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Millions of Youth Change the World on 22nd Global Youth Service Day

Friday, April 16, 2010 General News J E 4
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- Young people in more than 100 countries, five continents, will improve communities.

- Issues addressed include literacy, childhood obesity, and environmental preservation.

WASHINGTON, April 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Children and youth will celebrate Global Youth Service Day (GYSD), the largest service event in the world, by leading community improvement activities on April 23-25. GYSD is the only day of service that specifically highlights young people as problem-solvers.

In its twenty-second year, GYSD engages young people by partnering with schools, community and faith-based organizations, media, and elected officials around the world, providing leadership opportunities to youth (ages 5-25) to discover and address the local, national, and global issues most important to them. GYSD is coordinated by Youth Service America (YSA); State Farm Companies Foundation is the U.S. presenting sponsor.

In 2010, Youth Service America awarded more than $750,000 to schools, organizations, and youth in more than 25 countries to implement service and service-learning initiatives that culminate on GYSD. These grants were supported by partners that include: State Farm Companies Foundation; Learn and Serve America and the Corporation for National and Community Service; Disney; and UnitedHealth Group.

"Every young person has their own interests, talents, skills, and passions.  Global Youth Service Day is a great chance for children and youth to use those abilities to solve a problem that affects them or motivates them," said Steve Culbertson, YSA president and CEO.

"GYSD is an opportunity for parents, schools, community leaders, and the media to provide a place for youth to implement their ideas about how to create positive and meaningful change."

Culbertson continued, "GYSD celebrates youth voice and the powerful contributions that young people make every day to their communities."

2010 Global Youth Service Day Highlights

GYSD Projects

  • Washington, D.C.Students at King Elementary School are raising awareness about healthy eating and active lifestyles to combat childhood obesity in their community. The students will survey adults about their eating habits, offer healthy cooking demonstrations, and teach their peers exercises to keep their bodies healthy.
  • Mount Vernon, OH The Teen Advisory Council is addressing the issue of technology abuse amongst teens by offering Tween Tech Safety workshops to prevent dating violence and bullying and to promote healthy online relationships. They will provide younger children with information on general internet safety and will culminate their efforts by raising awareness amongst adults at the Knox County Health Department.
  • San Diego, CAServapalooza, hosted by Excel Youth Zone and Kids Korp USA, will engage thousands of children and youth across southern California to participate in community service projects that focus on four areas: environment and animal protection; health and human services; hunger and homelessness; and youth, education, and the arts.
  • Astrakhan, Russian Federation – High school-aged youth are concerned that migratory birds are unable to build homes in the newly industrialized city. To protect these species, the students will build and place birdhouses throughout the city, providing a landing spot for the various species.
  • Nairobi, Kenya – The Kenya Slum Youth Development Organization is engaging 15,000 of the poorest young people throughout eastern Africa to address local violence, HIV/AIDS, and malaria by raising awareness and through community service.
  • Jalalabad, AfghanistanGirls attending the Bibi Aisha School in Jalalabad applied for and received a grant from the Department of State's Global Connections and Exchange (GCE) program to build a water tank so that students would have access to clean water while at school. When their application was accepted, the girls found the laborers, negotiated prices for materials, and managed the project.

GYSD Events

  • On Thursday, April 22, YSA will host TEDxCapital – Change the Equation!, an officially licensed TEDx event. Featuring six dynamic speakers and TED Talk videos, TEDxCapital celebrates GYSD 2010 and promotes creative actions around youth engagement and the service movement.
  • Immediately following TEDxCapital, YSA will host the 2010 Harris Wofford Awards. Honoring former Senator Harris Wofford, the reception will recognize those who are "making service and service-learning the common expectation and common experience of every young person in America," including 15 year-old Grace Li, People to People International, the Huffington Post, Mayor Karl Dean (Nashville, TN), and Mayor Scott Smith (Mesa, AZ).
  • On April 23, YSA staff will join GYSD Lead Agency Serve DC, engaging more than 4,000 children and youth across Washington, D.C. in service activities.
  • Miley Cyrus will celebrate GYSD by getting her "good on" during World Wish Day, an initiative of the Make a Wish Foundation. Miley will make a special Get Ur Good On appearance and perform for hundreds of young people, spreading the message that anyone can make a difference in their communities.
  • Hundreds of Semester of Service projects across the United States will culminate on GYSD. Semester of Service links Martin Luther King Day of Service in January with GYSD in April, giving students the time to make meaningful connections between service to community and learning. Increasing the duration and intensity of service-learning experiences results in a greater impact in academic achievement and on the community served.

GYSD Media

  • Miley Cyrus, who launched the online youth engagement community, Get Ur Good On, with Youth Service America in 2009, is asking more than 9,000 "volunteers" registered on the site to submit a video of how they got their "good on" for GYSD. The teen with the best video will win a trip to join Miley as she volunteers with one of her favorite charities.
  • The University of Texas at Arlington is connecting their Big Event 2010 with GYSD, combining their efforts with GYSD Lead Agency, Arlington Alliance for Youth. More than 800 volunteers from the campus community will participate in service activities on April 24. The campus will celebrate their accomplishments with a concert, featuring The Bravery.
  • College interns for the Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate for the Washington Nationals, chose Global Youth Service Day one of the season's promotional days. On Friday, April 23, baseball fans will receive $1 off their ticket price when they bring a non-perishable food item to the game.

By the Numbers (As of April 9)

  • All 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia are participating in GYSD.
  • More than 1,100 projects are registered on the GYSD map.
  • GYSD received 22 proclamations from governors across the U.S.

Youth Service America (YSA) improves communities by increasing the number and the diversity of young people, ages 5-25, serving in substantive roles. Founded in 1986, YSA supports a global culture of engaged youth committed to a lifetime of service, learning, leadership, and achievement. The impact of YSA's work through service and service-learning is measured in student achievement, workplace readiness, and healthy communities. For more information, visit www.YSA.org.

Global Youth Service Day is an annual campaign that celebrates and mobilizes the millions of children and youth who improve their communities each day of the year through service and service-learning. Established in 1988, GYSD is the largest service event in the world and is now celebrated in over 100 countries. On GYSD, children and youth address the world's most critical issues in partnership with families, schools, community and faith-based organizations, businesses, and governments. For more information, visit www.GYSD.org.

SOURCE Youth Service America

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