September 29th, 2010
By Dakotah West, New York Cares Youth Service Manager
Thinking about designing a mural for the New York Cares Day Students Give Back! Mural Contest? As a judge for our first ever design contest, I’m excited to give teens a new opportunity to share their ideas and thoughts. Apply today and find out where your art will take you.
Once, on a mural painting project, a volunteer painted all the clouds brown when I had my back turned. Flabbergasted, I asked why. “No one told me what color to paint them,” he responded, shrugging. Apparently I needed to work on my communication skills.
Usually, on the day of a project, I sketch the design on the wall like a giant paint-by-numbers coloring book, bring printouts of the mural, and mix hues beforehand. When the volunteers arrive, all they have to do is get the paint from the cups onto the wall – easy peasy.
Looking back, I know why I had a smoggy, brown-cloud mural. Volunteers want to do more than get the paint on the wall – they want to create a thing of beauty, even if they don’t know how. Planning is important, but painting means releasing expectations and having fun.
Sometimes, mistakes can be improvements. At the end of the day, colors seem brighter when they’re painted with joy.
September 29th, 2010
By Rayshan Sosa, Teen Service Team Member
During the summer I volunteered for New York Cares’ first Teen Service Team program. The first day I met with the team I was a little shy. I thought my summer vacation was going to be boring. But, as soon as I got to know everyone, I couldn’t wait to go back for the next assignment.
My overall experience as a volunteer was rewarding. I didn’t know that helping others would be so fun and educational. I can’t wait to restart volunteering with the Teen Service Team and meet the new volunteers this weekend.
In my opinion, what made this experience very exciting are the program leaders, Tiffany and Dakotah. They made each assignment fun and interesting. If there was one thing that I would change about the program, it would be the amount of days to volunteer. I would have liked to volunteer at least four times a week instead of twice a week.
But, overall I had a great learning experience. I’m anxious for the new fall season to begin!!
August 27th, 2010
This summer we ran our first Youth Service program open to all New York City public school students, giving them a chance to get out into the community and make a difference. The Teen Service Team is back for the fall, and we’re looking for teens who want to have new experiences, see new places, and meet new people.
Participating in community service is a great way to learn about yourself, social issues, and the world – and you’ll also improve your college applications and résumé while having a positive impact in the community.
If hosting a karaoke party at a senior center, cleaning up a beach front, or painting inspirational murals at a community center sound like fun to you or a high schooler you know, read more about how to get involved, and download the application.
May 4th, 2010
We’re launching a new service program for teens who want to get out into the community and make a difference this summer.
Members will meet up twice a week to learn about social issues affecting New York City and then roll up their sleeves and head into the five boroughs to deal with them. Learn more about how to get involved and apply, and spread the word to any teens you know.
March 17th, 2010
Students in our Youth Service Clubs often get an education that goes beyond what academics can teach them.
Last month, students from Acorn Community High School volunteered on a Momentum AIDS meal service project at Middle Collegiate Church. When they were done serving meals, a client took the group aside and shared with them how he became affected and how being HIV positive has changed his life.
His story hit home for many of the students since he was around their age when he was diagnosed. The students walked into the site thinking they were there to help, but they walked away with a better understanding of HIV, the impact it has on their community, and what they can do to stop the progression of the epidemic.
Want to get your high school involved? Learn more.
January 15th, 2010
The Children’s Museum of Manhattan will present three students from the New York Cares Youth Service Clubs with the Raising Citizens MLK Service Award at a ceremony this Monday, MLK Day. Hear Youth Service Club members Romy Ortega and Zenebou Abalo-Toga share what inspires them to volunteer in this clip from NY1.
We can’t think of a better way to celebrate Dr. King Jr.’s legacy than by honoring our youth volunteers. Cheer them on, take part in service-oriented arts workshops, and catch the Harlem Gospel Choir at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan this MLK Day.
September 14th, 2009
The start of the school year means our Youth Service Clubs will be getting ready for another year of service. We’re excited to continue the program we piloted this summer with the Department of Juvenile Justice at Horizon Juvenile Center.
Read the rest of this entry »
August 20th, 2009
Check out our photos from a recent revitalization project at the NYCHA South Jamaica Houses in Queens.
Mayor Bloomberg and our ED, Gary Bagley, put on their gardening gloves to work alongside 1,000 youth who beautified NYCHA sites and city parks in every borough. Read the rest of this entry »
June 17th, 2009
The Youth Service Club at Science Skill Center High School in Downtown Brooklyn just completed a series of projects focusing on the East River waterfront. What better way to end the school year than diving into the river?
During their year of community service, students learned about tides, human population, and pollution. For their final project, they suited up in waders and used a seining net to see what lurked in the water – anchovies, flounders, shrimp, eel, blue crab, green crab, sponge, and pipe fish, to name a few.
They had a blast while gaining a greater appreciation for marine biology. See what they discovered in this video series.