Stay tuned because Spring ‘17 SYSD Passionn Events are fast approaching!
- Thalia Mejia, HOPE worldwide Youth Programs/HQ Intern
This year NYAC has been retooled, recharged and reloaded with an amazing group of youth leaders set to mobilize HOPE worldwide’s youth volunteers in meaningful service in the term ahead. The council consists of grad students, campus and high school students, and for the first time a Junior Council of three middle school students. Among them are members from each of HOPE ww’s six regions, new and returning members, two members who serve as full time campus ministers and two members who double as HOPE worldwide Chapter Leaders. This cohort will be the first to benefit from the new NYAC mentoring program and to participate in the NYAC Servant Leadership Academy under the guidance of CEO, Robert Carrillo.
Join the HOPE worldwide Youth Leadership Team
Applications for the 2016-17 term of the National Youth Advisory Council are available now at the link below. The NYAC has been redesigned to include several new and exciting elements. Read all about it and apply today! Application deadline: May 16, 2016.
NYAC to the White House
The impact and potential of NYAC’s service leaders has not gone unnoticed. This fall, NYAC was invited to a Youth Leadership Development Summit by The White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, which works to build bridges between the federal government and nonprofit organizations, to better serve Americans in need. NYAC representatives met with senior officials from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to learn more about the important role youth leaders play in fostering the health and well-being of their communities as health advocates, influencers, and role models.
Since that meeting, two NYAC leaders, Gabe Baker (Houston Chapter), 24, and Tay Erickson (Cleveland Chapter), 20, have established themselves as tremendous national resources, working with federal agencies to provide ongoing input on how to best message policy to youth. Eager to make a difference on issues that affect underserved populations in our communities and our nation, these brothers have recently become a valuable part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services team focused on building momentum for the ongoing effort to ensure children and families get the affordable and quality health coverage they need and deserve. To this end, Tay scripted and self-produced a video to explain the basics of health insurance in our country in a manner that is both understandable and appealing to youth.
This video received an overwhelming response from our nation’s capital and made it all the way to the Oval Office. It has become a focal point of HHS’s youth enrollment efforts and a springboard to additional projects with the HOPE ww NYAC.
To see the first of the video series written and produced by Tay Erickson, who currently serves as a HOPE worldwide North American Youth Programs intern and NYAC member, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2BzZlh4iio
Signature Youth Service Day was established to create a culture of service in the teen and campus ministries and bring enthusiasm and the heart of service embodied in programs such as HOPE Youth Corps to the youth volunteers in local ministries. Each NYAC member commits to lead two SYSD service projects during their year-long term of service.
This fall, for the first time, NYAC members were tasked with organizing a fundraiser for their Signature Youth Service Day, the proceeds of which were allocated to HOPE ww North American Youth Programs. Here are a few examples of NYAC’s creative and effective fundraisers:
Some NYAC members, under advisement from their Chapter Directors or evangelists, were asked to organize a traditional service project for Fall SYSD. As a result, numerous youth and congregation members were able to take part in fruitful youth-led initiatives! Here are a few examples:
Approximately 600 young volunteers joined in the HOPE worldwide National Youth Advisory Council’s Spring 2015 Signature Youth Service Day (SYSD) “Opening Doors”. On the weekends of April 18 and 25, volunteers in 22 U.S. cities addressed challenges facing their communities.
With a goal of unifying youth to serve locally, NYAC members coordinated plans, rallied volunteers and together with support from their Chapter leaders, ministry leaders, community partners and youth volunteers, they served to meet a variety of significant needs. The hearts of SYSD participants were moved as they connected with the hungry, the poor, the elderly, the sick, and the brokenhearted.
More Than Just One Day
The NYAC realizes that to have a maximum impact, our service should not end with a single day of service. This year, youth leaders focused on creating projects that would allow them to develop ongoing relationships and service opportunities with communities and partner organizations across the United States. Lasting partnerships were created, volunteers’ were challenged to give themselves wholly, and those being served were shown love as tomorrow’s leaders took on the responsibility to make a difference where they live.
A Few 2015 Highlights
Alabama: Clemson – Volunteers participated in a beautification project at a local community center where they installed mulch into the landscape.
Arizona: Pioneer Valley – Volunteers from three different locations (West Springfield and 2 in Chicopee) where we raised donations of food and money for Lorraines Soup Kitchen. The volunteers consisted of preteens, teens, campus and then eight volunteers from the Westford Job Corps came to help. A local Christian radio came (Q99.7) and gave prizes for those who donated. In addition, Screech, the Springfield Falcons mascot handed out Valley Blue Sox tickets.
California: Inland Empire – Due to the drought in Southern California, the city of Ontario wanted to look for new ways to conserve water. Volunteers dug up an inefficient irrigation/sprinkler system and installed a drip system that used 80% less water.
Colorado: Denver – Conducted a movie night to raise money and collect items for an organization called Project CURE. Everything will be packaged in a “Kits for Kids” bag and shipped overseas to developing countries where these simple items can save lives.
Illinois: Chicago – The Chicago Campus Ministry served the homeless. The volunteers gathered at the University of Illinois at Chicago and put together care packages full of supplies that were bought with money fundraised earlier in the semester. They then divided up into “task forces” and saturated the city; giving aid to all who were in need. Some of us also teamed up with The Navigators, a student organization at UIC, and went to Pacific Gardens Homeless Shelter. There they helped make and serve food, cleaned the facilities, and had a lot of fun! Overall, nearly 40 volunteers, put together 75 care packages, and served over 300 homeless!
Indiana: Purdue – Together with the local Habitat for Humanity, SYSD cleaned up a construction site in a neighborhood, and did some landscaping.
Massachusetts: Boston – In week one, we served at Hale House, a beautiful elderly and assisted living home in Boston. Boston NYAC members and volunteers toured the home and got to meet some of the wonderful residents who threw down in some rousing games of bingo. The activities director said she’d never seen such a lively group. Everyone was grateful to serve and look forward to continuing the partnership. In week 2, more NYAC members and volunteers volunteered at the Sherrill House in order to keep showing their love for those in need!
New Jersey: Central Jersey – SYSD included a tie-dye shirt activity and a park clean-up in New Brunswick. We had a BLAST and beautified the park!
Ohio: Miami Valley – The volunteer squad went out for SYSD and did a club clean up.
Pennsylvania: Philadelphia – SYSD held a Jamquest Hoops fundraiser for SYSD benefitting orphans.
Texas: College Station – Volunteers hosted a potluck lunch in the park for homeless and needy families.
Lubbock – Volunteers hosted a huge block party at a community center to bring attention to the needs of at-risk youth. We had speakers, music games and free food for all.
Virginia: Norfolk – We were able to help beautify a community park by planting, painting, mulching.