Category Archives: Youth Volunteers / Youth Volunteer Corps Program

Youth Volunteer Corps of Nashville Receives Top Honor

NASHVILLE NAMED ONE OF THE TOP YVC PROGRAMS IN NORTH AMERICA

Hands On Nashville's Youth Volunteer Corp was named a Gold Level Aff
Hands On Nashville’s Youth Volunteer Corps was named a 2015 Gold Level Affiliate. #hypedonhelp

Nashville, Tenn. – Hands On Nashville’s Youth Volunteer Corps was named a 2015 Gold Level YVC Affiliate, one of only nine throughout the U.S. and Canada. The youth service program, hosted by Hands On Nashville, offers volunteer opportunities for more than 800 youth who serve more than 4,000 volunteer hours every year. Continue reading Youth Volunteer Corps of Nashville Receives Top Honor

Introducing our 2014-15 Youth Volunteer Corps (YVC) Interns!

From August through May, these 10 outstanding teens will serve as a leadership team that works with Hands On Nashville staff to develop and lead youth projects that impact the community. Each has chosen a concentration – Arts, Fitness and Nutrition, or Technology – and will design and facilitate educational and skill-building lessons for youth served by area nonprofits.

This group is #hypedonhelp and we’re hyped to introduce them to you! Please meet out 2014-15 Youth Volunteer Corp Interns…

YVC Intern Alex Alexcee
“I serve because somebody served me.” – YVC Intern Alex Alexcee

Sarah Alexcee is a senior at Glencliff High School where she is proud to be “the voice of Glencliff High School in Newspaper Club.”  Sarah says if there is an issue or topic that needs to be addressed at her school, she is the one who authors the story. Sarah’s goal is to help the community while further enhancing her leadership skills in working with other students and adults who are committed to helping others.

Fun Fact: If Sarah could only listen to one CD/album forever, she would listen to Artpop by Lady Gaga.

Internship Concentration: Fitness/Nutrition

 

YVC Intern Anagha Ashokan
“I serve because I want to make a difference.” – YVC Intern Anagha Ashokan

Anagha Ashokan, a sophomore at Hume-Fogg Academic High School, has served as a delegate at Model United Nations, a Volunteer Mentor for the 2014 PACE (Pencil Academic & Career Enrichment) Summer Camp for Middle School students, and is the class officer in her school’s Student Government Association. Angagha says she is excited to take on this new leadership role by giving back to the community.

Fun Fact: If Anagha could have any superpower, it would be the ability to travel through time.

Internship Concentration: Arts

 

YVC Intern Michael Canonico
“I serve because I learn most through service.” – YVC Intern Michael Canonico

Michael Canonico is a senior at Father Ryan High School where he has been an officer on the student council for the past two years and is a student ambassador. As a YVC Intern this school year, Michael hopes to learn from the youth he will be working with and broaden his perspectives. His goal is to improve his leadership skills.

Fun Fact: If Michael could travel to anywhere in the world, he would go to Rome. “Rome is a center of faith, history, art, and culture,” He says.”All that is truly human can be seen in Rome and in her history.”

Internship Concentration: Fitness/Nutrition

 

 YVC Intern Kara Cobb
“I serve because I want to change the world.” – YVC Intern Kara Cobb

Kara Cobb, a senior at Hume-Fogg Academic High School, is excited to be returning for a second consecutive year as a YVC Intern. During this internship, Kara says she wishes to learn how to better enrich service projects and to become a better leader.

Fun Fact: If Kara could travel anywhere in the world, she would pick the Maldives. “It seems like a perfect paradise,” she says.

Internship Concentration: Fitness/Nutrition

 

 

 

YVC intern Angelica Flores
“I serve because it makes me and other people happy.” – YVC intern Angelica Flores

Angelica Flores is a junior at Father Ryan High School where she organizes shows and fundraising opportunities for the Theater Club, is a member of the Relay For Life committee, and also serves on the Veteran’s 5k Leadership committee. Angelica has also attended a national Youth Leadership Conference, and her goal for this internship is to learn how to organize intriguing service events for her peers.

Fun Fact: If Angelica could eat only one food forever, she would choose smoothies – “I’m more than a little obsessed with them, and they’re good for you,” she says.

Internship Concentration: Arts

 

YVC Intern Hannah Levy
“I serve because I love helping the community.” – YVC Intern Hannah Levy

Hannah Levy, a sophomore at Brentwood High School, hopes to achieve a greater connection with her community through this internship. Hannah is a member of Mu Alpha Theta, where she tutors other students in math, and is also a member of her school’s student council and Peer Leadership Team.

Fun Fact: If Hannah could do anything, she would travel. “I would love to observe culture in different regions, as well as visit many of the iconic sites spread across the world,” she says.

Internship Concentration: Arts

 

 

 YVC Intern Camryn Magsby
“I serve because I love to give back.” – YVC Intern Camryn Magsby

Camryn Magsby is a sophomore at Hume-Fogg Academic High School. Last summer, Camryn  taught youth about nutrition and health while serving as an Urban Agriculture Intern. Through the YVC internship, Camry hopes to gain knowledge and skills that she can apply to a future career in community organization.

Fun Fact: If Camryn could travel anywhere, she would go to Spain, Costa Rica, and Dominican Republic. “I am very fascinated with Spanish language, so traveling to different countries and learning more about their rich culture [would be] a very fun way to meet new people and experience new opportunities,” she says.

Internship Concentration: Fitness/Nutrition

YVC Intern Karthik Pradeep
“I serve because it is fun and rewarding.” – YVC Intern Karthik Pradeep

Karthik Pradeep is a sophomore at Centennial High School. Last summer, he helped teachers lead summer encore programs at Lipscomb Elementary and Clovercroft Elementary schools. As a YVC Intern, Karthik says he hope to spread as much of his knowledge in the realm of computer science to others as he can, and in the process, learn something new through the enrichment of others.

Fun Fact: If Karthik could only listen to one song forever, it would be
“A Sky Full of Stars” by Coldplay.

Internship Concentration: Technology

 

YVC Intern Caroline Rivers
“I serve because it make me feel alive.” – YVC Intern Caroline Rivers

Caroline Rivers is a senior at Hume-Fogg Academic High school. She says she hopes to learn the best ways to work with children in our community through her YVC Internship. Last year, Caroline started her own tutoring business last year, and she is a member of the senior dance company at Bellevue Dance Center.

Fun Fact: If Caroline could travel anywhere, she would go to India. “I want to be immersed in the beautiful culture,” she says.

Internship Concentration: Arts

 

 

YVC Intern Raffi Yang
“I serve because I enjoy helping others.” – YVC Intern Raffi Yang

Raffi Yang is a senior at Hume-Fogg Academic High School where he is a senior member and building coordinator of the school’s Science Olympiad team. Besides having fun, Raffi says he hopes to meet a diverse group of people through his involvement in this internship.

Fun Fact: If Raffi could have one superpower, it would to be able to predict the future. “I like knowing what comes in the future,” he says.

Internship Concentration: Technology

A Great Summer of Youth Service!

We had a blast serving and learning with hundreds of outstanding youth this summer. We explored issues that impact our community, talked about sustainable eating and healthy food choices at the Hands On Nashville Urban Farm, and worked alongside skilled youth interns and other future leaders. What can we say? We’re already looking forward to next summer! Here’s a recap of our 2014 summer.


Crop City 2014 Youth Development Program Recap:

Crop City 2014 Participants_1
Youth from Sophia’s Heart harvest materials for Squash Slaw at the Hands On Nashville Urban Farm!

Last week, Hands On Nashville’s Urban Agriculture team wrapped up its six-week youth development program, Crop City, and it was a huge success! Over the past two months, 763 youth spent a total of 1,923 hours learning about nutrition, the social and environmental impacts of our food choices, and of course, gardening, at the Hands On Nashville Urban Farm.

Each day, participants played educational games and harvested food from the garden, which they then used to create healthy, delicious snacks right at the Farm. Over the summer we harvested and ate 646 pounds of fresh fruits and veggies! This year’s partners included the Martha O’Bryan Center, Y-CAP, Nashville International Center for Empowerment, Watkins Park Community Center, Sofia’s Heart, and Youth Villages.

To see more pictures of the Crop City 2014, click here.

To learn more about our outstanding Urban Agriculture Teaching Interns who led Crop City this summer, click here.


Youth Volunteer Corps Summer Camp Recap

2014 YVC Summer Youth Camp Week 3
Youth serving at The Nashville Food Project during week three of YVC Summer Camp.

This summer, Hands On Nashville also launched YVC Summer Camp, a brand new summer camp for youth ages 14-18. Each week, campers explored an issue that impacts our community.

During the months of June and July, campers learned about environmental issues, homelessness and hunger, health and wellness, and youth education, and served the Nashville community through experiential service-learning projects. Campers served at the Nashville Rescue Mission, gardened at BELL Garden, sorted medical supplies at Project C.U.R.E. and served and learned with many other community organizations.

2014 YVC Summer Camp Week 4
Youth serving at Fannie Battle during week four of HON’s YVC Summer Camp.

Huge thanks to our 2014 Summer Youth Leaders, Ben, Cecilia, Emily, and Conor, for helping make YVC Summer Camp a success!


Interested in serving as a youth leader? Hands On Nashville’s Youth Volunteer Corps is now recruiting passionate, dedicated youth to serve as leaders for our ongoing, monthly volunteer projects. Email Ashleigh at hon.org for more information.

Introducing Hands On Nashville’s 2014 Urban Agriculture Teaching Interns!

This week, Hands On Nashville is kicking off Crop City, a six-week camp where community youth will learn how to grow food and make healthy eating choices! 2014 Crop City participants are youth served by the following organizations: Watkins Park Community Center, Y-CAP, Martha O’Bryan Center, Youth Villages, Sophia’s Heart, and the Nashville International Center for Empowerment.

As we begin, we would like to introduce you to a group of outstanding Hands On Nashville Urban Agriculture Teaching Interns who will lead the farm-to-table, curriculum-based summer youth development program.

Guided by Hands On Nashville staff, these awesome interns will teach Crop City participants – who live in neighborhoods with limited access to fresh produce — how to grow healthy produce to share with their communities and useful leadership skills to foster future growth. Please join us in welcoming these young leaders who are making a difference during their summer break.


 

2014 Urban Agriculture Intern Grace Bryant

Grace Bryant is a rising junior at Glencliff High School where she is currently preparing for a future in biological engineering. After school, Grace can often be found researching diseases among insects in a biology lab. Grace hopes to share her knowledge of nutritious plants and food with the world this summer, and in the future.

Fun fact: If Grace could be any movie character, she’d be Michelangelo from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – he has a lot of fun but still helps others.

 

2014 Urban Agriculture Intern Maria DartyMariah Darty is a rising junior at Glencliff High School. From joining the garden club and working for the newspaper to tutoring students at two different middle schools, Mariah has taken on many new activities over the last year. She is ready to continue learning and teaching others while adding an Urban Agriculture Internship to the list this summer.

Fun Fact: If Mariah could be any cartoon character, she would be Sponge Bob because he is always happy, and positive.

 

2014 Urban Agriculture Intern Emily DunnEmily Dunn  is a rising senior at Hume-Fogg Academic High School where she’s co-captain of the swim team; co-leads a club that raises money to fight cancer; and helps coordinate the school’s recycling effort. Emily is returning for her second year leading Crop City programming as an Urban Agriculture Intern. She’s driven to play an active role in eliminating food deserts.

Fun Fact: If Emily could be any cartoon character, she would be Phineas, from Phineas and Ferb – because they lived in an endless summer.

 

2014 Urban Agriculture Intern Jon EdwardsJon Edwards is a rising senior at Hume-Fogg Academic High School where he will serve as Student Body Treasurer next fall. As a volunteer, Jon has spent three Christmas holidays working at a school and orphanage in Managua, Nicaragua and has served as a tutor for elementary school students within the local community. This summer, he hopes to positively influence a child’s future out at the Farm.

Fun Fact: If Jon could only listen to one CD/album forever, he’d listen to, The Band by The Band.

 

2014 Urban Agriculture Intern Nikita HolbertNikita Holbert, a rising senior at Hume-Fogg Academic High School, absolutely loves to be outside. Nikita is excited to bring her gardening experience (she has planted tomatoes, squash, and peaches at her grandmother’s garden…yum), passion for helping others, and strong interest in teaching youth to the Urban Farm this summer.

Fun Fact: If Nikita could have superpowers, she would have the abilities to disappear, pause the world, and run fast.

 

 

2014 Urban Agriculture Intern Ameena KhoshnawAmeena Khoshnaw is a rising senior at Martin Luther King, Jr. Academic Magnet School. As a dedicated volunteer, Ameena regularly serves at local Islamic churches and has assisted in disaster relief efforts as an ICNA Disaster Relief Group volunteer. Ameena strives to be a shining example for her younger family members and help those less fortunate take steps toward success in their lives.

Fun Fact: Photography is Ameena’s favorite hobby – she loves capturing nature’s amazing scenes.

2014 Urban Agriculture Camryn MagsbyCamryn Magsby is a rising sophomore at Hume-Fogg Academic High School. Camryn is a strong advocate of healthy eating, and has helped fight hunger as a volunteer at Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee, Nashville Rescue Mission, and Mercy Ministries. Camryn aims to inspire others to see the value of growing their own food this summer.

Fun fact: If Camryn could have any superpower, it would be to read people’s minds, like professor X from X-Men.

 

2014 Urban Agriculture Intern Dina MikaielDina Mikaiel is a rising senior at Antioch High School where she is an essential part of the school’s Leadership Class. Dina helps fellow students through the Adopt a Freshmen program, serves as a Big Sister, and hopes to meet new people and help change lives of community youth through education this summer.

Fun Fact: If Dina could travel anywhere in the world, she would travel to Egypt.

2014 Urban Agriculture Intern Leyla Mohamed

Leyla Mohamed is a rising senior at Martin Luther King, Jr. Academic Magnet School where she is a member of Beta Club, Red-Cross club and the Muslim Student Association. For the past three years, Leyla has volunteered at local mosques teaching children Arabic nearly every weekend. This summer, Lelya hopes to learn more about the agriculture system in Nashville and use her leadership skills to help improve it.

Fun Fact: If Leyla could have any superpower, she would have all of the knowledge in the world.

 

2014 Urban Agriculture Intern Miranda MooreMiranda Moore is a rising sophomore at Martin Luther King, Jr. Academic Magnet School. She loves working with kids, and has many years of experience as a camp counselor. Miranda is looking forward to sharing her knowledge of healthy foods and nutrition with campers this summer, and is excited to learn more about urban agriculture throughout the process.

Fun Fact: If Miranda could only eat one type of food forever, she would choose Clementines.

 

 

2014 Urban Agriculture Intern Megnot Mulugeta

Megnot Mulugeta is a rising senior at Martin Luther King, Jr. Academic Magnet School where for the last two school years she has helped organize fundraisers for FEED, an organization that helps feed and clothe children in Haiti. With a newfound interest in gardening, Megnot aims to help others to make healthier choices this summer.

Fun Fact: If Megnot could have any superpower, she would be able to read minds.

 

 

2014 Urban Agriculture Intern Farhiya Omar

Farhiyo Omar, a rising junior at Hillwood High School, is very excited to be spending a second consecutive summer teaching at Crop City this year. Farhiyo says that being able to watch the kids smile and grow last year was a very rewarding experience and is looking forward to again sharing her knowledge of farming with others.

Fun fact: If she could do anything she wanted, Farhiyo would travel the world.

 

2014 Urban Agriculture Rayan OsmanRayan Osman is a rising junior at Martin Luther King, Jr. Academic Magnet School. Rayan is co-founder of her school’s Muslim-Student Association and regularly tutors elementary and middle school students. After college, Rayan plans to go to Somalia to help residents fight poverty. She hopes to gain knowledge about agriculture this summer.

Fun Fact: Reading is Rayan’s favorite hobby – it’s a really fun activity, she says.

 

 

2014 Urban Agriculture Intern Carson ThomasCarson Thomas is a rising senior at University School of Nashville where she co-leads USN’s Environmental Club, is captain of the Ultimate Frisbee Team and is involved with the Student Sustainability Initiative. Carson has served as a fellow at the Urban Farm for the last year, and is thrilled to be joining us again for her second consecutive summer as an Urban Agriculture Intern at Crop City.

Fun Fact: If Carson could only eat one type of food forever, it would be pasta.

 

2014 Urban Agriculture Chloe VaccaroChloe Vaccaro is a recent graduate of Martin Luther King, Jr. Academic Magnet School and will attend UT Knoxville in the fall. As an Urban Farm Fellow and Urban Agriculture Intern for the past two summers, Chloe continues to make an impact at the Urban Farm. Chloe’s long-term goal is to help increase access to healthy food for families located in food deserts and hopes to continue to learn about organic farming this summer.

Fun Fact: If Chloe could only listen to one CD/album forever, it would be Live by Erykah Badu.

Introducing our 2014 Youth Volunteer Corps Summer Youth Leaders!

This summer, four exceptional Middle Tennessee high schoolers will lead their peers to explore important issues facing our community during Hands On Nashville’s new Youth Volunteer Corps (YVC) Summer Camp.

From June through July, these 2014 YVC Summer Youth Leaders will each facilitate a weeklong camp for their fellow high school volunteers that focuses on a specific issue, including homelessness, health and wellness, youth education, and the environment. Each camp is designed to encourage a deeper understanding of the issue and our community through hands-on service learning experiences.

After being selected through a highly competitive application process, these difference-makers completed a Hands On Nashville leadership training session to help them prepare to lead skill-building activities centered around service-learning. Please join us in welcoming these four inspiring leaders!

To read about other young people in the Nashville community who are Hyped On Help, check out our Tumblr page.


BEN DELEVANTE, Environment Week, June 9-13

Volunteer Corps Summer Youth Leader Ben Delevante
“I serve because I have the ability to help others.” – Ben Delevante

A few fun facts about Ben:

Q: If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?

A: I would go to Europe.

Q: What’s your favorite thing to do in Nashville?

A: Attend Vanderbilt football games.


For the past two years, Father Ryan High School sophomore Ben Delevante has volunteered as a middle school basketball coach, assisted at Room In The Inn, and has helped raise money to fight cancer as a Relay for Life participant. “I’ve been fortunate enough in my life to have many great examples of volunteerism and leadership,” Ben says. “It’s important to help out those less fortunate in our community.”

As a coach and leader, Ben knows the importance of having a plan and motivating others to achieve a common goal. This summer, he hopes to further his teaching and leadership skills while learning more about our community needs. As a Hands On Nashville YVC Summer Youth Leader, Ben will be channeling his energy for health and wellness to better the environment in our community. This summer, Ben will lead campers in service-learning opportunities including maintenance and upkeep of local parks, planting gardens, and providing energy upgrades to a local home.

 

CECILIA VON MANN, Hunger & Homelessness Week, June 23-27

YVC Summer Youth Leader Cecilia Von Mann
“I serve because I believe that one small act of service can ripple out and not only impact a person’s life, but change the world.” – Cecilia Von Mann

 A fun fact about Cecilia:

Q: If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?

A: India during the Holi Fest or Patagonia, Chile, to hike the mountains or hike the Camino de Santiago in Spain.


For Cecilia Von Mann, volunteering is one of the most important aspects of her life.

Cecilia, a junior at Father Ryan High School, is a long-time volunteer at Room In The Inn. From serving meals and registering guests to teaching art classes, Cecilia is passionate about helping those facing homelessness. In addition, Cecilia tutors refugee children each week, has led multiple retreats at her middle school, and has traveled across the globe to complete mission trips in cities from Honduras to South Carolina.

Cecilia is excited to put her summer to good use by helping others as a Hands On Nashville YVC Summer Youth Leader, and hopes to learn more about hunger throughout the process. This summer, Cecilia will lead campers in service-learning opportunities including sorting perishable food items, serving lunch to women and children facing homelessness, and prepping survival kits.

 

EMILY THOMPSON, Health & Wellness Week, July 7-11

YVC Summer Youth Leader Emily Thompson
“I serve because I believe making a difference begins with one person taking action, creating a chain reaction of service.” – Emily Thompson
A few fun facts about Emily:
Q: If you could eat only one type of food forever, what would it be?
A: Pizza. All day every day. There is nothing better.

Q: If you could only listen to one CD/album forever, which one would it be?

A: Any Arctic Monkeys album other than A.M. Their older stuff is even better.


Emily Thompson, a junior at Merrol Hyde Magnet School, believes that time is the greatest gift you can give to someone. A Girl Scout since kindergarten, Emily learned the true value of volunteerism from a young age. Whether volunteering at Hands On Nashville, spearheading a clothing donation drive at her church to support those facing homelessness, or organizing a middle school dance to support Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee, Emily enjoys making a difference for others and leading by example.

As an aspiring pediatrician, Emily’s goal is to help improve access to proper healthcare and safety in the community. As a Hands On Nashville YVC Summer Youth Leader, Emily will lead campers in service-learning opportunities including sorting medical supplies for clinics overseas, boxing shoes for children abroad, and cooking lunch for people battling illnesses.

 

CONOR RORK, Youth Education Week, July 21-25

YVC Summer Youth Leader Conor Rork
“I serve because I want to make a difference in other people’s lives.” – Conor Rork

A few fun facts about Conor:
Q: If you could only eat one type of food forever, what would it be?

A: Spaghetti with meat sauce. All day.

Q: If you could only listen to one CD/album forever, which one would it be?

A: El Camino, The Black Keys


University School of Nashville tenth grader Conor Rork has been an avid reader since age 4. This summer, Conor hopes to share his passion for education and the written word with his peers and community youth as a Hands On Nashville YVC Summer Youth Leader. “I’d like to pass on and share my love of reading with children,” Conor says. “I hope to make a difference in at least one child’s life through this opportunity.”

As a community volunteer, Conor has proudly served as a math tutor for youth at Edgehill Community Center and the Susan Gray School, organized musical activities at his church’s vacation bible school, and led Boy Scout Troup 31 in many service projects.

This summer, Conor will lead campers in service-learning opportunities such as assisting with enrichment activities for young kids, reading to children, and sorting books.

 

ISABEL JOHNSON-BANN, Youth Volunteer Corps Summer AmeriCorps Member 

"I serve because I know I can make a difference in someone's life." - Isabel Johnson-Ban
“I serve because I know I can make a difference in someone’s life.” – Isabel Johnson-Bann

We’d like to extend a special thank-you to Youth Volunteer Corps Summer AmeriCorps Member Isabel Johnson-Bann. This summer, Isabel will oversee each week of Hands On Nashville’s YVC summer camp while facilitating fun, educational service-learning activities for youth participants. From 2007-2013, Isabel served as a highly active Youth Volunteer Corps volunteer in the Middle Tennessee community. She has completed numerous service projects benefiting our community’s youth, homeless and disabled populations, as well as the environment. Isabel is currently studying Animal Science at The University of Tennessee at Martin.

 

 

HON+YVC_Logo

Through music, Jenny Sai shows the world to neighborhood youth

Written by Audrey Jackson, YVC Outreach AmeriCorps Member, Hands On Nashville

This first appeared in Be More, a publication that promotes intercession opportunities for Metro Nashville Public Schools families.

HONphoto1
Jenny Sai, a Hume-Fogg student, serves as a Hands On Nashville YVC Intern. She teaches kids at McFerrin Park Community Center about music, art, and different world cultures.

For 18-year-old Jenny Sai, music is a way to show younger youth how vast and diverse the world really is.

A senior at Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet in Nashville, Jenny first began devoting her time to volunteering in the community after participating in a seventh-grade fundraising event. “We were trying to keep my tennis team’s program from shutting down,” says Jenny. “We hosted a parade to raise funds, and there were a ton of people. The atmosphere was just special. It felt like what we were doing was for a good cause.”

This experience inspired her to find other ways to donate her time, energy, and talents. Shortly after entering high school, Jenny discovered ways to volunteer with Hands On Nashville’s Youth Volunteer Corps (YVC) and began serving as a YVC Intern during her sophomore year.

For Jenny, volunteering is an opportunity to share her passion for music and the arts with younger youth. In her role as a YVC Intern, she designs and facilitates educational and skill-building lessons for youth served by area nonprofits. During her three years as a YVC Intern, she has volunteered at The Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, and is now serving at McFerrin Park Community Center.

Having played the flute and piano since elementary school, she sees music as a way for kids to connect to something bigger than themselves. Jenny’s lessons have included everything from creating homemade instruments to sharing music and traditions from other cultures.

HONphoto2“One of my favorite lessons was making henna hand tattoos with the girls [at Catholic Charities] and listening to Bollywood music to learn about the culture of India. While Indians use henna for celebrations, some of the Ethiopian girls I was working with use henna to dye hair or clothing. The girls thought it was so cool; it connected them to another culture.”

With only a few months until graduation, Jenny is savoring the rewarding moments she’s experienced at McFerrin Park Community Center this school year. Located in East Nashville, the center offers after-school activities for neighborhood youth. Jenny hopes to expose the kids to the diversity of other cultures.

On a recent visit to the center, Jenny spread out a colorful map on the floor and pointed out different Latin American countries. She talked about the different types of music that can be found across Latin America. “This was one of my favorite volunteer days,” says Jenny. “The kids and I talked about how big the world really is. They began to understand that while people are all different, really, we’re all the same. Volunteering has opened my eyes to what goes on in our communities and in our world.”

Are you interested in getting more involved in your community? Hands On Nashville offers a variety of youth leadership opportunities that empower young people to learn, grow, and become effective community leaders. Applications are now being accepted! Learn more and apply today at www.HON.org/youthleaders.

Nominations Now Open for 2014 Strobel Volunteer Awards

Hands On Nashville Asks Community To Nominate Volunteer Heroes by Feb. 14

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 27, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Hands On Nashville is asking the community to nominate individuals and groups for the 2014 Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards presented by HCA/TriStar Health.

“We all know incredible people – everyday heroes – who give of their time and talents to make our community better,” said Brian Williams, Hands On Nashville president and CEO. “Each spring, the Strobel Awards luncheon gives our community an opportunity to lift up these inspiring stories of volunteerism that happen around us every day.”

Strobel2014ForSite

The nomination deadline is Feb. 14, and nomination forms can be found at www.HON.org/strobel_awards. Nashvillians are encouraged to nominate outstanding volunteers within six categories of service:

  • Civic Volunteer Group Award recognizes representatives of civic, membership, faith-based or noncorporate groups that volunteer together for a specific cause or issue.
  • Capacity-building Volunteer Award honors individuals who provide significant operational or administrative support to a nonprofit agency, faith-based ministry or community organization.
  • Corporate Volunteerism Award pays tribute to businesses that have robust employee volunteer programs with high levels of participation and impact.
  • Direct Service Volunteer Award recognizes individuals who have participated in hands-on, direct service with a nonprofit agency, faith-based ministry or community organization.
  • Volunteer Innovator Award honors individuals or groups that have directly identified a community need and responded to it by developing and implementing an innovative solution, or improved an existing program or effort through creative problem-solving.
  • Youth Volunteer Award recognizes youth, teens and young adults ages 5 to 22 who have gone above and beyond to incorporate volunteerism into their lives.

Three finalists for five of the six categories will be selected by two groups of independent assessors, composed of community volunteers, volunteer administrators, business leaders and civic leaders. The exception is the Volunteer Innovator Award category. Finalists in this category will be selected by a panel of judges convened by TN Media. To encourage broad community participation, volunteers in this category will be invited to vote for an award recipient via the Tennessean.com website.  All award recipients will be announced at the luncheon.

The Awards luncheon, now in its 28th year, will be held on April 22 at the Marriott Cool Springs Conference Center. All nominees receive special recognition and a complimentary seat at the luncheon.

More than 700 volunteers and agency representatives are expected to attend the luncheon. Award luncheon tickets will be available for purchase at HON.org in March.

About the Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards
The Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards are named in memory of the late Mary Catherine Strobel, known for her extensive and charitable efforts toward improving the lives of Middle Tennessee’s homeless, impoverished and less fortunate populations. The annual awards ceremony celebrates Strobel’s service and recognizes those who continue her legacy.

About Hands On Nashville
Since 1991, Hands On Nashville has been connecting volunteers to critical needs facing the Middle Tennessee community, such as hunger, homelessness and environmental protection. Offering more than 400 volunteer opportunities to the community each month at HON.org, Hands On Nashville challenges everyone to find a way to give back and to … Be the Change. Volunteer.

Media Contact: 
Becca Wilson
becca@hon.org
(615) 298-1108 Ext. 406

###

Nashville youth conduct coat drive to help homeless community

mlkNashville teens are heading up a community coat drive this winter to help women and children experiencing homelessness, and they need your help. The goal is to collect 200 coats by January 17. The coats will be given to women and children who are participating in the Life Recovery program at the Nashville Rescue Mission on Monday, Jan. 20, as part of Hands On Nashville’s Youth Volunteer Corps MLK Day of Service effort.

During MLK Day of Service 2013, Hands On Nashville youth volunteers worked with women and children experiencing homelessness, including doing fun crafts projects with the kids.
During MLK Day of Service 2013, Hands On Nashville youth volunteers worked with women and children experiencing homelessness, including doing fun crafts projects with the kids.

Several local high school students are coordinating coat drives at their schools, including Zack Grady, a senior at Hunters Lane High School.

“The coat drive is a small way we can reach out to the homeless community and show them we care,” said Grady. “It’s also a great opportunity to raise awareness around homelessness and to get more students involved in volunteering.”

In addition to giving the coats to the women and children, Hands On Nashville’s teen volunteers will spend Martin Luther King Day at the Rescue Mission and nearby Morgan Park Community Center getting to know each other and helping to facilitate enriching activities with the women and their children. These activities will include completing arts and craft projects; serving lunches; treating women and their children to haircuts – offered at no cost by salon professionals who will volunteer alongside the teens; and creating resumes. The teens will also have the opportunity to dialogue about the issues surrounding homelessness in Nashville.

A volunteer works with a participant of the Nashville Rescue Mission’s Life Recovery program to create a resume during Hands On Nashville’s youth MLK Day of Service in 2013.
A volunteer works with a participant of the Nashville Rescue Mission’s Life Recovery program to create a resume during Hands On Nashville’s youth MLK Day of Service in 2013.

This is the second year Hands On Nashville’s Youth Volunteer Corps has rallied the community around giving coats to help women and children experiencing homelessness during the winter season.

Interested in donating a coat?

  • New and pre-loved coats are accepted.
  • All coats should be clean.
  • This is a wonderful opportunity for families, individuals, or school groups to conduct a coat drive to support this effort.
  • Drop coats off at: Hands On Nashville (37 Peabody Street, Suite 206) during the weeks of January 6-10 and 13-17, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Questions? Contact Audrey at Audrey@hon.org or (615) 298-1108 Ext. 416, or visit www.hon.org/YVCmlk.

Hands On Nashville’s Youth Volunteer Corps offers year-round service-learning opportunities to inspire and empower youth ages 11 to 18 to create meaningful community change. Learn more at www.hon.org/teen

Media contact:
Becca Wilson
Becca@hon.org
(615) 426-1428

HON+YVC_LogoLTBRWN-01

 

Introducing the 2013 YVC Interns

Meet our 2013 Youth Volunteer Corps (YVC) interns! These twelve outstanding teens will serve as part of a leadership team that works with Hands On Nashville staff to develop and lead youth projects that impact the community. Each Intern has chosen one of the following three concentrations – Arts, Fitness and Nutrition, and Technology – and will design and facilitate educational and skill-building lessons for youth served by area nonprofits. All of these Interns have proven themselves to be truly kind and hardworking individuals, so without further ado…
ArthurArthur Liu loves to go fishing and set up aquariums. Now in his senior year of high school, he wanted to become a YVC intern because he saw it as an opportunity to make a difference in his community while practicing some teaching skills.
BrittanyBrittany Taylor Paschall, a senior at MNPS Middle College High School, enjoys reading, writing, singing, good football, and spending time with the people she loves. Being part of the YVC will allow Brittany to serve her community while exploring her passion for health and fitness. Brittany is very excited to work with HON, the YVC, and to serve the clients of Preston Taylor Ministries!
Caroline DruryCaroline Drury is a Junior at Hume Fogg High School. She is very excited to be working as a YVC intern. She loves teaching, encouraging, and motivating others!
Esther PhambuEsther Phamabu is a junior at Martin Luther King Magnet school. Her passions include traveling, dancing, and volunteering. Esther wanted to be a YVC intern because she felt it was an opportunity to help out in her community and grow as a person in something that she loves to do. Esther is very excited to be a part of the YVC family this year!
Jenny Head ShotJenny Sai is a senior at Hume-Fogg High School, and this will be her 3rd year as a YVC intern in the arts track. She enjoys sharing her love of music with others and exposing students to new musical varieties, which was her inspiration to start teaching. Community service has been a huge part of her high school career, and Jenny aspires to keep it up during college and beyond!
Julian TurnerJulian Turner is a senior at Mt. Juliet High School. He believes that everyone has a duty to contribute to the betterment of their communities. Julian saw the YVC internship as an opportunity to elevate his involvement in the Nashville community and to make that contribution.
Kara CobbKara Cobb is currently a junior at Hume-Fogg. Kara wanted to be a YVC intern because she wanted a chance to give back to the community and help others.
LaurelLaurel Cunningham is a junior at Harpeth Hall High School. Laurel wanted to be an intern with YVC in order to work with kids and teach them about healthy lifestyles so they are set for the rest of their lives. She also wanted the experience of working with and meeting new people her age to solve issues in our community.
LaurenLauren Levy is currently a senior at Brentwood High School and is an active member of the Interact club as well as the tennis team. Becoming a YVC intern is more than a leadership opportunity for her. It is also a chance to lead in the community and directly help and impact the lives of youth throughout Nashville.
Rachel WestRachel West attends Brentwood High School. She enjoys running cross country, playing lacrosse, and helping run the Habitat for Humanity chapter at her school! Rachel joined YVC because she really wanted to make a positive impact in the community, and thought it would be a great opportunity to do so!
RuiqiRuiqi Chen (pronounced Ricky) is a sophomore at Hume-Fogg. She really loves anything to do with the arts, and is especially into music. Ruiqi wanted to be a YVC intern because it seemed like a lot of fun and a good way to give back to the community at the same time.
Zach GradyZach Grady wanted to become an intern for Hands On Nashville to help the community and become a more well-rounded leader. He enjoys helping others & making new discoveries. Zach feels that there’s always an opportunity for change if you’re willing to apply yourself.
Learn more about HON’s youth programs here!

Serving as a Volunteer Leader at Backfield In Motion

JaxSeniorGuest Post by Jackson Oglesby
HON Youth Volunteer

Jackson Oglesby, a recent MLK Magnet High School graduate, has been a youth volunteer leader for the past year, leading a weekly four-hour tutoring project with Backfield In Motion.

The first time I volunteered with Backfield in Motion, a local mentoring program, I was in awe. When I initially signed up to mentor 80-plus middle school-aged boys, I prepared myself for craziness. Reflecting on my own middle school experience, I expected to walk into a chaotic room.

To my surprise, upon my first hour working with the kids, I discovered that these boys were not only incredibly polite, but also extremely eager to learn. Seeing how they acted in a classroom environment, I realized that they were more mature than a lot of my high school classmates!

After three years of dedication to Backfield in Motion, I can say that these are some of the best kids I have ever seen. Every Saturday the boys came in prepared and ready to participate. They cleaned up after themselves and were extremely respectful in the classroom. In the course of the three years I volunteered with Backfield, there were few instances where I witnessed a crazy classroom. For the most part, these kids were the perfect students. In fact, most Saturdays, I was the one who felt unprepared. It was a major challenge to re-learn a lot of the course material I hadn’t studied since my own middle school days.

Inside and outside of the classroom, the kids treated me with as much respect as one of their teachers. Not only did they listen to me when I offered individual help, but they also included me in personal conversations outside of the classroom. Volunteering with Backfield not only gave me a new-found respect for teachers, but also helped me to realize how beneficial and essential programs like Backfield are to making positive changes in the community.

>Click here to learn more about HON volunteer projects for youth and teens!