Program Mission Statement 

The Operation Grow Youth Advisory Council Service Learning Program seeks to guide youth in performing Community Service through Service Learning, giving underserved youth a voice in their community to improve their conditions and increase Civic Engagement.

 

Benefits 

Here are some benefits for the youth who participate in this program:

  • More civic engagement among youth

  • Safer activities as an alternative to keep youth from participating in gang activity 

  • Allows youth to solve problems in their own communities

  • Connect action with curriculum

  • Increase analytical & research skills of youth

  • A collective of youth who believe on a culture of service

  • Increase youth voice for underserved youth

  • Allow youth to negotiate and engage with municipal leaders

  • Provides workforce readiness skills and a work ethic

  • Caters to various learning styles and gives control to the youth to determine which theme to contribute progress toward

  • Creates opportunities for youth to apply their knowledge as practical applications

  • The capacity to collaborate and partner with other local and national organizations

  • Participants will qualify for scholarships upon completion of 40 hours

  • Participants will be included in training for a paid internship upon completion of 40 hours

Goals 

  • To create a collective of youth who believe in a culture of service

  • Increase youth voice for underserved youth

  • Train youth with Workforce Readiness skills 

  • Give parents the comfort of knowing that their children are participating in constructive, productive, character-building activities that will contribute to their betterment

  • Mitigate the impacts of poverty

Objectives 

  • Recruit Youth between the ages of 14 and 25 to orientate and train, to participate in various Service Learning Projects 

  • Facilitate the accrual of 40 Community Service hours for state mandated community service for the high school graduation requirement throughout New Jersey

  • After participating in Service Learning, youth will develop leadership skills, build quality relationships and partnerships among other youth, build self-esteem, character, confidence, & mindfulness to be better problem solvers to become college and career ready

  • Allow youth to create their own Service Learning Projects based on their interests, hobbies, and career goals/ interests

  • Provide safer activities as alternatives to keep youth from participating in gang activity

  • Increase analytical and research skills in youth

  • Develop youth as change agents, developing Social-Emotional Intelligence with  Whole Child Development as the guiding force of interactions

Methods 

  • Recruit youth in Urban Essex County to participate in the Operation Grow Youth Advisory Council Service Learning Program 

  • Require youth and their parents to participate in an orientation that explains the service learning process

  • Guide youth with ongoing workshops, seminars, and webinars that support their Service Learning goals, which include the infusion of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and Mission 2030

  • Allow youth to investigate and develop their specific Service Learning plan based on their own interests and strengths

  • Connect Service Learning actions with curriculum to boost academic connections

  • Engage youth with activities that provide awareness, service, advocacy, and philanthropy for the greater community good

  • Document and publish each project to exhibit impact

Staffing 

  • Program Coordinator

  • Educators as chaperones and facilitators

  • Youth Advisory Council inner circle members

Partnerships 

  • The Late Bloomer Project

  • Joi’s Angels

  • West Orange School District’s Diversity, Equity, and Access Committee

  • Malcolm X Memorial Foundation

  •  #OPEN

  • Seton Hall University Africana Studies Department

  • Seton Hall University Library

  • The City of East Orange

  • Newark Science and Sustainability

  • The Greater Newark Conservancy

  • Giving One Tenth

  • Dimension Renewable Energy

  • The Climate Reality Project: Greater NJ Gateway Chapter

Evaluation 

  • Pre- and post-surveys from youth participants, as well as those who are being served

  • Quantitative data collection that will document the accrual of community service hours that meet graduation requirements

  • Qualitative data collection that shows positive impacts and behavioral changes for youth participants, as well as the community being served

  • Before and after images that illustrate a positive change

  • Utilization of the Theory of Change Model- Inputs, Activities, Outputs, Outcomes, and Impact

Sustainability 

  • Donations will be solicited from individuals in the community and Social media campaigns

  • The sale of merchandise, such as books will be utilized to raise funds

  • Sponsorships will be sought to fund the project

  • Grant funding will be sought to provide needed resources

Fundraising Goal: $125,000