Monday Morning Coffee With Youth Alliance Youth Volunteer Corps

Monday Morning Coffee

Wanted: Youth who are interested in learning more about leadership, service and career opportunities and making a positive difference in the community – while also having a great time alongside their friends.

In a nutshell, this describes what Youth Alliance, a St. Joseph, MO-based nonprofit organization, is looking for as part of its Youth Volunteer Corps and summer youth volunteer program. As part of its focus on youth development, the organization coordinates a summer full of volunteer opportunities – as well as throughout the year – in an upbeat, team-based setting.

Open to youth ages 11 to 18, the program also inspires a lifelong enjoyment of service across a variety of fields. For summer 2018, area youth can choose from an exciting lineup of opportunities. Officially called YVC Summer Program, topics are designed to help fit the 2018 theme “A Summer to Remember,” including stream cleaning; helping at an area farm; making meals in a friendly competition for Shelter residents; art projects at area nursing homes; recycling; hosting a bake sale for charity; and assisting at the pet shelter.

Throughout the year, similar experiences are offered through the Youth Volunteer Corps of St. Joseph, which is affiliated with a national network called Youth Volunteer Corps. In the big picture, the program helps youth improve job skills and broaden their career interests. On an even larger scale, Youth Alliance describes the program as helping build friendships, invalidate stereotypies and allow youth the chance to work together as a team for something “greater than themselves.”

Achieving these outcomes comes from a truly team-based and structured setting. Youth across all area schools, including public and private, join together for the summer projects. They’re supervised and include get-to-know-you activities and games to deepen the experience. And through it all, the needs of the community are met across individuals and organizations. Debriefing the activities helps build skills for expressing concerns and working together as a team.

Promotion for the event comes through social media, printed information and the website, with many area schools sharing the program as well. It’s a powerful example of what makes our local community great – and a reminder that youth are out and about and seeking to learn. Be on the lookout for area volunteers through Youth Alliance this summer … and be ready to be inspired.

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