Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for 15 to 19 year olds in the United States. National Teen Driver Safety Week, held on October 16-22,is dedicated to raising awareness and encouraging safe teen driver and passenger behavior. With over 123,000 teens injured in passenger vehicle accidents in 2014, it is imperative that youth take the lead in helping to make our roads safer. Plan a road safety project in your community!
October is National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month. One highlight of the month - Unity Day - is next Wednesday, October 19. If you care about safe and supportive schools and communities, wear the color ORANGE on Unity Day. That's the day everyone can come together - in schools, communities, and online - and send one large ORANGE message of support, hope, and unity to show that we are together against bullying and united for kindness, acceptance and inclusion. For bullying prevention programs and resources, check out
Next Thursday, October 20 is the 17th annual Lights On Afterschool, and registration is now open! Lights On Afterschool is the nation's only celebration of afterschool programs and their role in keeping kids safe, inspiring them to learn and helping working families. Lights On Afterschool celebrations don't have to be elaborate - there are plenty of simple, creative ways to showcase the important opportunities available to kids after school. Even if you're short on time, it's not too late to host a successful Lights On Afterschool celebration.
In addition to the final presidential debate next Wednesday, October 19, your local TV and radio stations will often air U.S. Senate, U.S. House, or Governor debates. Public access stations might air debates with candidates for city, county, school district, or state legislative offices. These moments "when everybody is watching" are great opportunities to organize a discussion with others about the issues important to you and to hear directly from the candidates on the issues you care about.YSA.org/ServiceVote
Kids make the rules! From September 1st through October 17th, generationOn's Rules of Kindness campaign, powered by Hasbro, challenges kids and teens to build empathy, be kind and show they care! Once signed up, participants use the provided tools and resources to create their kindness rules and plan for putting them into action through service or simple acts. Participants then share their story for a chance to win grants! Four grand prize winners will receive a $500 grant and an additional 20 will get a $250 grant.
Mentor Foundation USA's Living the Example (LTE) video contest showcases teenagers who are following their passions and pursuing their dreams while staying drug-free. The contest is open to high schoolers in the United States. All participants must submit a short video explaining how they set a positive example for their peers. The grand prize winner will win a trip to Los Angeles and receive a tour of the YouTube Space in La Playa Vista. Second and third place winners will receive tech prize packages, with items such as a Google Chromecast, Urban Ears headphones and Anker portable speakers.
Deadline: October 27
The National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) program is part of a U.S. government initiative that prepares American citizens to be leaders in a global world. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, it provides merit-based scholarships for eligible high school students and recent high school graduates to learn less commonly taught languages in summer and academic-year overseas immersion programs. Languages included are Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Persian, Russian and Turkish.
Deadline: October 31
Created in partnership with FoodCorps, the School Garden Grant program provides a $2,000 monetary grant to support an edible educational garden on the grounds of a K-12 school. Schools, or a non-profit organization working in partnership with a school, may apply. The Extended Learning Garden Grant program provides a $2,000 monetary grant to a non-profit children's programming organization, working with children ages K-12, to support an edible educational garden.
Ariana Diaz (16, Phoenix, Arizona) is passionate about tackling bullying among youth. She became a member of the Arizona Governor's Youth Commission and combined her commitment to combating bullying with serving her local community. Ariana started a social web chat, where anyone who is being bullied is offered help. In middle school, Ariana became a victim of bullying from her own friend. Ariana's personal experience with bullying had an impact on her desire to help other students tackle the same issue. After doing some research, Ariana found out that the number of kids being bullied every year is staggering, and decided that she could either wait and do nothing, or take charge and help bullying victims. She also provides helpful tips to prevent bullying for those who know someone who is being bullied. As an active member of the Governor's Youth Commission Bullying Committee, Ariana is currently working on creating a social media campaign to promote her web chat project. The chats are anonymous in order to create a comfortable and safe environment for the victims.
Congratulations to Matthew Kaplan for being named this week's CNN Hero. Seeing his brother tormented inspired Matthew Kaplan to start the Be ONE Project. The workshops encourage middle schoolers to celebrate their similarities and differences. Kaplan hopes to take the project nationwide after already reaching nearly 5,000 students. Matthew received the Disney Hero for Change award from YSA in 2015 and he currently serves on YSA's Board of Directors.
At YSA, we agree that young people will lead the way in achieving the Global Goals. That's why we're proud to introduce the Youth Guide to the Global Goals, a resource that activates youth to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. The tip sheets in this resource will help you:
Deepen your understanding of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals
Identify ways that you can use YSA's ASAP Model (Awareness, Service, Advocacy, Philanthropy) to make a difference in your community
Conduct a 45-minute lesson to introduce the SDGs to your class, club, or group
The Be an Everyday Young Hero series, sponsored by Newman's Own Foundation, provides project replication guides created by our Everyday Young Hero Award winners to help you to tackle pressing local, national, and global community issues. The following tipsheets are available for download:
Create Healthier Lives for Food Pantry Patrons
Creating a Club to Combat Cancer
Host a Waste Management Education Campaign
Lead a Life Skills Mentoring Program
Use Macroinvertebrates to Monitor Your Community's Water Supply
Check out the video trainings for three of YSA's most popular resources: Kids in Action Guide (project planning for children ages 4-11), Youth Changing the World Toolkit (project planning for teens and young adults ages 12-25), and theSemester of Service Teacher Toolkit (project facilitation for educators and mentors). Each video course walks you step-by-step through how to use the corresponding resource. Visit www.YSA.org/resources and look for the "Suggested Training" box seen above to take these free trainings.
SERVICE SONG OF THE WEEK
"Blowin' in the Wind" and "Chimes of Freedom" - Bob Dylan