Monthly Archives: August 2017

YVC Launches in Queens

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Join us in welcoming Queens to the Youth Volunteer Corps family! YVC of Queens is hosted by Greater Ridgewood Youth Council. We’re excited to see our network of affiliates continue to grow on the east coast and are expecting big things from YVC of Queens once they begin their program in New York City.

YVC of Queens is still in the planning stages of programming but will begin volunteer projects soon.

Be the first to hear about YVCs launching in new communities:

Announcing the Winners of the 2017 Alumni Story Contest

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We had some great submissions to the 2017 Alumni Story Contest and we’re excited to finally announce the winners and share them with you. However, before we get to the winners, we want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who submitted their stories. Youth Volunteer Corps depends on excited and driven people like you who continue to support youth service programs in your community.

Now, to the winners.

First place goes to Keeley Naughton, an AmeriCorps member alumna from YVC of Corvallis. Naughton served with YVC of Corvallis from 2014 to 2015.

Second place is awarded to Ariel Green, a youth volunteer alumna for Baton Rouge. Green served with YVC of Baton Rouge from 2012 to 2013.

Please click the links above and read all about how YVC changed the lives of this Alumni and inspired them for a lifetime commitment to service.

“Volunteering was the start of social work for me.”

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Ariel Green was awarded second place and a $100 prize for her submission to the 2017 Alumni Story Contest. Green served as a youth volunteer with YVC of Baton Rouge from 2012 to 2013. 

Read her story submission and see how YVC changed her life below.

 

Here at YVC I participated in many projects. There are three projects I recall that were most memorable. My first project as a volunteer consisted of putting together military care packages. Other volunteers and I were stationed at a warehouse with lots of supplies. The warehouse was stocked with items like toiletries, snacks, and words of encouragement. I was responsible for packing the female bags with a variety of each necessity. This project was memorable and exciting because I was challenged to think on behalf of someone else’s need. I worked hard and made sure each box was packaged with care and the best items were selected.

The next project that was most memorable was Christmas wrapping. Christmas is my favorite time of the year. It is filled with joy, love, and the gift of giving. I was able to participate in the project of gift wrapping for children ages 5-18. It was very fun picking out gifts and giving back to those who are less fortunate. I envisioned smiles on the youth faces and served with a heart of love. This project made me feel most grateful; it was pleasing to be a blessing to someone else. I also realized how blessed I was.

The last project I recount serving with YVC was donating books to a local library. During this time I sorted out new and gently used books that were being donated to a new library in the community. Being able to be a part of the set up process for a new library was a great experience. I organized a variety of genres for readers. Although it was tedious, it was all for a benefiting cause. Working to build another library in the community was definitely a need. Because of this, students will now have access to more resources and the establishment of this library will help eliminate educational barriers.

My time with YVC has been very enlightening. Since my time in high school, I have grown and matured a lot. I realize the importance of volunteering. Before YVC I had no desire to volunteer. After each project I participated in came a moment of reflection and appreciation. I was able to meet new people, work with others, and learn more about myself during the different projects. The organization has influenced me to always pay attention to the needs in my local community, work to alleviate problems within the community, and give back.

I aspire to one day have my own community organization that will work to empower and educate women from all walks of life across the nation. I plan to have yearly conferences, workshops, and community drives that will help them continue to reach their goal of success. With my organization I also plan to implement events that will give them and others the opportunity to volunteer.

As a future Social Worker, my job is to advocate for resources and services in the community while helping families and individuals continue to function in society. Volunteering was the start of social work for me. My passion for others has lead me to always work hard so I can one day be the best social worker and make the world a better place. As I continue to seek wisdom and grow, I know that because of organizations like Youth Volunteer Corps, a special seed was planted in my heart. YVC has brought out some of the best skills in me like leadership, and has inspired me to serve. The foundation, people, and experience impacted my life and I will forever serve others in my community.

“I felt like I was making a difference.”

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Keleey Naughton was awarded first place and a $200 prize for her submission to the 2017 Alumni Story Contest. Naughton served as an AmeriCorps member with YVC of Corvallis from 2014 to 2015. 

Read her story submission and see how YVC changed her life below.

 

I remember so clearly the day that I accepted the position as an AmeriCorps member with YVC Corvallis. I was going to be moving from Chicago to Corvallis, OR, I had just graduated college, and I had no idea what to expect of the year ahead. I was scared and nervous, but, somehow I knew that the year ahead would be well worth it. So, that August I packed up my car and drove across the country to begin my AmeriCorps term with YVC. I knew it was going to be a fun and challenging year, but I had no idea what an impact the YVC program and the youth volunteers themselves would have on my life.

Service has always been a big part of my life. In high school, I was a member of my church’s youth group and regularly completed service projects around town. In college, I volunteered on campus and at the nursing home nearby. Although I enjoyed service, I never had the opportunity to be part of a service-minded group until I found YVC. I remember being at the YVC Summit in Kansas City, and looking around the room and seeing and feeling all the passion and energy of those in the room. I felt like I had finally found my niche, and that’s how I continued to feel throughout my year serving with YVC. I loved going to the schools and talking to classes about YVC and encouraging the students to come out and give it a try, because for the first time in my life I felt passionate about the work I was doing. For the first time in my life, I felt like I was making a difference.

Over the course of my twelve-month term I met an incredible group of youth volunteers who will inevitably change the world one day. I learned and grew so much that year, thanks to our amazing youth volunteers. I learned how to knit at our MLK Day knitting party that our YAB organized in which we donated all our knitting projects to the local youth shelter. I gained event management skills alongside our YAB when we planned our 20th Anniversary Fun Run/Celebration. I cried tears of joy with our youth as animals that we worked with weekly at the local animal shelter found their forever homes. I laughed harder than I’ve ever laughed while playing games and doing icebreakers in the mornings during our summer program. I sweated more than I’ve ever sweat as I worked alongside our dedicated youth in 100-degree weather shoveling up manure at a farm sanctuary we volunteered at. I learned the value of hard work and service with these youth. I feel so incredibly grateful for my time spent serving my AmeriCorps term with YVC of Corvallis.

After I completed my AmeriCorps term, I went on to work for a year at the local youth shelter, one of the non-profits in town that our YVC program supported. One of the big things I brought to the youth shelter is volunteerism. A lot of these youth had never had the opportunity to volunteer in their life and I organized volunteer projects for them. I showed them the value and joy of service, and watched them grow as a result of that service. I have since moved on to a new career path, but continue to stay involved in my community through multiple volunteer opportunities. I’m not quite sure where my life or career will take me in the future, but I know that I will always make volunteering a priority in my life. Thank you, YVC and all the YVC volunteers, for all that you do.

Here’s Your Chance to Join Our Team

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Want to make a positive difference while sharpening your skills? Do you like the idea of working at a nonprofit and helping to make the world a better place? Haven’t decided what direction you want to take next?

Youth Volunteer Corps is now hiring for two full-time, 12-month AmeriCorps VISTA positions. Strong skills are definitely needed, but experience isn’t required. Training and resources will be provided to you.

These positions are excellent for skill building and work experience. Start date will be in mid-September 2017, but you must be selected and confirmed by mid-August.

Interested? Click here to learn more.

2017-2018 International Youth Advisory Board

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2016-2017 IYAB members

Above: The 2016-2017 IYAB at last year’s Summit in Philadelphia, PA. The new members of IYAB will meet for the first time in-person at Summit 2017 in October.

Introducing the 2017-2018 International Youth Advisory Board! Thousands of youth serve with YVC each year, and these 21 youth represent each of them. They focus on providing input on all aspects of YVC programming on an international level while also bringing new ideas back to their local YVC programs.

The application process was very competitive this year, so we are excited to announce the following youth as the 2017-2018 International Youth Advisory Board:

  • Janelle Cook – Alpena, MI
  • Kaci Wilson – Baton Rouge, LA
  • Mia Upshaw – Baton Rouge, LA
  • Martina Min – Calgary, AB
  • Jessica Vu – Calgary, AB
  • Ian Gimino – Corvallis, OR
  • Katie Nelson – Corvallis, OR
  • Jessica Hovermale – Corvallis, OR
  • Avery Putnam – Danbury, CT
  • Maya Patel – Hampton Roads, VA
  • Paula-Ann Robertson – Hampton Roads, VA
  • Zoe Thompson – Kansas City, KS
  • Julia Slack – Kansas City, KS
  • Troy McClendon – Kansas City, KS
  • Ava Reese – Manhattan, KS
  • Samuel Parish – Muskogee, OK
  • Dante Diggs – Philadelphia, PA
  • Jessica Jiang – Philadelphia, PA
  • Lily Franey – Reading, PA
  • Payton Beaumier – Sioux City, NE
  • Leah Craig – St. Joseph, MO

Read more about each of these inspiring volunteers here.

Stay up to date on everything this all-star group of youth will accomplish this year by signing up for our monthly youth service newsletter:

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