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2016 YVC Program Director of the Year: Cindy Rose

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We are constantly finding inspiration in the amount of time, energy, and passion that Youth Volunteer Corps’ Program Directors pour into their local YVC programs. These committed adults cultivate atmospheres of support and enthusiasm for their Youth Volunteers and Team Leaders.

Each year, we are faced with the difficult decision of selecting just a single person to honor with the Program Director of the Year Award. Cindy Rose, Program Director of YVC of Cedar City, Utah, which is hosted by Five County Association of Governments, earned this top honor this year.

In the past program year, Cindy led 54 Youth Volunteers in completing a total of 3,425 hours of service. Aside from helping to coordinate 195 volunteer projects, she also invested her time in supervising projects, raising money, tracking data, overseeing Team Leaders, writing press releases and – above all – conveying warmth and attention to her Youth Volunteers.

“Through Cindy’s ongoing commitment, she communicates to her Team Leaders and Youth Volunteers that what they are doing to serve the community is truly making a difference,” said Tracy Hale, YVC Headquarters’ Chief Operating Officer. “The compassion that she shows to her youth, along with all of the hard work she puts in behind-the-scenes, leaves little room for doubt about her passion for this program.”

Congratulations, Cindy, and keep up the good work!

The 2016 Program Director of the Year was announced during the Award Ceremony at the YVC Summit. We’re celebrating the 2016 award winners this week on the blog. Read about this year’s Affiliate of the Year, and stay tuned to meet this year’s AmeriCorps Member of the Year, New Affiliate of the Year and more.

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2016 Affiliate of the Year: YVC of Newport News

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Congratulations to YVC of Newport News, the 2016 Affiliate of the Year! Not only do they earn this top accolade, but this year the award also comes with a $1,000 grant from YVC Headquarters.

Youth Volunteer Corps of Newport News (Hampton Roads) was launched in 2009 as the very first independent YVC program. It has steadily grown since, deepening its roots in the Hampton Roads community and expanding its reach.

Last year, 428 youth served 9,050 hours with YVC of Newport News, making this their best year yet! They helped 30 local agencies on 122 different projects.

But the numbers only tell part of the story. Ask the 12-year-old Youth Volunteer who discovered that he loved volunteering, even if his parents made him serve on his first YVC project. Ask the mother who told us her daughter’s perspective changed when she worked at a food distribution center and learned to be grateful for what her family has. These stories and thousands of others tell the real impact that YVC of Newport News has on their community.

Thank you to the YVC of Newport News staff, including YVC board member and YVC of Newport News Executive Director Laurie Sepanski, and Youth Volunteers for your impact on your community!

The 2016 Affiliate of the Year was announced during the Award Ceremony at the YVC Summit. We’re celebrating the 2016 award winners this week on the blog. Stay tuned to meet this year’s Program Director of the Year, New Affiliate of the Year and more.

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Congratulations Grow Your Impact Grantees!

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In 2014, YVC Headquarters granted $775 to our Affiliates. In 2015, we granted $2,100. This year, YVCHQ will give over $8,000 in direct grants! YVC is passionate about serving our Affiliates by helping them be responsive to the needs of their community and providing the resources needed to do so.

The Grow Your Impact grants represent YVCHQ’s largest grant-making effort to date. $4,500 was awarded to three incredible Affiliates who branched out to touch more lives and strengthened their roots, ensuring their programs would be part of their communities for years to come. $1,500 was available to Affiliates at any level and $2,500 was available to Gold Level Affiliates only. Learn more about the award-winning efforts of these Affiliates below:

Alpena, Michigan

Award: $500
Application Summary: YVC of Alpena focused on recruiting disadvantaged youth, aligning itself more closely with the mission statement of its host Boys and Girls Club of Alpena: “Enabling all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, responsible, and caring citizens.” Youth Volunteers with YVC of Alpena stepped up to recruit those youth by hosting a Teen Night and bringing youth to serve at organizations such as the Foster Closet, Food Pantry, Children’s Closet and more. Through these efforts, YVC of Alpena more than doubled their number of disadvantaged Youth Volunteers, from 25 to 57.

Charleston, South Carolina

Award: $1,500
Application Summary: YVC of Charleston is a newer Affiliate that is setting the stage for success. In summer 2016, it hosted a four-week Summer Service-Learning Institute (SSLI). The SSLI was attended by rising 7th and 8th graders at the College of Charleston campus. High school YVC Youth Volunteers were invited to speak and lead leadership activities. The SSLI diversified YVC of Charleston’s program and Youth Volunteers served 337.5 volunteer hours over 16 days, partnered with 10 community organizations, and helped at 12 separate events. SSLI invited eight guest speakers and 12 different schools were represented.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Award: $2,500
Application Summary: YVC of Philadelphia built a healthy community of Youth Volunteers, schools and agencies that fell in love with service. YVC of Philadelphia prioritized youth voice, supported teachers and school staff, and developed long-term, mutually beneficial partnerships with community partners. In its first full program year, YVC of Philadelphia engaged 283 Youth Volunteers who contributed a total of 5,194 hours of service to the Philadelphia community and 59 Youth Volunteers served 30+ hours of service. YVC of Philadelphia increased school partnerships to 6 and agency partners from 12 to 26. Many Youth Volunteers at YVC of Philadelphia are first generation Americans, racial and religious minorities, LGBT, or otherwise marginalized; YVC of Philadelphia is truly a home for its Youth Volunteers.

Congratulations to YVC of Alpena, YVC of Charleston and YVC of Philadelphia!

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A Year of Impact

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In the last year, thousands of youth throughout North America have banded together and made a difference. They have cleaned up parks, read to younger kids, visited the elderly and more. Together, they’re changing the world.

Check out the impact that these inspiring Youth Volunteers have had in the last year with YVC:

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Show your support of these amazing Youth Volunteers who are changing the world. Donate to YVC today.

2016-2017 International Youth Advisory Board

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The 2015-2016 IYAB at last year’s Summit. The new term of IYAB will meet for the first time in-person at Summit 2016 in October.

Introducing the 2016-2017 International Youth Advisory Board! Thousands of youth serve with YVC each year, and these 23 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 2016-2017 International Youth Advisory Board:

  • Payton Beaumier – Sioux City, IA
  • Kailyn Brown – Charleston, SC
  • Sammie Buschman – Cedar City, UT
  • Katie Dotson – St. Joseph, MO
  • Ian Gimino – Corvallis, OR
  • Samantha Hamil – Muskogee, OK
  • Mason Jackson – Manhattan, KS
  • Laura Jarriel – Anderson, SC
  • Brandi Manning – Alpena, MI
  • Martina Min – Calgary, AB
  • Katie Nelson – Corvallis, OR
  • Korrine Nelson – Danbury, CT
  • Christian O’Neal – Alpena, MI
  • Kandace Peroramas – Calgary, AB
  • Elizabeth Potterf – Kansas City, MO
  • Zhaoying Qin – Des Moines, IA
  • Angelica Reyes-Garcias – Philadelphia, PA
  • Mila Serefko – Omaha, NE
  • Joana Shehu – Philadelphia, PA
  • Julia Slack – Kansas City, MO
  • Roman Vomacka – Calgary, AB
  • Alexandria Whitten – Baton Rouge, LA
  • Jenny Wu – Bay City, MI

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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Meet Simone: YVC AmeriCorps Member of Spring 2016

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6.13.16 YVC AmeriCorps Member of Spring 2016 - Simone Guidry

 

Over the years, hundreds of inspiring people have served as AmeriCorps members with Youth Volunteer Corps, enabling thousands of youth to discover the joy of serving. We want to recognize our current AmeriCorps members for the incredible work they’re doing every day, so we give out a quarterly award honoring an outstanding YVC AmeriCorps member each season.

Simone Guidry is serving as a half-time AmeriCorps member with YVC of Baton Rouge, LA, hosted by Capital Area United Way. She’s partnering with fellow AmeriCorps member Emerald Roney and together they’re leading YVC of Baton Rouge to its best year yet.

Meet Simone and hear about the impact she is having as a YVC AmeriCorps member:

What is your favorite part about your YVC AmeriCorps service?

YVC AmeriCorps has given me an opportunity to amplify my passion for service. I love teaching youth the importance of their time volunteering or sharing how we helped address a community need on a project with my family and friends. Service has always been a huge part of my life. Even from a young age, I held the belief that I had the ability to make a difference and that it was my duty to help those in need. AmeriCorps allows me to serve in a greater capacity than I was able to before.

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How have you grown from your YVC AmeriCorps service?

I have grown both professionally and personally as an AmeriCorps member. Working for Capital Area United Way and YVC has given me new exposure and insight. I have been able to enhance my understanding of the issues in my community, such as the underlying struggles of a working household or the down-the-line effect the lack of books in a low-income household might have on a developing child. If anything, serving on YVC projects has personally made me more grateful and acts as a constant reminder to stay grounded. Professionally, I have been able to enhance my network, work on communicating effectively, and learn the ins and outs of a nonprofit.

What are you most looking forward to in this year’s YVC summer program?

I recognized the potential we had as a program my first few days as an AmeriCorps Summer Team Leader last May. We were at a position of rebuilding our program after a stagnant year without a staff member. Over the past year, it has been a steady process, but I have seen tremendous growth in many aspects of our program. We are growing in number, we are growing in partner agencies, and we growing in retaining our volunteers. It’s just really wonderful to see momentum with our YVC.

We set a goal of serving 2,000 hours this summer, and I truly believe with this momentum we can reach those goals. We are serving with 18 agencies on over 68 projects. I feel that we’re now in stride with our potential. I am excited for the impact we will make this summer in the community of Baton Rouge.

Thank you, Simone, for your service to youth and the community! The world is a brighter place because of the impact you’re having.

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#YVCsummer Photo Contest

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#YVCSUMMER Photo Contest

 

Don’t hide your phone away on YVC projects this summer! Pull it out and snap photos of your YVC experience to share on social media. You could win $75 or $25!

Post as many photos as you’d like to Instagram, Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #YVCsummer to enter the contest.

Here’s how to catch the judge’s eye:

  • Youth wearing trendy YVC T-shirts
  • Bright and shining faces
  • Youth making an impact in their community
  • Having fun!

The more photos you post online with hashtag #YVCsummer, the more chances you have to win! Feel free to post photos all summer, but to be eligible for the contest, your photos must be posted by August 15.

Have fun!

2016 Recipient of the Don and Jean Sloan Scholarship

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Sophia Mauro - Kansas City 2_squareCongratulations to Sophia Mauro, a Youth Volunteer with YVC of Kansas City, who was named the 2016 recipient of the Don and Jean Sloan Scholarship!

Sophia has served nearly 400 hours with YVC while balancing a variety of other extracurricular activities. She served on her local Youth Advisory Board for two years and YVC’s International Youth Advisory Board this last year.

Meet Sophia:

 

How did you first get involved in YVC?

I signed up over spring break in 7th grade at the suggestion of a friend. We did two projects together. I had no idea that I was getting into something that would later become such a big part of my life. From my first day at El Centro, I was hooked.

What are some of your favorite YVC projects?

My all-time favorite project was with a nonprofit organization called Save, Inc. A small group of about 6 Youth Volunteers and 2 Team Leaders worked for four days in a row on various plots of land owned by the nonprofit. The organization provides housing and assistance for medically and socially disadvantaged members of the Kansas City community. Though our manual labor was strenuous, the hours were long, and the summer sun was extremely hot, I enjoyed every minute of the time with volunteers, the interactions with tenants, and the service-learning with our Team Leaders. Other favorite projects that I have participated in include a semester-long after-school project at Head Start daycare center and a summer project at Rainbow Garden, a community garden in an area with very little access to fresh food.

What is one of your favorite memories of your time with YVC?

Definitely that same Save, Inc. project. I enjoyed it so much the first year that I signed up to participate again the next year. A full year following the first time I had been at Save, Inc., the volunteer coordinator recognized me immediately and gave me a huge hug. At the end of the project, she wrote me one of the nicest notes of appreciation I have ever received. The care and attention she puts into her job was inspiring and her attitude towards volunteering and the organization that she was working with put a smile on my face.

What influence would you say YVC has had on your life?

I cannot imagine my high school years without YVC. Whether attending YAB meetings on a monthly basis, spending days on end at projects over the summer, speaking at the fundraiser, or having a blast at the YVC Summit, I have tried to take advantage of every aspect of YVC. The hands-on experience with nonprofits in my community is invaluable. Every organization that I have worked with while serving with YVC of Kansas City now holds a special place in my heart. I have a better understanding of the problems facing Kansas City (and the world). Poverty, homelessness, violence — they are not easy. There are not simple solutions. But working with the nonprofits that face these issues from every angle helps me to understand how I personally can help.

How will you continue serving in the future?

I will be attending Georgetown University in the fall in the Walsh School of Foreign Service. I fully intend to participate in community service while in college. I believe that engaging in public service, impacting policy, and facing issues on a global scale is how I can best serve in the future.

Why do you think it’s important to give back throughout your life?

There is this feeling you get when you participate in something that is bigger than yourself. The world is more than just you. It does not revolve around you. Giving back is the best way to detach yourself from that perspective and open your eyes to issues that others are facing around you. Thanks to my experiences at YVC, I will continue giving back for the rest of my life.

Did YVC open any doors for you?

I spoke in a YVC fundraiser, which was invaluable experience for other public speaking requests later on. I have earned hours of community service unattainable without the assistance of YVC. I have served on the local Kansas City Youth Advisory Board, as well as the International Youth Advisory Board.

How would you be different today if you hadn’t volunteered with YVC?

I would have missed the opportunity to focus on things outside of school and sports. It forced me to broaden my horizons and made me aware of my surroundings. I have passed my love of volunteering onto my younger sister and even my younger cousins who have visited from out of town to volunteer with YVC.

What are your college/career goals?

I will be studying Turkish while at Georgetown. I hope to work in the public sector, potentially overseas, representing the US and impacting diplomacy. I know that Washington, D.C., is a community that welcomes volunteers and with the skills and passion I developed through YVC, I hope to make an impact there while in college.

How did you react when you found out you were the recipient of the scholarship?

AHH I was extremely happy. I was not expecting to get it at all — there are so many deserving youth that I have met during my time at YVC. I am so, so honored. Thank you to the Sloan family — the phone call from Julie Sloan was so exciting!

Thanks, Sophia, for all your service to your community, and congratulations on the scholarship!

 

The Sloan Scholarship will be open for applications once again in 2017. Follow us on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) to be the first to know when the application is available in February 2017.

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World Premiere of YVC’s New Video

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How does serving with Youth Volunteer Corps impact a teen’s life? See through the eyes of 17-year-old Ian:

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YVC of Alpena Honored by State of Michigan

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Alpena award

Congratulations to YVC of Alpena on being named the Volunteer Agency of the Year by the State of Michigan!

Northeast Michigan Community Service Agency, a local agency where YVC of Alpena serves at least once a month, nominated them for this award for all they’ve done for the community.

YVC of Alpena’s Program Director Matt Muszynski and Team Leader Brooke Mainville traveled to Lansing to accept the award on behalf of their team of Youth Volunteers. Here’s what they had to say: “We would like to thank NEMCSA for the nomination. We are honored to be selected and could have not have done it without our amazing volunteers, host, and community.”

Hats off to the inspiring youth and staff of YVC of Alpena!

Alpena 2015 best story (3)
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