Youth Action Program
Program Description: Youth are planning, implementing and evaluating their own activities and service! [ Forms ]
RurAL CAP’s Youth Action Program supports and trains AmeriCorps Members to engage local youth with experiential learning, making positive contributions to the community and creating meaningful opportunities. The Youth Program Coordinator assists 10-12 Members with supporting youth in healthy and meaningful activities, volunteer & community service projects, as well as life skills & leadership development.
These AmeriCorps Members establish and host Youth Action Groups at his/her site, allowing local youth to develop identity, gain ownership and plan their involvement with their community. The Coordinator and Members provide youth with tools and guidance to succeed, including training for peer-to-peer education on topics like FASD, HIV/AIDS, Solid Waste, etc.
A Youth Leader is selected or self-identified from each group. These Youth Leaders help plan the Youth Track for the RurAL CAP’s Rural Providers’ Conference (in Kodiak 2010), guaranteeing greater impact because they select the content and learn the planning process. Youth Leaders will then attend and participate in their RPC Youth Track.
Listen to the results of the media project by youth who recorded their experiences at the 2010 RPC in Kodiak and interviewed others as well:
- What was your favorite part of the RPC?
- What is your opinion about teen drinking?
- What do you think about having both Youth and Elders at the RPC?
- What did you like or dislike about the Circle Talks?
2009 Youth Member Accomplishments:
Slana - Jessica Milligan
- Jessica’s Youth Action Group regularly planned community involvement and environmental-based projects such as green cleaning kit distribution and training, starting a youth litter patrol and painting the community’s new recycling center.
Togiak - Eddie Abraham
- At an average of 5 times/week, Eddie hosted dance practice for his Native Dance group. The group is composed almost entirely of teens who have learned traditional culture, and in exchange, share and teach the songs, drumming and dancing to their peers.
- The dance group fundraised to take a cross-country trip from Togiak to Oshkosh, Wisconsin to perform in an International Pow-Wow. The teens, a few community members and adult chaperones enjoyed seeing national historic sites like the Black Lands and Crazy Horse memorial. For many of the dance group members, it was their first trip outside Alaska.
- Eddie always takes a few youth with him when he goes walrus or moose hunting.
Naukati - Heidi Young
- Used the Archery group at school from her first year and formed a teen-led SWAT team (Students Working Against Tobacco). The group hosted regular meetings at the school and used the time to plan their health-education based events. Heidi took the youth ’s input and ideas seriously and supported them to make their plans be successful.
- SWAT hosted a teen-run health fair, a district-wide school lock-in, Operation Tulip to plant “drug-free promises” with red tulip bulbs during Red Ribbon Week, and a community clean up. SWAT also planned and executed their own fundraisers during the summer months.
- SWAT’s President, Brandon, was chosen to service on the statewide Spirit of Youth Teen Advisory Council.
Yakutat - Sasha Vale
- Sasha restarted Yakutat’s chapter in Alaska Youth for Environmental Action (AYEA). The group of teens discussed environmental issues important to Yakutat and raised community and school awareness.
New Stuyahok - Gloria Wonhola
- Gloria formed new, tight-knit relationships with local teens. She is a non-family adult with whom they share their concerns, dreams and plans. While the community experienced weekend nights of unrest, Gloria offered a safe and sober place for teens to gather and talk.
Klukwan - Kodi Carl
- Klukwan has a small group of teens and Kodi has connected with each of them through a strong presence at the school. Kodi and the youth arranged for weekend activities to provide them more healthy and recreational activities in a small community.
Chevak - Angela Boyscout
- Opened a defunct building to serve as a local Boyz & Gurlz Club, a safe place for teens to gather. She took donations for board games, basketballs and other fun items for youth to use.
- Involved youth in planning healthy activities for other teens during large community events. Her Youth Action Group volunteered to help at many activities which benefitted Search and Rescue efforts or a Kris Kringle donation and gift exchange throughout all of Chevak.
- Facilitated tobacco-free and cessation meetings at the high school and was instrumental with peer mediation at the school.
- Chaperoned three teens to a three-day nonviolence conference in Girdwood, called “Lead On!”
Sterling - Ami McLelland
- Formed a Youth Action Group called AKTS (Alaska Teens Serving) with an emphasis on community service.
- AKTS decided on their service projects and Ami helped their planning process. AKTS organized road-side litter collections, recycling, reading to young children, cleaning local campgrounds during the summer, teaching and giving away tobacco cessation products and volunteering for the Alaska State Fair. The teens also participated in the “Lips” campaign, taking pictures of community members’ lips who pledge to be tobacco free.
- Ami invited civic and community leaders to the AKTS meetings to share their leadership experiences. She also received invitations for AKTS to speak to community groups about their goals and service.
- Ami’s Youth Leader, Elias, was recognized by Spirit of Youth and then was chosen to win a college scholarship.
Teleconferences for AmeriCorps Youth Members are the last Friday of every month. Reminders, agenda items and phone number will be sent a few days in advance.
Contact information: Amy Flaherty, Youth Program Coordinator
email@example.com, 907-865-7396 or toll-free 800-478-7227 ext. 7396