Student Changemaker Councils (SCC) began in the Spring of 2016 with the idea to create student-led councils that focused on serving the community in positive ways while creating space for students to have time and resources to research, plan, and implement a project that supports the communities around their schools. Student Changemakers Councils Prepares third through 12th grade students to be civically minded and engaged in their community.
“YouthServe saw a need for introducing more students to community involvement and bringing opportunities to their community helped eliminate the need for them to go somewhere else to volunteer. Why not volunteer in your community?”, said Daniel Ross, Project Director, YouthServe. “In partnership with Ed and Birmingham City Schools, we are able to walk with students through the process of identifying community needs and developing projects that help serve that need.”
With the help of Ed, SCC has been established at five schools including Carver High School, Ramsay High School, Jackson-Olin High School, Hudson K-8, and B.T. Washington K-8. These efforts came out of the partnership with YouthServe, in the first year of Network Nights hosted by Ed.
To date, councils have created very diverse projects for their community. Hudson helped establish outdoor learning spaces and created a documentary on the issue of bad roads. Carver created a mentoring program between high school and junior high students. Ramsay inspired fellow students to donate clothes for homeless teens and hosted a student-led Network Night. These councils utilize partnerships with local organizations like Salvation Army, Fish Camp Films, and Brasfield and Gorrie.
Through SCC, students are gaining tools and skills in civic engagement. They are able to assess community strengths/needs, problem solve, communicate ideas, and collaborate to implement a project. Because this is a volunteer program, students gain volunteer hours. YouthServe also helps council members shape their experience into lines on their resume, job application, and scholarship applications. Stay tuned for more highlights from this year’s projects!
About YouthServe: YouthServe is a Birmingham based nonprofit with twenty years of experience helping connect youth to service opportunities while giving them the tools to help make positive change in their community. Connecting with over 1,500 youth a year, YouthServe offers monthly service projects to any youth, directs residential summer service camps in downtown Birmingham, and manages youth-lead Youth Leadership Councils. To learn more about YouthServe, please visit youthservebham.org. To see YouthServe programs in action, follow YouthServe on Instagram and Facebook.