National Youth Service Day: A Youth Development Strategy

Silvia Blitzer Golombek

Abstract


A growing number of studies show connections between youth participation in service and service-learning opportunities and positive behavior outcomes. Building on this data, the article presents National Youth Service Day (NYSD) as a program that can be incorporated into ongoing activities to enhance youth development goals. The paper describes the program’s components– building a network of support organizations, offering project planning grants, providing service-learning materials, and developing a media and advocacy campaign. Examples of NYSD projects show how project planners are using the program to learn and practice academic and non-academic skills. A review of evaluations to date indicates the program is annually increasing its output measures. Participants’ responses show that the program is also contributing to positive behavioral changes, in particular related to young people’s increasing awareness about specific community issues and their own competency in addressing them.

Keywords


advocacy; civic engagment; media; planning grants; service; service learning; youth voice; youth development

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jyd.2006.399

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