YAC/Youth LEAD OKC:

The Casady Service Learning Program sponsors two youth boards. 

YAC is the service club at Casady school.  http://casadyacleads.blogspot.com/

Youth LEAD OKC http://youthleadokc.blogspot.com/ is a city wide cultural competency youth board sponsored by the YMCA, the Casady Service-Learning Program and Mercy School Institute.

What is the meaning of YAC?  It changes according to the direction the teen leadership chooses to embark. 

2000-2004 Service Learning Committee

2005-2006 Youth and Adult Advisory Council

2007-2010 Youth and Adult Advisory and Action Council

2010-2012 You-Unite the Community

2013-2014 Youth in Action in the Community

2014-2015 Youth Acting in the Community

2015-2016 Youth Active in the Community

YAC Executive Board(Planning Team) Academic Year 2015-2016

Presidents: Aubrey and Dylan
Vice President: Miranda
Secretary: Cathy
Treasurer: Johnny

Communication, Marketing, Social Media:  Grace

Freshmen Chair: Project Chairs:  Anna B. Hannah H., Hope, Jack, Sahanya, Claire R., Ruby, Chloey, Hallie, Katherine S.
Sophomore Chair: Safra, Mariam, Mallory, Gabrielle, Natalie
Junior Chair: Isaiah, Isabelle, Pierce
Senior Chair: Nish ?, Jack?


The Class of 2013 marked the end of the first 10 years of implementation of the requirement for graduation (Class of 2004-2013) and expanded YAC's role as advisor and facilitator of service opportunities to a facilitator of YAC Cares projects in school grounds.

In the year 2013-2014, YAC LEADs (Leaders Engaging Across Differences) connected school wide projects to the Points of Light Foundation National Service Days .  

In the year 2014-2015, YAC had its first strategic planning and adopted a theme for the year:  Children


YAC's History

From 2000-2004, an intergenerational Service-Learning Committee advised the director about the creation of the process and documentation for ONLY direct service, away from the Casady campus credit.  The Service-Learning Committee and the Director of Service Learning visited schools in Texas and Oklahoma.  Phillips Andover Academy community service program with the motto of "Not for Self"  http://www.andover.edu/STUDENTLIFE/COMMUNITYSERVICE/Pages/default.aspx became the Casady Community Service-Learning Program advisor and mentor.

From 2005-2010, the service learning committee became, YAC (Youth and Adults Advisory and Action Council) after a teen group led by Grayson Walker, current MD History Teacher.returned from a National Service-Learning Conference in California. Grayson also participated in the first global education service -learning program in Ollantaytambo , Peru.

Sunita Darbe'05 and Emma Thadani' 05 attended two service learning conferences and  YAC started introducing service-learning to teachers, became proposal and reflection audience for student's certification of hours and co-facilitated site visits during Dead Week (WEEK AFTER SPC) resulting from freshman class service-learning Fridays sessions.  

Changing administrative directions expanded the scope of credit to direct, indirect, research, and volunteerism on campus and in the greater Oklahoma City community.

Inclusion of all divisions in YAC fundraising projects started with Students Against Hunger-Casady Cans Do Food Drive.  

The Pinwheels for Peace project, a collaborative effort between the service-learning program and the 4th grade class, expanded to include all divisions of the school in advocacy projects for the 11 Days of Global Unity 9/11-9/21 (International Day of Peace).  

In the school year 2013-2014, a group of YAC freshmen showcased the Casady Peace Week at the National Service Learning Conference in Washington DC and became the Planning Peace Team for 2014 http://casadypeaceweek.blogspot.com/


Peace Team with President of Shinnyo-en Foundation

with NYC Teachers in DC

From 2011-2013, YAC became a service connection to STUCO, faculty, coaches, and students' initiatives.  YAC lost its connection to reflection and co-facilitation of freshmen orientation to service-learning because proposals and reflection were no longer required and changes in schedule did not allow service learning Friday sessions for freshmen or site visits during DEAD WEEK anymore. YAC lost its co-curricular status and became a club-extra-curricular. YAC became a supporting resource of existing projects as well as inspired its members to create new ones. 

Since the school year 2013-2014, an Executive Board/Team and YAC grade chairs have facilitated YAC meetings and projects.   The E-Planning team members are selected by length of time involved in YAC experiences and quality of service to YAC.

YAC continues to support student volunteerism/service learning projects and faculty service-learning project initiatives.  YAC also began to provide $100 grants, one per month, to deserving projects.  The funding comes from the Service-Learning budget provided by a generous endowment provided by the Rainbolt Family.

In 2012 YAC member Sidney J. started brainstorming a new citywide cultural competency and identity and diversity education service-learning youth board. Sidney, in collaboration with community organizations and teens from Heritage Hall and Douglas High School created Youth LEAD OKC, a branch of Youth LEAD Online from Sharon, Massachusetts.



YOUTH LEAD OKC http://youthleadokc.blogspot.com/



In 2011, YAC members Salman Hamid, Jessica Greene and Sidney Jones started brainstorming a possible Youth LEAD online chapter @ Casady School. Youth LEAD is a cultural competency  identity, and diversity teen education council.   LEAD stands for Leaders Engaging Across Differences. 

In 2012, the YMCA-OKC, the Casady Service-Learning Program, the Respect Diversity Foundation, CAIR, and Mercy School joined hands to bring the Youth LEAD online program to Oklahoma City under the umbrella of the YMCA. Founding teen member and Casady student, Sidney Jones attended her first TIDE (Teens Identity and Diversity Education) conference and recommended the program as needed in our communities. 

The school year 2013-2014 was the pilot year for Youth LEAD OKC. 13 Casady students participated on monthly meetings and created cultural competency workshops and service projects.  The founding teens of YLOKC were Sidney J. (Casady), Sam K.(Heritage Hall), Dane N. (Douglas High School).  Members of the first planning committee of YLOKC were Dane N. (Douglas High School), Ananya B. Hunter S. , Yogaish K. and Johnny L. (Casady School), Iletze P. (Putnam City West High School).  YLOKC had a roster of 30 teens from different high schools who participated in meetings, workshops and service projects.  The adult advisors were Shannon Presti (YMCA), Carmen Clay (Casady Service-Learning), A.R. and Buthiana  J. (Mercy School Institute), Matt Tilley (Douglas High School), Jack and Noel Jacobs (Interfaith Alliance of OKC), Joan Korenblit (Respect Diversity Foundation).  In the pilot year, Youth LEAD OKC had two trainings by Roots and Wings Consultant, Tabitha May Tolub who also trained the parent Youth LEAD online



Youth LEAD online advocates for service of any kind that is filled with heart and hard work. We have so many bodies on this planet and so much to do that in some ways I say – “Just do it”. Just get out there and get started and make the world a better place.  However – there are some problems that we just can’t seem to fix, no matter how hard we work. Those issues always seem to stem from the things that are most important to us, the pieces of our identity: race, religion, ethnicity, gender, ability and sexual orientation. When it comes to the pieces of our world that are connected to our identity, our fears, our mistrusts and the ways in which we are polarized get in the way. Elbow grease just is not enough. We need to find a different way to serve.  For Youth LEAD service has three parts:
 The first is Reflection. Who are we? what do we believe? what baggage and what narratives do we bring with us from our lives and the lives of our families? How do these pieces of our identity form us and inform us? This part is really important because unless we know who we are, where we come from and how that supports and challenges the work we do in the world, it is hard for us to move on from here.
The second part is connection. We need the skills to be able to connect with others who hold very different beliefs than us. Whose stories and experiences give us a very different perspective on the world? If we only surround ourselves with people who look like us, think like us and operate like us we never see the whole picture. We are always missing pieces that are essential as we try to repair the world.
The third is Action. While the first two parts are critical, until all our reflecting and connecting translates into action – it will never get us where we need to go. This Action however needs to be intentional. We need to ask deep questions about what is and is not working and think creatively about why and how to fix it. WE need to take all the information learned in parts one and two and draft it into organized, intentional work. Projects that have a clear vision, committee work that honors product and process, meetings that are focused and where all voices are heard and allowed.   It is our belief that if all three of these parts are in place, our service takes on a whole new level of excellence and we can begin to repair the way we communicate with each other and the way we serve the world.  From Tabitha May-Tolub, Chapel Speech.



Youth LEAD OKC had its first training in Communication and Project Management during National Volunteer Week 2013 from Youth LEAD online Program Director, Tabitha May-Tolub.  Youth LEAD OKC has officially 29 members.  5 adult mentors and the rest are OKC teens from 11 high schools.  Casady Youth LEADERS are:   Sidney J*., Carleigh B*., Gavin C*., Hunter S*., Jack B*., Maggie A*., Yogaish K. Agnish Ch*., Natasha S*, Anaya B. (YAC Member*)


In 2012, Sidney J. attended her second TIDE Conference and her reflection inspired a new decade for YAC.  In this new decade, YAC will not just co-facilitate, but rather LEAD school wide projects following the Points of Lights Foundation Calendar of National Days of Service. 
Sidney brought HOLI from her participation in her first TIDE Conference.  Holi is an Indian Spring celebration of color.  YAC ended the 2012-2013 School year with a Holi end of the year fundraiser honoring of Bennett Hanneman with proceeds going to the Bob Stoops Foundation.


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 In 2014, Johnny L.(Casady) and Dane D. (Douglas) attended the TIDE Conference and the first YLOKC Conference took place September 20-21 at Camp FIRE USA facilitated by Roots and Wings CEO Tabitha May Tolub.  After each training, Youth LEAD OKC had projects of teen voice and choice.  

Testing Year

Training @ Casady School by Tabitha May Tolub, Youth LEAD Online
_ Field of Teams; Clean-up of Moore wheat fields after F-5 Tornado
_ Storm Shelter for Oklahoma Public Schools debate
_ Boys and Girls Club " I am " Stereotypes Workshop
Training @ Casady School by Tabitha May Tolub, Youth LEAD Online
_ La Cosecha Screening and discussion @ Douglas High School.  Broken educational dreams of children of migrant workers.

First Year (Transitional year for Youth LEAD online)

-Kick off Party and meal preparation at OKC Kids Korral, serving children and family undergoing cancer treatments
-Pinwheels for peace week for Pepper's Ranch construction of new foster house
-Peace Week: Xperience overnight Training by Tabitha May Tolub, Roots and Wings, CEO @ Camp Fire USA
_ Culturally Enhancing Fest and Come and Read with Me Program book giveaway for Positive Tomorrows
- Selma screening and discussion
- MLK Day @ the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma
- Reflective Art to be displayed at Oklahoma Arts Festival (Change of festival direction did not allow displayed to take place)
- Ushering of movie "The Other Son."

Second Year


Youth LEAD OKC is a cultural competency program sponsored by the YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City, Casady High School Service Learning Program, and Mercy School Institute. It is open to teens from 9th to 12th grade. YLOKC is a branch of Massachusetts based Youth Lead Online.

Youth LEAD OKC experiences are developed, planned, and implemented by teens for teens.  Youth LEAD OKC teens come from a wide range of ethnic, cultural, economic, and faith backgrounds.  OKC Youth LEADers explore their own identities as well as their similarities and differences and act together to build the next generation of community and global leaders.


There is a $30 annual fee which covers a t-shirt and operating program expenses which are subsidize by YMCA and in-kind donations by participating schools. 



- Kick off party and meal preparation at OK Kids Korral
-Peace Week: Pinwheels for Syrian Refugee Children-Students Rebuild, Healing Classroom Project, World Peace Village @ Boys and Girls Club Kids Day
Retreat for YLOKC leaders and training of Youth Leaders by Roots and Shoots CEO, Tabitha May Tolub @ Casady School.  Two main projects: Teens4Teens and Event in April advocating awareness of Autism


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