From the Blog
It is that time of year when many of us are running around, looking for those last minute gifts, and celebrating with friends and family the spirit of the season. As you are considering which organizations you would like to support with your year-end giving, I hope you will consider the National Youth Leadership Council.
More than 30 years ago, NYLC has set out to create a more just, sustainable, and peaceful world with young people, their schools, and their communities through service-learning.
Today NYLC is impacting the lives of thousands of youth and adults across the country and around the world. Every day we engage youth as leaders; providing opportunities for them to find and share their voice; to establish themselves in their community; and to play a meaningful role in transforming our world. At NYLC, we believe in bringing youth together across geographic, socioeconomic, racial, and cultural divides to connect them with each other to change the world.
'Tis the season for overeating, family gatherings, and…service? Many see the holiday season as all about receiving; specifically gifts, food, and nosy questions. It’s hard to think about focusing on someone else when the world around you is filled with things to want. However, Breck School in Golden Valley, MN is trying to change that trend from “receiving” to “giving” through a variety of unique service opportunities.
Breck is an Episcopalian PK-12 college-preparatory day school (that’s quite the mouthful!) dedicated to committing students to years of life-long service-learning, and that commitment to service starts at a young age. Having attended Breck since Kindergarten, I have fond memories of holiday food drives intended to relieve some of the pressures of holiday cooking and baking for families around the metro area. These drives, while not only having festive themes such as “Thanksgiving Staples,” begin opening children’s eyes to issues in their community while providing a very tangible way to help. Donated food has gone to food shelves around the Twin Cities that Breck has paired with.
In 1979 the Danforth Foundation asked me to leave Colorado and launch a youth leadership initiative at the American Youth Foundation in St. Louis geared to bringing black and white kids together around solving shared community issues. At least that was the public face of our work. The reality was that the white city fathers were scared to death that St. Louis would blow up because of recently court-ordered, forced busing.
I am Mohammed H. Al Tarawneh; advocate, youth, and political activist. I seek to promote democratic engagement in Jordan. I work with Jordanian youth and refugee youth groups by providing them a safe space for political expression while preserving the national identity of Jordan.
Jordanian society mainly is based on pluralism, even if they are ethnic or religious, such as: Jordanians, Palestinians, Circassia, Chechens, Armenians, Druze, and a large number of refugees (Palestinians, Iraqi, Syrian).
The biggest challenge the leaders have faced is uniting all different groups that live in this geographically safe space in order to preserve the national identity of Jordan and to express those categories in a positive and effective way to maintain national security, peace building, and to accept pluralism.