Youth Ambassadors significantly impact communities throughout the Western Hemisphere as they multiply their exchange experience to increase volunteer service. They successfully engage peers, mentors, families, local government and civic organizations and educational institutions in their initiatives. Through Partners Youth Ambassadors programs, YAs have implemented over 30 Leadership in Action projects in 15 countries and US states. Check out these featured LIA projects!
The “Through the Eyes of a Youth” LIA project is the vision of the 2011 YAs to provide a homework and resource center that is equipped with the necessary resources to assist children from all age groups with their studies and end of grade Caribbean wide examinations. The Jamaica Partners collaborated with the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JASIF) to secure a safe location for the center in Trenchtown, Kingston and the US Embassy in Kingston co-sponsored the project with an additional grant of US $10,000.
Other collaborators include the MICO Teachers College, the Trenchtown Community Safety & Security Office, and Trenchtown Development Agency.
YAs have established a Youth Board of Directors that comprises youth from all YA programs and seeks to organize the youth throughout Nicaragua for promotional and project purposes. YAs visit communities to distribute school supplies to underserved elementary school children, and reinforce the value and importance of volunteerism and education. The YAs worked with the Youth Board and chapter leaders to establish a Youth Center in Managua. The Center is open on Saturdays and led by YA alumni. Activities provided engage youth in fun activities as well as provide tutoring and other services.
2010 YAs established a children’s play center, "Juegoteca", which was inspired by their visit to a non-profit organization called KaBOOM!, which mobilizes communities to build safe playspaces. This project, which was established in a low-income elementary school in the province of Neuquen, engages young learners through story, creative expression of ideas and other hands on activities. It fosters musical, theatrical, physical, cognitive learning and offers support to teachers to continue nurturing this type of creative learning.
The Raices Limpias project is a collaborative initiative of YAs from 2007-2011 who have implemented the project in nearly 10 schools in 7 communities. Youth, together with their mentors and peers and the local Partners chapters, work closely to raise environmental awareness among youth and children throughout Bolivia. With technical assistance from Bolivia chapter members, YAs have developed a standard curriculum that includes information and activities that engage children and teach positive practices for preserving the environment. This project has spread nationwide and continues to generate interest, mobilize volunteers, and foster constructive relationships among youth and adults from Bolivia’s nine departments in order to ensure sustainability and long-term success.
2010 US YA from Michigan, Andrew Carlone, harnessed support from the local Michigan Partners and over 400 volunteers in his community of Troy to organize a gift wrapping booth during Christmas 2011. Hundreds of volunteers devoted over 350 hours to wrap over 5,000 presents to fundraise $16,000 to support a free medical center called the Hope Clinic which serves people who struggle to cover health costs.
2008 YA, Nathaly Rivera, engaged youth from her local community to create a network that would promote leadership and volunteer service to improve their communities. With support from YA Mentors and Partners chapters throughout Colombia, they formalized the Youth Colombian Leaders National Network, which currently engages youth from all over the country to implement projects such as providing training to young leaders in several communities about disaster prevention, civic engagement, drug and alcohol abuse prevention, civic culture and democracy; with the main objective of transmitting this knowledge to their communities in order to achieve a multiplier effect. They received funding from the US Embassy in Bogota to convene their first National Conference in Summer of 2012, in order for youth to come together to share best practices, find innovative ways to strengthen their network and establish new linkages.