The NH Board of Youth Volunteers

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The NH Board of Youth Volunteers

United States
Project Summary
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The NH Board of Youth Volunteers (NHBYV) serves as a network of young volunteers from around the state of NH that exemplify the power of youth. This Board of Youth Volunteers has been designed to bring youth volunteers, between grades 7-12, together throughout the year to plan, organize, execute and promote the very first NH Youth Conference on Volunteerism. The purpose of the Youth Conference on Volunteerism is to provide middle and high school students the unique opportunity to network, learn, and be recognized for their commitment to community service.

About You
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Venture Field

Youth Volunteer Service

Year of Venture Launch

2005

Name

Meagan

Role in the Venture:

Lead Venturer, Founder of The NH Board Youth of Volunteers. Advisor to the middle and high school board members and Director of the Youth Conference on Volunteerism

Innovation
Venture Description:

The NH Board of Youth Volunteers (NHBYV) serves as a network of young volunteers from around the state of NH that exemplify the power of youth. This Board of Youth Volunteers has been designed to bring youth volunteers, between grades 7-12, together throughout the year to plan, organize, execute and promote the very first NH Youth Conference on Volunteerism. The purpose of the Youth Conference on Volunteerism is to provide middle and high school students the unique opportunity to network, learn, and be recognized for their commitment to community service.

Venture Origin:

The notion of a collaborative conference designed to empower youth through volunteer service had been a vision of mine long before I had even dreamed of creating the StarMight Foundation. In 2005, together with the help of a Youth Venture grant, the StarMight Foundation finally began an initiative called the New Hampshire Board of Youth Volunteers.

Innovation

I realized that to make this youth conference one that young people would truly benefit from, youth should naturally be the event planners. For the first time ever, The NHBYV provides extraordinary and unique leadership opportunities, decision making and creative liberties that nearly guarantee participant success due to the fact the board and conference is designed exclusively by youth for youth.

Impact
Impact:

<ul><li class="entry-label">Impact: <span class="entry-text">By connecting over 100 young people, representing 29 different schools in NH and MA, our Youth Conference on Volunteerism is opening new doors of opportunity to them. Bringing students together with our 60 youth and adult volunteers, government officials and reps from 18 different agencies that work with youth volunteers, we are eliminating the obstacles of youth service and creating a whole new paradigm about what youth have the power to do. </span></li><li class="entry-label">Engagement with the community: <span class="entry-text">18 partnering organizations provided group sessions, workshops, information booths, included 2 US Congressman, 1 US Senator, 2 motivational speakers, City Year, Youth Venture, NHTI, United Way, 4H,Red Cross. Talented NH youth provided entertainment. Donations contributed by local and major organizations like Timberland & the Boston Red Sox. 160 conference attendees & 15 youth planners met all year</span></li><li class="entry-label">Impact and engagement progress since launch: <span class="entry-text">Since NHBYV was launched, board members have worked tirelessly to plan and implement the first conference of its kind in NH: one planned BY youth, FOR youth. The initial impact of this venture engaged the young people selected to join the board, then branched out to the participants and organizations attending the Youth Conference on Volunteerism and is now rippling out into communities across NH.</span></li><li class="entry-label">Impact and engagement strategy: <span class="entry-text">We are actively developing a working coalition of youth and adult representatives from NH service organizations to form next year's planning committee. To engage more students, 2008 YCV will introduce "service issue tracks." Students will choose an issue track they care about (i.e. Global Poverty, Literacy, etc), and attend workshops and speakers centered around service related to that issue. </span></li><li class="entry-label">Awards: <span class="entry-text">Youth Venture Grant, Timberland Grant, Nominated United Way Spirit of Community Award(Under Consideration), Commendation from US Senator John Sununu</span></li></ul>

Budge:t

<ul><li class="entry-label">Amount of Youth Venture seed grant: <span class="entry-text">1,000.00</span></li><li class="entry-label">Money raised: <span class="entry-text">$3,354.05 cash is new to our venture. $850.00 direct sponsor donations; $2,504.05 raised through participants & presenters conference registration fee. In-kind donations received value $1,154.45.</span></li><li class="entry-label">Creative ways of raising resources: <span class="entry-text">Volunteering to speak at a national youth volunteer seminar resulted in in-kind donations. Using youth photos and student board members securing donations is much more effective as our programming is all about them. An international Chocolatier donated product through our local United Way Chapter.</span></li></ul>

Strategy:

<ul><li class="entry-label">Expansion plan for next 6 months: <span class="entry-text">Recruiting a coalition from youth service organizations and NH Department of Education as next year's planning committee. The committee will plan the 2008 YCV and pool resources to double the size and impact of the conference on our state and beyond.</span></li><li class="entry-label">Plans for sustaining the project: <span class="entry-text">I am currently meeting with reps from NH youth organizations & the NH Dept of EDU, discussing committee formulation to orchestrate & fund future Youth Conferences & the NHBYV, capitalizing on its collaborative potential, combining resources & ideas to increase its impact, reach & sustainability. </span></li><li class="entry-label">Vision for three years from now: <span class="entry-text">Three years from now the NHBYV and the NH Conference on Youth Volunteerism will be reaching over 300 students annually as well as serving as a model for other states inspired to start Conferences on Youth Volunteerism in their respective states. NH will have been infused with the power of youth service in local and state government, the non-profit sector, media, and within schools and families.</span></li></ul>

Project impact:

When I was nine years old, I wanted to volunteer in my small hometown, but I quickly found a great lack of opportunity. I began to see that I was not the only young person in my community who wanted to volunteer, but also found several obstacles keeping them from realizing their potential to help others. The first obstacle was that most young people didn't know how to get started. The second was a lack of opportunity in adult volunteer organizations for youth volunteers. The third was the absence of a non-profit specifically acting to help young people find ways to volunteer. I soon discovered that these obstacles encompassed the entire youth community, not simply the one I lived in. After years of starting projects and programs for myself and other students in my community and beyond, I decided to take the challenge of empowering others to volunteer and make it easier. I envisioned developing a conference specifically for youth about volunteerism, which would serve as an opportunity for networking between young people and NH youth service organizations. In 2005, I discovered Youth Venture and began the initiative called the New Hampshire Board of Youth Volunteers, to plan and implement this first-ever conference about volunteerism in NH designed BY youth FOR youth. The success and impact of this event has had a massive ripple effect, reaching far beyond just the youth who attended the conference. By bringing together 18 youth service organizations at this conference the NHBYV has Made Life Easier for NH young people, schools, and non-profit organizations all seeking the opportunity to work together to benefit the community. At last, students and organizations alike have one place to converge in to all finally work together rather than independently for the same goals.

Sustainability
Youth Venture movement - what it means and how you can contribute:

"Youth Venture is building a mass movement of young people who are changing the world by proving to others that young people can and do play a positive role as community leaders (YV Vision statement)." Here in NH, a movement began almost two years ago to mobilize middle and high school students to change the way kids are able to volunteer. As community leaders, we young people are positively changing the paradigm about what kids are capable of. We are creating change. This change is concurrent with being a part of the youth venture movement: it is systemic and progressive. Not only are we shifting the paradigm about young people, we are making actual change in the non-profit sector, education system, media, business world and government as well. We are the catalyst for collaboration between existing organizations, school systems and students. By creating bridges between students, youth organizations and influential and supportive adults we are continuously trying to contribute further to this movement. We will be forging connections that enable sustainable change to happen quickly and efficiently. Evolving from several communities will be one unified community that believes in youth empowerment and works at maximum capacity to ensure the well being of the entire population. By continuing to expand the impact of the Youth Conference on Volunteerism we will be creating one positive community for all young people to grow up in: a community providing opportunity, support, diversity, and, through service, alternative solutions to obstacles such as drugs, crime, dropouts, violence and injustice.