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Points of Light Youth Summit: A Reflection

Posted By Abdihamid Mohamed, Thursday, July 4, 2019

Hey! Are you wondering what the Points of Light Foundation or POLF is? Well you came to the right place. The Points of Light Foundation is an international nonprofit organization that was founded by George H.W. Bush in 1990. The Points of Light headquarters are located in Atlanta, Georgia. It was designed to engage more people and resources in solving major issues through voluntary service. The Points of Light holds a conference every year that talks about this and more. This year’s Points of Light conference was held at the RiverCenter in St.Paul, MN. 


My role during the conference was to support the Youth Summit and NYLC’s facilitators, Anthony Le, Sayid Ali, and Maddy Wegner.  The Youth Summit was designed by NYLC to train and help five groups of young leaders enhance their leadership skills and then deliver pitches to adult mentors about a problem that they want to combat in their communities. Each group received a grant to address their issue area. The participants ranged in ages from 13-17 years old. All of these groups were from the state of Minnesota.


The teams included students from Linwood Monroe, ArtsUs, DCS, Anoka High School, and Coon Rapids High School. The problems that they wanted to combat were illiteracy, homlessness, helping empower women, and having more diversity. ArtsUs and Anoka High School each want to combat homelessness in their community. Anoka High School wants to address homelessness in their city of Anoka and destroy the stigma around people that are homeless. The team wants to spread awareness to Anoka residents, making sure people realize that homeless people are still people and that they deserve access to basic necessities like everyone else. ArtsUs also wants to combat homlessness but they want to spread awareness about the fact the most people who are homeless in the state of Minnesota are people of color.  Linwood Monroe is going to address illiteracy in their community by organizing a 5k run with all of the proceeds going to the Minnesota Literacy Council where they can give people with illiteracy the tools they need. The team from DCS wants to help kids all over the world feel empowered, specifically young girls and women in countries where they do not have equal opportunities like their male counterparts. The last team, Coon Rapids High School wants people to be aware of the many cultures that they have in their city. They want people in their community to get along, regardless of what background or “clique” they are in. They will hold cultural education events throughout the school year, highlighting the different cultures that they have in their city.


During the Youth Summit my job was to help NYLC’s trainers prepare each team for their pitches. All of them had amazing pitches and they all got an award. The ArtsUs got a grant of $1,500 for their creative pitch which included dancing and drumming. The rest of the teams each received $1,000 dollars to implement change in their communities. The creativity and passion of the Youth Summit participants is best represented by this poem written by Lorraine Wongbi from Anoka High School.


The American Dream

What is the American Dream?

A Dream that those outside are simply longing to live

They long to live

While some inside are trying to live

Living off the scraps of society 

Expressing and breathing anxiety

Judgement. Why are we so quick to judge the homeless

Why are we so quick to hate, spit rage, disgrace and blame the less fortunate

Man... just imagine being homeless 

Just imagine having to worry about your next move

Praying to even see food 

Wanting to see the good in humanity 

While slowly just losing your sanity

Now look... we all just need to care for another

We all need to stop acting like those who are homeless are a societal bother 

I mean we are all human at the end of the day 

So might as well help those less fortunate to find another way.

~Lorraine Wongbi

The entire conference was amazing and I got to meet such wonderful people.   I hope to meet even more amazing people in future trainings with NYLC.

Tags:  civic action  youth advisory council  youth leadership  youth voice 

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What the 4th of July Means to Me

Posted By Fadumo Mohamed, Thursday, July 4, 2019

July 4th the day of the fireworks and America’s birthday. July 4th is a holiday meant to cause happiness and joy. It is a day for family get togethers, picnics and amazing fireworks. This is what the 4th of July means to most people. What does July 4th mean to me? To me, July 4th starts a week earlier when you can hear fireworks around the neighborhood. I get both excited and nervous. I am excited because I expect the festivities to be fun. I am anxious because July 4th wasn’t really designed for people like me. The 4th of July is expressed by blue, red and white themed desserts at the store. It is hearing about the upcoming holiday when making plans with family or friends at the end of June. July 4th symbolizes the American spirit and how it is mass marketed to the typical American audience. July 4th is seeing the beautiful and ugly sides of patriotism. July 4th is a fun loving day where you can be happy.

July 4th is also filled with bitterness and hatred. To me, July 4th is a complex feeling of both positives and negatives that has shaped and made me aware of my identity over the years. My family doesn’t take July 4th as seriously as most people. So to me, July 4th isn’t a holiday to celebrate or get ready for but a day to relax and enjoy some fireworks. Most years, I spend the 4th of July with my mother and siblings, counting down the time until we leave to see the firework display; betting on how long they will last. My siblings love the fireworks display. I don’t look forward to July 4th like most people but I do enjoy the positive energy it brings which always puts me in a good mood. The 4th of July means seeing other people that you don’t know while watching fireworks and making room for them next to you if they can’t find a place to sit. It’s going on Snapchat and seeing your friends post badly timed photos of fireworks on their story with the cheesy caption of “HAPPY INDEPENCE DAY!!”. July 4th to me is about the unity of a nation, all kinds of people coming together and celebrating the birth of a nation that they are a part of. July 4th despite it’s problematic aspects is something that means a lot to me. It has created some of my happiest memories and I love that it makes people happy and unites others.

July 4th, as I mentioned, also has a negative meaning to me. Last year, my family and I went to watch fireworks in our hometown. Halfway through the display a group of young white teens drove past our car and yelled both racial and islamophobic slurs at us. This incident ruined my family’s experience and we drove home about five minutes later. There behavior acutely reminded me that while July 4th is a holiday that was meant to bring joy, it is also a holiday that is reaped with racism and oppression. It is a holiday that wasn’t created for people like me, a Muslim American who lives in the midwest. Patriotism can be a beautiful thing but it has an ugly side that many people tend to ignore. Many people believe that America should be celebrated by “ True Americans” and that usually leads many people to be unfairly bigoted to those that don’t fit that very small and close-minded niche. This tye of patriotism makes people feel pressured to celebrate and do ‘typical American things’ on July 4th even if they don’t want to. Whenever people bring up the problem with July 4th they are accused of hating America and are told to “leave the country”. To truly celebrate all that America represents, we need to address these issues. As you celebrate Independence Day this July 4th, have fun but don’t engage in toxic behavior for the sake of the “True American Spirit”. Let’s make this an America where we all celebrate because we all belong.

Tags:  civic action  civic engagement 

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What Is Philanthropy? A rich concept but not just for rich people

Posted By Betsy Peterson, Learning to Give, Thursday, May 30, 2019
Updated: Thursday, May 30, 2019

Milo at eight years old gave three dollars to his dad’s friend who was starting an orphanage in Mexico. He got a personal note and a picture from a child who lived there. Milo was so excited, he learned everything he could about the town and the needs of the kids in the orphanage. When he was in high school, he and his friends planned fundraising activities in the community and arranged to visit the orphanage for three weeks so they could meet the kids and do maintenance projects together.

When Victoria was 11, her artwork was used on a flyer for a race that raised awareness of ALS. Her grandpa died of ALS, and she felt good about being part of the path to a cure. She started noticing and doing volunteer work for other nonprofits over the years. As an adult, she now has a marketing job with a health and wellness nonprofit, and she finds opportunities to involve kids as much as possible.

Ms. Clary’s second grade classroom learned about giving as they interacted with hunger-related nonprofits in the community. The year started with students feeling disconnected and unmotivated to learn. After group experiences learning from the staff at the homeless shelter, service projects helping at the soup kitchen, and reading and writing activities about hunger, the students could be seen working hard, helping one another, and caring about their classroom community. They were visibly kinder, more collaborative, and confident. They recognized that the larger community was there for them and they had a role in it. [Ms. Clary shares her perspective in this Youtube video.]

Milo, Victoria, and Ms. Clary’s students aren’t rich, but they each have something to give that makes a difference to them and to their community. They learned at a young age that giving time, talent, or treasure feels good, and they want to do more of it. Their teachers, families, and experiences nurture them and guide them to discover what they are capable of in the bigger world. The biggest strength of teaching young people about giving is they learn generosity, empathy, and smart work. These skills give them opportunities in the community and world today and in the future.

In the stories above, you don’t see the word philanthropy, but that is exactly what it is. When you read the word philanthropy do you assume it’s about money? Many people do. At Learning to Give, we teach philanthropy education, which is the “knowledge and practice of giving time, talent, or treasure and taking action for the common good.”

Over the 20+ years Learning to Give has been helping K-12 U.S. educators empower their students through philanthropy lesson plans and service-learning resources, we have debated whether we should drop the word philanthropy. Are we in danger of turning schools away before they even try a lesson because they misunderstand the word or think we are teaching about financial giving? Does the strategy of service-learning seem too complicated or scary? We have held firm to the vocabulary because we embrace the rich meaning of this concept that transforms lives. Kids can say Tyrannosaurus Rex after all.

More than ever before, young people from all backgrounds and experiences need connection to one another and to resources in their diverse communities. They need to feel they matter and have a voice in their present and future. Philanthropy education and service-learning give a purpose for their lives. Students learn about different needs and issues around them. They learn different ways they can take action to be agents of good.

What if the word philanthropy or the strategy of service-learning are blocking educators at the door of our website? Would the word generosity be more approachable? Who wouldn’t want to teach generosity or explore community at the same time they are teaching language arts or science? Whatever it is called, Learning to Give will continue to teach these concepts because data shows students engage more in learning and gain self-confidence when they see their generous actions matter. This internalization of generosity in community forms the underpinnings of an ongoing healthy civil society.

Learning to Give is a free educational online resource. The lesson plans and activities help students become engaged, active participants in their community by weaving service and kindness into curriculum we’re already teaching. Students are writing persuasive letters, reading about historical models of social good, and researching the missions of local nonprofits.  They are following passion and setting a life path of generosity.  

Tags:  philanthropy  service-learning 

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Service-Learning May Digest 2019

Posted By Administration, Thursday, May 30, 2019

Summer’s almost here, and students were busy this spring with service-learning in classrooms and afterschool programs. Check out some of the great happenings from the past month. Got a program you want to share? Send us an email at!

Ridgefield Academy's Grade 7 and Prospector Theater: The Importance of Making a Difference
Service Learning is an integral part of the curriculum at Ridgefield Academy and builds character development. It teaches students to be thankful for what they have, to empathize with others and to develop a sense of civic responsibility. This results in students being able to see different perspectives. Additionally, they develop confidence and a sense of empowerment, as they discover they can have a lasting impact on others.
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Better World Day: Grass Valley Charter School Students ‘get smart, do good’
Grass Valley Charter School celebrated Better World Day in early May, with the other EL Education schools in their network nationwide.
EL Education (formerly known as Expeditionary Learning) is a network of schools committed to service learning and character education. Grass Valley Charter showcases service learning projects on Better World Day, and throughout the year. Here are a sampling of teaching kids to “get smart, do good,” as EL Education likes to say….
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Turner Elementary to Host Learning Fair
Each year Turner Elementary School has a year-long, whole-school Service Learning project. This year the students focused on Heifer International, an organization that works to end world hunger and poverty. They kicked off the year by reading “Give A Goat” by Jan West Schrock, a picture book which features a grade five class that raises money to purchase a goat to help a family in need through Heifer International.
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Around Town: St. Paul Seventh-Graders Work Hard, Learn in Park Visit
The seventh-graders of St. Paul Catholic Church in North Canton have a long standing partnership with the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. For more than 15 years, they travel to the Cuyahoga Valley Environmental Education Camp for hands-on, multi-day learning experiences.
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Tags:  civic engagement  monthly digest  service-learning 

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National Education Conference Participants Pass Declaration Seek Federal Support for Service-Learning

Posted By Maddy Wegner, Monday, May 6, 2019

On Tues., April 17, more than 400 students, educators, and community partners from across the country passed a declaration to advance federal support for the civic education approach known as “service-learning”. The declaration passed with a unanimous vote during the National Service-Learning Conference held at New Foundations Charter School in northeast Philadelphia.


A rousing midday session featured appellate court judge and former first lady of Penn. Marjorie Rendell. She urged conference participants to “Embrace the unexpected call to the duties of citizenship,” referencing the historic 1969 Supreme Court decision that affirmed students’ first amendment rights in schools. That effort was led by 13-year-old Mary Tinker, who wore a black arm band to school protesting the Vietnam War. 


Like 16-year-old climate change activist Greta Thunberg, these conference participants lead initiatives in their communities and schools that take on issues ranging from the opioid epidemic to the achievement gap, applying their academic skills to critical needs. 


As the Declaration reads: “The needs of the Nation and the world are not only for an educated, high technology work-force, but a socially cohesive, service-oriented citizenry. Young people are necessary resources to society with inherent ideals, boundless energy, and flexibility making them important co-creators and co-workers with older adults. Therefore, we hereby affirm the need for service-learning as called for in The National and Community Service Act and respectfully call for The National Commission on Military, National and Public Service to stand boldly in support of service-learning for all ages, all communities, and places of learning.”


The declaration now moves to the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service (NCOS) in preparation for a final report to Congress and the President. The final report will detail policy proposals submitted by citizens and citizen service organizations supporting participation in military, national, and public service.Over the next year, NCOS is providing the public with an opportunity to comment on these and other policy proposals. (The final report will be submitted by March, 2020.)


To ensure politicians are hearing from champions of national service and service-learning, please consider endorsing this declaration in your response to NCOS and/or creating one of your own.

Fill out an online comment form here: send comments via email.

Tags:  national service  service-learning 

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How to Make Teens Safe and Responsible Drivers

Posted By Azhar Mirza, Monday, May 6, 2019

Being able to legally drive is every teenager’s dream. It is an achievement that gives them a sense of independence. It is an exciting milestone, even for parents. However, it cannot be denied that driving comes with risks which make dads and moms repeatedly re-evaluate if their child is truly ready for the road. Further exacerbating their worry is the high number of fatal crashes involving teen drivers.

Motor vehicle accident is the top cause of teen deaths in the US and all over the world. According to a report from the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), 6 teens belonging to the 16-19 age group died every day in 2016 because of car crashes. Furthermore, male teenage drivers are more prone to accidents than female teenage drivers. In 2016, the number of deaths among male teen drivers due to road traffic accidents was twice that of females.  

Why Are Car Crash Incidents High in Teens?

Studies show that lack of experience is the top reason why incidents of car crashes are high in teenage drivers. A testament to this is a report stating that teens tend to get embroiled in road traffic accidents just a few months after getting their license. Moreover, fatal motor vehicle crashes are more prevalent in teens in the 16-17 cohort (where newly licensed teens often belong to) than in the 18-19 age group.

Driving is a complex task which demands practice for one to become better at it. Despite having the know-hows and fundamental skills, newly licensed drivers have not had enough experience driving under various conditions and situations. Hence, even if they’ve been taught how to properly handle dangerous circumstances, they can easily get rattled and fail to apply what they’ve learned.

Their immaturity also contributes to the problem. Being young and adventurous, teenagers tend to engage in a lot of risky behaviors, from speeding to not wearing their seat belts. They even do distracting activities while driving like eating, texting, talking on the phone and interacting with passengers, among others.

In 2017, distracted driving accounted for 3000 deaths in the US. According to the CDC, 9 people die each day because of distracted drivers who are mostly under 20 years old. What’s more is that over 50% of severe motor vehicle accidents are due to distracted teen drivers.

Of the different kinds of distracting behaviors involving the use of mobile devices, texting is noted to be the most dangerous one. The risk of crashing goes up 23 times when teenagers are texting while driving. Why is this the case? All three types of distractions are present in this activity. There is manual distraction since the driver’s hand or hands are off the wheel and on the phone. Visual distraction is also present as the driver’s eyes are on the screen of the device and not on the road. Lastly, there is cognitive distraction – the driver’s mind is not focused on driving but is instead on crafting a message. 

The unfortunate news is that a lot of teens text and drive. One research reveals that over 30% of teenagers in the US text while they are behind the wheel. In addition, in states where a learner’s permit is given at 15 or younger, over 50% of teen drivers engage in this risky behavior.

How to Keep Teen Drivers Safe

Ensuring the safety of teen drivers is an endeavor which requires the participation of various stakeholders – the government, parents, schools and youth organizations, to name a few. 

Fortunately, there are government-led initiatives to minimize accidents involving teenage drivers. Currently, Washington D.C. and 47 states prohibit texting while driving. Meanwhile, using handheld devices while a person is behind the wheel is banned in Washington D.C. and 16 states. 

In addition, teen drivers from all over the country now have to adhere to a strict requirement before they can get their learner’s permit or full-privilege license. For one, there is the implementation of the graduated driver licensing (GDL) systems. In all states, the program includes three stages; however, the rules and enforcement vary per location. Case in point, in California, teens intending to get their intermediate or restricted license need to complete at least 50 hours of supervised driving. Meanwhile, in Arkansas, there is no minimum number of hours required for supervised driving.

GDL systems are implemented to enable teenagers to develop their driving skills. This is done by letting them gain more driving experience but under less risky situations, i.e., limiting their nighttime driving privilege and the number of passengers they can have in the car. All in all, the main goal of the GDL systems or laws is to reduce traffic accidents involving teens. So far, this approach has been very effective with studies showing that the implementation of GDL systems has reduced car crashes involving teenage drivers by 30% on the average.

Some states have also made it mandatory for teenagers to take drivers educationclasses. In these places, it is no longer enough that parents take the lead in teaching their kids how to drive. Teenagers need to complete a DMV-approved drivers ed course to be eligible to take the licensing test. Why is there a need for this requirement? There are empirical data showing that drivers education helps prevent incidents of car crashes among teenage drivers. One study stated that it reduced traffic tickets received by teens by as much as 40%. These positive results are attributed to the fact that DMV-approved courses are designed to equip teenagers with the knowledge and skills they need to become safe drivers and not just to past their licensing exam.

Clearly, these government-led initiatives are commendable; however, they are not enough. The government alone cannot minimize accidents due to teenage drivers. Other concerned parties need to participate in this endeavor. Parents, for one, need to set a good example. After all, they are their children’s first teachers. Even before they are eligible to get their learner’s permit, teens have surely picked up some driving knowledge or techniques whenever they ride with their parents. 

In addition, parents should make it their priority to find a reputable driving school for their kids. It also wouldn’t hurt if they give their teens extra driving practice time. The mandatory number of hours for hands-on training set by the DMV is 10 hours or less. This is not enough since research shows that a person needs at least 50 hours of driving to become a proficient driver. 

Meanwhile, schools and youth organizations could help disseminate information on teen driver safety. They can hold lectures or workshops on how young drivers could avoid road traffic accidents. They can also provide resources teens could use to become safe and responsible drivers. 

Tags:  teen driver safety 

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Beyond the Walls of the Classroom

Posted By NYLC, Sunday, April 7, 2019

(This article was originally posted on January 21st, 2019 on

By: Joy Mazur 

A senior year English class is usually filled with college essay writing, novel reading, and research practice. However, students in the Morris Hills Regional District’s new Service-Learning course are developing their college readiness in a different way–through investigating genuine community needs and applying their academic knowledge and skills to meet those needs.

Service-Learning teams at Morris Knolls are currently planning projects based on student-chosen topics, focused on raising awareness of veterans’ issues, the benefits of training your pet to be a therapy animal, advocacy and support for people experiencing homelessness, and fighting stigma associated with mental health issues. They have developed community partnerships within the school as well as with local organizations such as Creature Comfort Pet Therapy and Family Promise of Morris County. Morris Hills Service-Learning teams are designing and implementing a new way for students to choose tutors through a website they created, running after-school seminars and meetings at retirement homes to lessen the communication divide between generations, and organizing a clubs/sports fair for to help 8th grade students feel excited and more comfortable coming into their freshman year.  In addition to these ongoing projects, students will develop individual or small group projects during the second half of the school year.

“I have learned many things that I would’ve missed out on if I hadn’t taken Service-Learning. Unlike our other classes, it throws us into the world. I’m thankful that this course was added to Morris Knolls and that I am able to be a part of it.” – Senior Iara Vellaro 

The Service-Learning course is based on a framework developed by the National Youth Leadership Council, which follows the IPARD cycle: Investigation and Research, Planning and Preparation, Action, Reflection, and Demonstration. Students are expected to research and become experts in their field of concern, and determine community needs through interviewing stakeholders before beginning their planning phase in collaboration with a community partner. The Action phase may take place through direct service, indirect service, or advocacy. They must also create a sustainability plan, outlining how their project can be replicated or carried on in the future.

The students are the Project Managers, and hold leadership roles in Outreach, Budget, and Research. In order to be successful, they must collaborate, communicate, and problem-solve when things don’t go according to plan. I have seen them make great leaps in their confidence through taking on this responsibility.

In order to enroll in the course, which can fulfill the MHRD 12th grade English requirement due to its focus on research, writing, and communication skills, students apply during the winter of their Junior year. The application process includes a personal statement, recommendations from a school counselor and a teacher, and a group interview. Thirty-two students at Knolls and twenty-one students at Hills were accepted for Service Learning’s pilot year.

Morris Knolls Principal Ryan MacNaughton is happy with the new course so far. He has been interviewed as a stakeholder by several student teams during the Investigation phase of their projects, and says the students “have been a pleasure to work with. Ms. Mazur is doing some amazing work with our students and I am so pleased with the success of the program.” Morris Hills principal Todd Toriello agrees, adding that students “are learning first-hand the importance of giving back to one’s community. Through authentic learning experiences, students are exploring local community-identified needs as well as the historical and philosophical roots of service.”

Dominique Tornabe, Director of Development and Community Relations for Family Promise of Morris County, describes her time working with a team of Morris Knolls Service-Learning students as “incredibly impactful” and commented about the course, “In addition to teaching empathy and compassion, it develops the critical thinking and problem solving skills required for leadership in the 21st Century and beyond.” As Service-Learning student Luke Nienstadt observed, “The goals we are trying to achieve go way beyond the walls of the classroom.”

Tags:  college readiness  community engagement  english  featured  IPARD  research  service-learning 

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Global Event: 100 Million Campaign

Posted By NYLC, Sunday, April 7, 2019

(This article was originally posted on November 12th, 2018 on

NYLC is pleased to invite you to take part in an inspiring global event connecting young people and decision-makers across the world. Nobel Peace Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi and the National Youth Leadership Council are supporting a week of global action, taking place internationally the 12th–18th November, that will see parliamentarians, local officials and representatives visit schools to learn with students about the 100 million most marginalized children and be part of an international film screening for social change.
Schools will also have the chance to screen the new award-winning film, THE PRICE OF FREE, throughout November for free. This new documentary follows the true stories of children rescued from child labor in India and their journey to freedom.  As part of the film’s commitment to young people, schools around the world will be able to screen it for free, two weeks before its official release. Watch the documentary trailer here (password is pmprice).
By taking part in the week of global action your school will be able to:

  • Join thousands of schools across the globe for the international release of the award-winning documentary streaming online in November. 
  • Support students in their school to be active citizens, sharing their passion and ideas for a better world directly to decision-makers, learning about the 100 million children still denied their right to be free, safe, and educated.
  • Help encourage students to think of other young people in their community, their country and around the world increasing global understanding and compassion.

If you are interested in taking part, please email for more information. A school pack with all of the details for the screening and ideas for lesson plans can be found here and the Speak Truth To Power lesson that features Kailash can be found here. We hope you are inspired to join schools around the world and help strengthen global compassion and understanding.

Tags:  events  Nobel Laureate  Nobel Peace Prize  professional development  youth leadership  youth voice 

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Nurturing Learners, Growing Leaders

Posted By NYLC, Sunday, April 7, 2019

(This article was originally posted on November 12th, 2018 on

Each year the National Service-Learning Conference brings together more than 600 educators, administrators, higher-education faculty, non-profit leaders, government officials, AmeriCorps members, and students from across the nation and around the world for three days of learning, connection, and inspiration. The 30thAnnual National Service-Learning Conference will take place April 14 – 16, 2019 in Philadelphia, P.A.

This year, the National Service-Learning Conference is excited to partner with New Foundations Charter School for Nurturing Learners, Growing Leaders.  “We are thrilled to serve as the host school for the National Service-Learning Conference. Keeping schools as the heart of the community is important to education and we work hard every day at NFCS to ensure we serve our larger community,” Shira Woolf-Cohen, Principal.  It’s a theme that connects educators and community members joining in partnership with students, to make positive change in the world.

The conference provides more than 100 hands-on learning opportunities through workshops, keynote and thought leader sessions. Topics range from social-emotional learning and civic education to youth leadership and international service-learning. Whether you are new to service-learning or an experienced practitioner, this conference has something for you. A Rookie series offers introductory sessions on the practice of service-learning while the research and thought leader sessions will engage even the most seasoned professional.

Networking is a key component of the conference with dedicated opportunities to meet and interact with other attendees from your region or from across the world. Evening receptions, exhibit hall times, lunches, and breakfasts are spaces designed for you to make connections that will advance your practice and inspire you to take-action.

The National Service-Learning Conference prides itself on student participation at every level. Students make up nearly half of conference attendees and can be found on the plenary stage, facilitating workshop sessions, showcasing their projects, participating in hands-on service projects, or mingling in the youth room. Youth of all ages are welcome at the event (with an adult mentor).

Mark your calendars today with these important deadlines:

  • Got something important to impart? Submit a workshop proposal.Deadline is November 23, midnight CST.
  • Showcase an amazing service-learning project. Deadline is February 22, midnight CST.

We look forward to welcoming you to Philadelphia. We guarantee this is a conference you won’t want to miss.

Tags:  events  featured  professional development  service-learning  youth leadership  youth voice 

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Teams Named to Project Ignition: Leading Change in Teen Driving Behavior

Posted By NYLC, Sunday, April 7, 2019

(This article was originally posted on October 26th, 2018 on

Sixteen teams have been selected from throughout the United States as a leader in teen driver safety by Project Ignition— a service-learning teen driver safety program in partnership with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and coordinated by the National Youth Leadership Council®

Each team will receive a $1,000 grant to implement a safe driving program that engages their peers, family, and the larger community in safe driving practices like buckling up. Carmen Devita of Central Coast of California Camp Fireshares an important aspect of how Project Ignition works, “As one person, you can’t do much. If we all unite for a cause, we can do so much more.”

NYLC believes that youth leadership is a critical component to effectively changing teen driving behaviors and saving lives. “Students are in the best position to address issues of driver safety,” said Amy Meuers, NYLC CEO. “Through Project Ignition, these young people are saving the lives of their peers, their families, and their community members because they are in the best position to influence behaviors and decision-making at critical moments—especially before they operate a moving vehicle. We champion the leadership that youth have to make a positive impact on the world.”

In addition, two teams will receive funding to participate in the 30th Annual National Service-Learning Conference®, hosted by NYLC on April 15 – 16, 2019 in Philadelphia, P.A., where they will have the opportunity to showcase their work to other students, educators, and thought leaders in the education field. The sixteen 2018-2019 Project Ignition teams are:

  1. Making Dreams Come True, Valley of Rainbows, Waianae, Hawaii
  2. Success Academy, Bloomington, Minnesota
  3. Camp Fire Patuxent Area, Bowie, Maryland
  4. Gillespie High School, Gillespie, Illinois
  5. Scully Serves, Seattle, Washington
  6. Jackson Indepent School, Jackson, Kentucky
  7. Clifton Central High School, Clifton, Illinois
  8. Global Girls, Inc., Chicago Illinois
  9. Belton High School, Belton, Missouri
  10. Camp Fire Sunshine, Lakeland, Florida
  11. Ridgemont FFA , Mt. Victory, Ohio
  12. New Castle Area School District, New Castle, Pennsylvania
  13. Camp Fire Central Coast of California, Pismo Beach, California
  14. Camp fire C New Jersey, Trenton, New Jersey
  15. Clarksville High School, Clarksville, Tennessee
  16. District 191, Saint Paul, Minnesota

There is still time for your school or after-school organization to join us in taking action on Global Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being by tacking safe-driving behaviors in your community.  Learn more about Project Ignition and how your team can become part of Project Ignition Nation!

Tags:  featured  Global Goal 3  peer-to-peer education  safe driving  service-learning  teen driver safety  teen driver safety week 

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