – Calgary, AB

Ayesha Farooq – Calgary, AB

Ramsha Farooqui – Calgary, AB

Beenish Fatima – Calgary, AB

Jasmine Fixico – Muskogee, OK

Cynthia Fonderson – Calgary, AB

Sophie Fu – Calgary, AB

Aasima Gadiwan – Calgary, AB

Brittany Garrett – Muskogee, OK

Octavia Gautrey – Calgary, AB

Vienna Gautrey – Calgary, AB

Ethan Gilworth – Kansas City, MO

Alexandru Girlea – Calgary, AB

Patricia González – Calgary, AB

Alex Gorkoff – Calgary, AB

Katie Grace Larason – Anderson, SC

Aubrey Grimshaw – Cedar City, UT

Abhilasha Gupta – Calgary, AB

Calla Ha – Calgary, AB

Lily Ha – Calgary, AB

Samantha Haley – Cedar City, UT

Emily Hall – Calgary, AB

Samantha Hamil – Muskogee, OK

Kaylee Harkins – Kansas City, MO

Kayla Hartje – Kansas City, MO

Maidson Heaton – Cedar City, UT

Bradley Herbert-Perez – Muskogee, OK

Brittany Hermawan – Calgary, AB

Joycelyn Ho – Calgary, AB

Mir Hossain – Calgary, AB

McKenna Howard – Anderson, SC

Kaelyn Howard – Anderson, SC

Alex Hrinya – Kansas City, MO

Kate Hu – Calgary, AB

Emily Huang – Calgary, AB

Ryan Huang – Calgary, AB

Xufan Huang – Calgary, AB

Allen Hughes – Muskogee, OK

Rebecca Huynh – Calgary, AB

Ali Ibrahim – Calgary, AB

Rose Jasman – Alpena, MI

Christine Jiang – Calgary, AB

Lucy Joe – Calgary, AB

Luke Joe – Calgary, AB

Harjee Johal – Calgary, AB

Mikaela Johnson – Calgary, AB

Bailee Jordan – Anderson, SC

Shalaka Kala – Calgary, AB

Nareesa Karmali – Calgary, AB

Sakshi Kaur – Calgary, AB

Siobhan Kelly – Calgary, AB

Sukh Khaira – Calgary, AB

Yanisa Khambanonda – Calgary, AB

Emma Kiernan – Western Connecticut

Dani Kilani – Calgary, AB

Geeta Kilari – Calgary, AB

Genevieve Kilburn-Smith – Calgary, AB

Paskalina Kinanthi – Calgary, AB

Aislinn Kinsella – Kansas City, MO

Cassidy Kirkland – Kansas City, MO

Mary Knack – Muskogee, OK

Emma Kobelsky – Calgary, AB

Michelle Korostensky – Calgary, AB

Amanda Kuang – Calgary, AB

Lindsay Kuch – Calgary, AB

Wesley Lai – Calgary, AB

Dalton Lam – Calgary, AB

Ezra Lata – Cedar City, UT

Julie Le – Calgary, AB

Tommy Le Calgary – Calgary, AB

Elizabeth Leach – Kansas City, MO

Rachel Leckrome – Alpena, MI

Samuel  Lee – Calgary, AB

Tiffany Lee – Calgary, AB

Richard Lee-Thai – Calgary, AB

Ekaterina (Katja) Lemermeyer – Calgary, AB

Kevin Lewis – Muskogee, OK

Ailin Li – Calgary, AB

Amy Li – Calgary, AB

Jason Li – Calgary, AB

Julia Li – Calgary, AB

Mandy Li – Calgary, AB

Wentao Li – Calgary, AB

Willie Li – Calgary, AB

Victor Liang – Calgary, AB

Kyrstin Lickhart – St. Joseph, MO

Jenny Lin – Calgary, AB

Alyssa Linang – Calgary, AB

Cooper Link – Kansas City, MO

Allysa Lisbon – Kansas City, MO

Jessica Liu – Calgary, AB

YiLin (Paul) Liu – Calgary, AB

Lucy Lu – Calgary, AB

Lulu Lu – Calgary, AB

Vivian Ly – Calgary, AB

Jamie MacDonald – Calgary, AB

Davis Mackey – Kansas City, MO

Christine Magsombol – Calgary, AB

Cori Mah – Calgary, AB

Kiara Mah – Calgary, AB

Guramrit Mahey – Calgary, AB

Raisa Mahmud – Calgary, AB

Lohith Malasani – Calgary, AB

Brandi Manning – Alpena, MI

Flaviu Manzat – Calgary, AB

Leona Marshall – Calgary, AB

Rosedeep Matharu – Calgary, AB

Matthew Matheson – Cedar City, UT

Troy Mcclendon – Kansas City, MO

Georgia McConville – Calgary, AB

Kendall McCrea – Calgary, AB

Patton Meacham – Kansas City, MO

Sydney Meek – Cedar City, UT

James Mejino – Calgary, AB

Shelby Merrill – St. Joseph, MO

Andrew Min – Calgary, AB

Jacob Mish – Calgary, AB

Reese Mitchell – Kansas City, MO

Didi Moffat – Calgary, AB

Alysha Mohamed – Calgary, AB

Dina Moussa – Calgary, AB

Julie Moysiuk – Calgary, AB

Haroon Munir – Calgary, AB

Drishti Munjal – Calgary, AB

Bryna Anne Nacomel – Calgary, AB

Shantanu Naikade – Calgary, AB

Juma Nawaz – Calgary, AB

Nikki Negre – Calgary, AB

Christopher Neighbors – Kansas City, MO

Imogen Nelson  – Corvallis, OR

Korrine Nelson – Western Connecticut

Nga Nghiem – Calgary, AB

Anthony Ngo – Calgary, AB

Lauren Ngo – Calgary, AB

Paula Ngo – Calgary, AB

Jackie Nham – Calgary, AB

Chidiogo Nwakaeze – Calgary, AB

Delaney O’Flaherty – Calgary, AB

Ekene Okolo – Calgary, AB

Christian O’Neal – Alpena, MI

Austin Paad – Alpena, MI

Zane Pamplin – Muskogee, OK

Maitri Panchal – Calgary, AB

Bibek Pandey – Calgary, AB

Sauhard Pant – Calgary, AB

Connor Parille – Western Connecticut

Kunj Patel – Calgary, AB

Bryan Perez – Muskogee, OK

Shmona Perhar – Calgary, AB

Tien Phan – Calgary, AB

Naomi Phung – Calgary, AB

Isaac Pieters – Kansas City, MO

Nandhitha Ponnusamy – Calgary, AB

Elizabeth Potterf – Kansas City, MO

Ganga Poudel – Calgary, AB

Jamuna Poudel – Calgary, AB

Puja Pradhan – Calgary, AB

Svetlana Quick – Kansas City, MO

Vera Quick – Kansas City, MO

Valentina Quick – Kansas City, MO

Samia Rahman – Calgary, AB

Natasha Ramon – Calgary, AB

Madiha Rana – Calgary, AB

Samara Rangel – Cedar City, UT

Erick Rangel – Cedar City, UT

Urouj Rashid – Calgary, AB

Hannah Rawlings – Calgary, AB

Jewel Reji – Calgary, AB

Chase Robertson – Kansas City, MO

Lillian Ross – Alpena, MI

Kayla Russell – Muskogee, OK

Sana Samadi – Calgary, AB

Maryum Sayeed – Calgary, AB

Preet Shah – Calgary, AB

Prerak Shah – Calgary, AB

Judie Shang – Calgary, AB

Kaylin Shelley – Cedar City, UT

Kylie Shepard – St. Joseph, MO

Matthias Siber – Western Connecticut

Anayat Sidhu – Calgary, AB

Maneet Sidhu – Calgary, AB

Zoe Sihota – Calgary, AB

Maxwell Skinner – Kansas City, MO

Julia Slack – Kansas City, MO

Aaliyah Smith – Muskogee, OK

Davion Smith – Muskogee, OK

Sonya Soh – Calgary, AB

Rachel Stander – Kansas City, MO

Madeline Steiger – Alpena, MI

Cory Struski – Western Connecticut

Maria Styma – Alpena, MI

Henry Su – Calgary, AB

Fatima Syed – Calgary, AB

Tracy Tan – Calgary, AB

Ana Tarin – Calgary, AB

Lada Teterin – Calgary, AB

Maddie Tolsdorf – Kansas City, MO

Martin Tomlinson – Kansas City, MO

Dominic Torre – Kansas City, MO

Andy Tran – Calgary, AB

Lan Tran – Calgary, AB

Firaoll Umar – Calgary, AB

Daemien Vaughan – Alpena, MI

Emalia   Velasco Calgary

Katherina Vo – Calgary, AB

Roman Vomacka – Calgary, AB

Jessica Vu – Calgary, AB

Michelle Vuong – Calgary, AB

Emilee Walters – Muskogee, OK

Bill Wang – Calgary, AB

Emily Wang – Calgary, AB

Howard Wang – Calgary, AB

Leo Wang – Calgary, AB

Linda Wang – Calgary, AB

Maggie Wang – Calgary, AB

Maichael Wang – Calgary, AB

Manjing Wang – Calgary, AB

Morgan Weatherbie – Calgary, AB

Brandon Wedemire – Calgary, AB

Madison Werner – Cedar City, UT

Alexandria Whitten – Baton Rouge, LA

Wyatt Wilson – Muskogee, OK

Alison Wong – Calgary, AB

Taylor Wong – Calgary, AB

Annie Wu – Calgary, AB

Eunice Wu – Calgary, AB

Yifei Xiao – Calgary, AB

Halimat Yakubu – Calgary, AB

Tingting Yan – Calgary, AB

Hannah Yang – Calgary, AB

Rebecca (You-Lim) Yang – Calgary, AB

Linhai Yin – Calgary, AB

Andrew Yoon – Calgary, AB

Jacob Yoon – Calgary, AB

Alice You – Calgary, AB

Sabrina Yu – Calgary, AB

Cole Zann – Alpena, MI

Angelina Zelinsky – Calgary, AB

Edwin Zhang – Calgary, AB

Yangchen Zhang – Calgary, AB

Andrew Zhao – Calgary, AB

Hui Wen Zheng – Calgary, AB

Jenny Zhong – Calgary, AB

Congratulations to these all-star Youth Volunteers! 

The 2015 Milestone Award recipients were celebrated at the YVC Summit. We’re celebrating the 2015 award winners this week on the blog. Learn about our Project of the Year, meet ourYVC AmeriCorps Member of the Year, New Affiliate of the YearProgram Director of the Year and Affiliate of the Year.

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2015 Affiliate of the Year: YVC of Ann Arbor

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11.4.15 Affiliate of the Year AwardCongratulations to YVC of Ann Arbor, the 2015 Affiliate of the Year!

Youth Volunteer Corps of Ann Arbor, hosted by the Ann Arbor YMCA, has been an important part of the local community for the 20+ years of its existence, and it’s still growing each year to have an even bigger impact.

Last year, 354 youth served 9,432 hours with YVC of Ann Arbor. They helped 28 local agencies on 38 different projects. Not only that, but they have be instrumental in helping YVC Headquarters grow its mission over the past year, and hosted our 2015 Summit.

YVC of Ann Arbor has had a profound impact on both the Ann Arbor community and neighboring Ypsilanti, with projects and Youth Volunteers from both towns.

Thank you to the YVC of Ann Arbor staff, including YVC board member and YMCA President/CEO Cathi Duchon, and Youth Volunteers for your impact on your community!

The 2015 Affiliate of the Year was announced during the Award Ceremony at the YVC Summit. We’re celebrating the 2015 award winners this week on the blog. Learn about our Project of the Year, and meet our YVC AmeriCorps Member of the Year, New Affiliate of the YearProgram Director of the Year, and Milestone Award honorees.

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2015 YVC Program Director of the Year: Matt Muszynski

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11.3.15 Program Director of the Year AwardDozens of inspiring adults are leading Youth Volunteer Corps programs alongside their Youth Volunteers throughout the U.S. and Canada. We’re constantly amazed at the compassion and commitment these Program Directors show toward their Youth Volunteers.

Each year, we have the hard job of picking just a single person to honor with the Program Director of the Year Award.

Matt Muszynski, Program Director of YVC of Alpena, Michigan, which is hosted by Boys and Girls Club of Alpena, earned this top honor this year.

Since Matt took over the program a little over a year ago, he has grown Alpena’s YVC program immensely. He’s led a 230% increase in youth involved in the program, and a nearly 80% increase in the number of hours the youth volunteered. In the last year, 432 Alpena youth have served on a total of 170 volunteer projects.

But numbers don’t tell it all. It’s also obvious that he’s having a lasting impact on the youth that he works with. With an office within the local school building, Matt is a resource for all students to become involved in serving their community.

“The initiatives, impact, community exposure and (Matt’s) warm and friendly personality have helped bring the YVC program to the forefront of the community’s leadership and volunteer efforts,” said Brad Somers, Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Alpena.

Congratulations, Matt, and keep up the good work!

The 2015 Program Director of the Year was announced during the Award Ceremony at the YVC Summit. We’re celebrating the 2015 award winners this week on the blog. Learn about our 2015 Project of the Year, and meet our YVC AmeriCorps Member of the Year, New Affiliate of the YearAffiliate of the Year and Milestone Award honorees.

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New Affiliate of the Year: Philadelphia

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11.3.15 New Affiliate of the Year AwardWith 15 new Youth Volunteer Corps programs launching in the last year, we’ve had a lot to celebrate! As YVC programming is launched in each new community, we know that countless youth will be transformed by life-changing service experiences.

Of these new communities now being served by passionate YVC Youth Volunteers, one has started out especially strong, earning it the 2015 New Affiliate of the Year Award. Congratulations Youth Volunteer Corps of Philadelphia!

Launched in spring of this year, YVC of Philadelphia has already engaged 67 Youth Volunteers in service. These youth served a total of nearly 800 volunteer hours on 51 projects, helping at 12 local nonprofit agencies. As one of only three independent programs in the YVC Network, this is especially impressive.

They also brought a great group of energetic youth to the YVC Summit where they received their New Affiliate of the Year Award.

Due to the early progress of this new program, YVC of Philadelphia will be hosting our 2016 Summit Oct. 7-9 of next year.

Without a host organization support that most YVC Affiliates possess, YVC of Philadelphia operates solely on a volunteer basis. To support their efforts to empower youth to serve in Philly, please make a contribution to YVC of Philadelphia.

The 2015 New Affiliate of the Year was announced during the Award Ceremony at the YVC Summit. We’re celebrating the 2015 award winners this week on the blog. Learn about our 2015 Project of the Year, and meet our YVC AmeriCorps Member of the Year, Trailblazer Award honoree, Program Director of the YearAffiliate of the Year and Milestone Award honorees.

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