Tag Archives: “community service”

Introducing our 2014-15 Urban Agriculture Communities & Food Interns!

We’d like to introduce you to a group of nine outstanding Urban Agriculture Communities & Food Interns who will be serving with us throughout the 2014-15 school year!

The Urban Agriculture Communities & Food internship is a service-learning opportunity for high school students who want to gain sustainable gardening and community development skills while working to address social justice. After a highly competitive application process, these youth were selected to serve.

We’re excited to introduce them to you now….

"I serve because I believe in the power of youth!" - Grace Bryant, HON Urban Agriculture Intern
“I serve because I believe in the power of youth!” – Grace Bryant, HON Communities & Food Intern

Grace Bryant is a junior at Glencliff High School where she is a leader on the Garden Club each year. As a Communities & Food Intern this summer, Grace led the “Growing Station” at Hands On Nashville’s Crop City Youth Development Program. Through this internship, Grace’s goal is to learn more about food insecurity issues facing our community and how to help.

Fun Fact: Grace’s favorite hobby is knitting. She says she loves that she can make things for others.

 
"I serve because we've got work to do." - Simon Cooper,, HON Urban Agriculture Intern
“I serve because we’ve got work to do.” – Simon Cooper, HON Communities & Food Intern

Simon Cooper is junior at Hume-Fogg  Academic High School where he is Class Vice President, a member of the environmental club, and is co-president of debate club. Simon is returning for his second consecutive year as a Communities & Food Intern. “I would like to learn as much about the food system as possible, so that I will be armed with the knowledge necessary to help remedy it,” he says.

Fun Fact: Simon’s favorite hobby is reading because, as he says, “one can learn anything” by reading.”

 
"I serve because it makes me happy!" - Emily Dunn, HON Urban Agriculture Intern
“I serve because it makes me happy!” – Emily Dunn, HON Communities & Food Intern

Emily Dunn, a senior at Hume-Fogg Academic High School, has spent the past two summers making a difference as a Teaching Intern at Hands On Nashville’s Crop City Youth Development Program. Emily is also a Volunteer Leader at HON’s Urban Farm, and says she would like to gain more knowledge about food deserts so that she can better understand how the community can help resolve them.

Fun Fact: If Emily could have superpowers, she would be able to fly or breathe under water. “Just think about all the exploring you could do,” she says.

 
Emma Fischer, HON Urban Agriculture Intern
“I serve because through service comes greatness.” – Emma Fischer, HON Communities & Food Intern

Emma Fischer is a senior at Martin Luther King, Jr. Academic Magnet School who is no stranger to the Hands On Nashville team. Emma is currently a Volunteer Leader at Hands On Nashville’s Urban Farm, has helped lead youth community service events, like Global Youth Service Day 2014, and served as a Communities & Food Intern during the 2013-14 school year.

Fun Fact: If Emma could travel anywhere, she would go to the moon.

 
"I serve because I enoy the feeling of helping others!" - Cameron Jackson, HON Urban Agriculture Intern
“I serve because I enjoy the feeling of helping others!” – Cameron Jackson, HON Communities & Food Intern

Cameron Jackson is a junior at Martin Luther King, Jr. Academic Magnet School. Cameron’s goal for this internship is to improve the food system in her community while working with people who want to do the same. Cameron is currently a member of Mayor’s Youth Council, is on the Board of Directors at Epicenter Nashville, and is a Student Government Association representative at her school.

Fun Fact: If Cameron could only listen to one CD/album forever, it would be My Everything by Ariana Grande. “It has a song for every emotion,” she says.

 
Rachel Langley, HON Urban Agriculture Intern
Rachel Langley, HON Communities & Food Intern

Rachel Langley is a junior at Nashville School of the Arts. As a Communities & Food Intern, Rachel’s goal is to help other people achieve their goals of growing their own food and making better food choices to enhance positive lifestyles. She says raising and caring for her nephew and cousin has been an important leadership role in her life, and she looks to apply her knowledge throughout this internship.

Fun Fact: If Rachel could have any superpower it would be to fly so she could go anywhere at any time.

 
"I serve because I believe I can make a difference in the world." Rachel Tuggle, HON Urban Agriculture Intern
“I serve because I believe I can make a difference in the world.” – Rachel Tuggle, HON Communities & Food Intern

Rachel Tuggle is a senior at Donelson Christian Academy where she is the President of Interact Club, a Student Ambassador, and helps lead the school’s Chemistry Club. As a Communities & Food Intern, Rachel wants to learn ways to help integrate better methods of food production and distribution into the community.

Fun Fact: Rachel’s favorite hobby is painting. “It helps me relax and makes me feel better,” she says.

 
"I serve because it makes people happy!" Destiny Rainer, HON Urban Agriculture Intern
“I serve because it makes people happy!” – Destiny Rainer, HON Communities & Food Intern

Destiny Rainer is a junior at Martin Luther King, Jr. Academic Magnet School. As a Communities & Food Intern, Destiny’s goal is to learn more about the community food system, and become a better leader.
Fun Fact: If Destiny could eat only one food forever, she would eat peaches – “they’re healthy and taste great,” she says!

 
"I serve because I love to help people." - Iyana Rainer, HON Urban Agriculture Intern
“I serve because I love to help people.” – Iyana Rainer, HON Communities & Food Intern

Iyana Rainer is a freshman at Nashville School of the Arts where she is in the Beta Club, and has served on the Student Council. As a Communities & Food Intern, Iyana’s goal is to try new and healthy foods, and bolster her communications skills.
Fun Fact: If Iyana could eat only one food forever, she would eat watermelon – it’s healthy!

Hands On Nashville Day 2014 Team Captain Toolkit!

Interested in rallying your friends, coworkers and neighbors for Hands On Nashville Day 2014? Ready to sign up to be a Team Captain?

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2013 Hands On Nashville Day volunteers!

YOU. ROCK.

Thanks to Team Captains like you, more than 1,500 volunteers will makeover 50-plus Metro Nashville Public Schools on September 20.

Here’s how you can create a team on our website, register for Hands On Nashville Day, and get your team pumped up for a FUN day of service!

You can always contact honday@hon.org  or call 615-298-1108 ext. 301 if you run into any trouble throughout this sign up process!


 Step 1 – Create an account at HON.org 

Already have an account? Great! Log in to your account at HON.org and jump to Step 2.)

  • Image of account creation page at HON.orgTo create an account, fill out the form above, click Submit, and you will be logged in and ready to go!

Step 2 – Create a new team.

  • Now that you are logged in, locate the top blue menu and click My Account.
  • Then, to the left, click on Create a New Team. 

Account page at HON.org

A new page will appear.

Image of Creating a Team Page at HON.org

  • Enter info about your team (No lie detectors, we promise).
  • Go ahead and add your team members to the list along with their contact info, too. You will need an email address and/or phone number for each team member.

(We highly recommend including email addresses whenever possible!)

  • Since you’re creating the team, you’re automatically Team Captain!

TIP: You can always add and remove team members later (We’ll show you how in Step 3).

Create Team Button

  • When ready, click the green Create Team button at the bottom of the page and wait for the hamsters in the wheel to do their work…
  • You’ll see a team confirmation page (NICELY DONE). All of your team members with email addresses listed will receive an email with instructions for how to accept the invitation to officially join your team.

Great job — you’re almost finished! 

Creating a team is a great first step, but it does NOT mean your team is signed up for Hands On Nashville Day. You must also register your team for a specific HON Day school site when registration opens on Thursday, Aug. 28. We’ll show you how in Step 4.


Step 3 – Update team information.

If you find yourself wanting to add additional team members (because you’re incredibly popular, charming, or just plain awesome) or update your roster, follow these steps:

  • While logged in to your account, click My Account.
  • To the left, click My Teams.

Image of Manage Team page at HON.org

  • Identify which volunteer team you would like to update, and click the plus sign (+) next to that team name.
  • Click Manage Team.
  • To add new members, click Add New Members.
  • To remove a team member, select the box next to the individual’s name and click Remove Member.

TIP: To make another member a Team Captain, select the individual and click Make A Captain. They will then be able to manage the roster and pump up the group. We’ll communicate directly with everyone you list as a Team Captain, so please think twice before assigning everyone that role!

Ready to move on? Now it’s time to sign up your team for a school site!


Step 4 – Sign your team up for Hands On Nashville Day!

To take part in Hands On Nashville Day, Team Captains must sign up their team for a specific Hands On Nashville Day school site once registration opens on Thursday, August 28. Schools fill up fast and the early bird gets the worm! To sign up your team:

  • Log in to your account at HON.org.
  • Click on the Hands On Nashville Day link on the HON.org homepage.
  • Click on the blue Volunteer buttonA new page will appear.

Image of volunteer button

  • Browse through the list of schools and find the perfect opportunity for your team.

Screen Shot for Sign up

  • When you’ve found the school where you would like to volunteer, click Or sign up with a team.

TIP: If you accidentally click the green “Sign up”  button and register as an individual, you won’t be able to sign up your team. If this happens, don’t worry! You can always cancel your reservation from the “My Account” section of the site and try again (or send us an email if you have any issues).

Image of Choose your Team Page at HON.org

  • A new page will open where you can select your team.
  • In the “Option 1” box use the scroll-down menu to select your volunteer team that will take part. Then click SELECT.
  • A pop-up window with your team members will then appear.

Image of Selecting Teammates Page at HON.org

  • Check the box next to the name of each team member who you want to sign up for Hands On Nashville Day.

(Team members that are “pending” on your team roster can be added like any one else. No worries! Jump down to the tip section below for more information.)

  • When you are ready, click SUBMIT!

WOO-HOO! 

Your team is now registered for Hands On Nashville Day! You and your teammates (with email addresses) will receive an email confirmation with additional details about where to go for your project, etc. Now is a great time to personally tell your team members the good news. Jump to the last step to see how!


HONft2011_388 TIP: If you do not have 100% commitments from each team member you’ve invited to be on your team, that’s OK. You can still go ahead and select these team members as shown in Step 4 and sign up your team for HON Day.

Team members who are shown as “pending” on your team roster will still get a slot if you select them when you sign up your team.

If for any reason team members are not going to be able to volunteer on September 20,  it is important you remove them from the school your team is signed for so that other volunteers can fill in those slots. The sooner you remove the team members who can’t make it, the better!

Here’s how:

  • Sign in.
  • Go to My Account.
  • In the main section of the page you will see your Upcoming Opportunities.
  • Find the opportunity your team is registered for.
  • Click on Manage My Team.
  • A pop-up window with team member names will appear.
  • Unselect the people who will NOT be joining you for HON Day.
  • Click SUBMIT to finalize your roster.

Step 5 – Communicate with your team.

Pumped to tell your team about this awesome event and plan your matching outfits for the day? You are able to send out mass messages to your members. Here’s how:

  • Log in to your account.
  • In the My Account section, click on My Teams.
  • Click the plus sign (+) next to your team name.
  • Click Manage Team and select which members you’d like to email.

Image of Emailing Team Members Page at HON.org

  • Click Email Members.
  • Write your message and hit SUBMIT to send!

Tip: This is another great reason to include email addresses for as many team members as you can! Only team members with emails listed will receive these messages. 

INFORMATION TO COMMUNICATE:

  • HON Day projects take place at 50+ school sites on Saturday, September 20 from 8 a.m. to Noon. When you’re done with the landscaping and painting, be sure and plan to attend the after party celebration including complimentary lunch ’til 2 p.m at Hands On Nashville.
  • Team Challenge  – Your team can choose to maximize its overall impact on Hands On Nashville Day by participating in the Team Challenge, which adds a team fundraising component to group volunteer efforts! If interested, click here to learn more.
  • Limited edition HON Day event t-shirts will be available beginning August 28 at HON.org.

Whew! That’s it. You now know everything you need to conquer the world… or, at least make it a better place. Still have questions? You can also call us at (615) 298-1108 ext. 301 or e-mail us at honday@hon.org. View this video for an easy walk-through:

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.

 

 

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Back to School Tutor Fair Recap

The Salvation Army was just one of many nonprofits at the Tutor Fair.
The Salvation Army was just one of many nonprofits at the Tutor Fair.

The need for tutors who can assist both youth and adult students in Middle Tennessee is greater than ever. Believe it or not, there are usually more than 100 tutoring opportunities listed on the HON website at any given time. But while such a large number of openings provides potential tutors with a nice variety from which to choose, it can be overwhelming for them as well.

With a new school year underway, Hands On Nashville welcomed 18 local nonprofits and more than 75 volunteers to its offices for the inaugural Back to School Tutor Fair on September 5.

The goal of the event was to connect potential volunteer tutors with the nonprofits who need them most and simplify the process that matches individuals with tutor openings. The gathering also provided an opportunity for Hands On Nashville and its nonprofit partners to address some of the common questions and concerns individuals have about tutoring in general.

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A prospective volunteer learns more about tutoring opportunities.

Overall, the Back to School Tutor Fair was an enormous success. Individuals were able to meet a variety of nonprofits in a personal, face-to-face setting and learn about tutoring opportunities that they can fit into their busy schedules.

“It was fantastic to see such a large turnout for this important initiative,” said Kirsten Floyd, HON’s Nonprofit Program Manager, who helped organize the event. “Having nonprofits and potential tutors meet in person, rather than be connected over email, was a great way to start filling the many tutor openings available in the area.”

Hands On Nashville still has plenty of tutoring openings available throughout the Fall. If you missed the Back to School Tutor Fair but you’re interested in tutoring a local student, contact Kirsten directly, and she’ll help you out.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Back to School Tutor Fair!

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!

Nonprofit Partner Spotlight: Dance Theatre of Tennessee

DTTlogoNashville may be known as Music City, but music isn’t the only art form flourishing here.

Our featured nonprofit, The Dance Theatre of Tennessee (DTT), has been fostering the development and expansion of dance throughout Middle Tennessee for nearly ten years. As the performance arm of the Asian American Performing Arts Society, the DTT bills itself as “storytellers on toes” and delivers the pageantry of ballet and live dance theater to enthusiastic fans here in Nashville through a variety of programs and initiatives.

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Just some of the many students learning dance at the DTT.

Founded with a goal of exposing new audiences to the diversity and beauty of dance, the DTT has made tremendous strides in fulfilling that mission and has carved out a solid niche among the numerous performing arts organizations in Nashville under the leadership of Artistic Director Christopher Mohnani.

The organization provides affordable and accessible professional performances throughout the area, offers superior academy dance training, fosters enlightened outreach programs, and works to bring eminent national and international artists, choreographers, and premiere works to Nashville and Middle Tennessee.

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DTT dancers with local students after an outreach event.

The DTT is headquartered in a 14,000 square-foot state-of-the-art facility that plays host to many of the group’s performance events. It is also home to an expansive slate of dance classes that annually engage more than 150 students. Additionally, the DTT enjoys partnerships with more than 25 local arts organizations and nonprofits, and the organization has reached more than 20,000 Middle Tennesseans through professional and community performances in the last three years alone!

One such individual, Pennington Elementary teacher Kathryn McCarthy, was inspired and touched by the DTT’s outreach work with students in her school:

The Dance Theatre of Tennessee enjoys a strong presence in the local community.
The Dance Theatre of Tennessee enjoys a strong presence in the local community.

“Dance Theatre of Tennessee’s programs, especially those bringing ballet to the people and the schools, should be applauded,” she says. “(They) showed all students a different way to tell a story by using the beauty of dance and music. It not only enriched the lives of my students, but also of those throughout the school community.”

The DTT is heavily reliant on the work and support of volunteers to further its mission. In particular, operational functions for live performances at various venues in Middle Tennessee are almost entirely staffed by volunteers.

>Click here to volunteer with the Dance Theatre of Tennessee!

The group’s second annual “Ballet in the Park” performance series in Centennial Park will take place later this month, and volunteers will be needed to fill a number of roles, including welcoming park goers, handing out programs, ushering, and assisting at the information booth and kids tent. Individuals can also volunteer to help in setting up and ‘striking out’ lights and equipment for performances during the series.

Important dates for Ballet in the Park is as follows:

September 17-19: Setup Days
September 19 and 26: Full dress and technical rehearsals
September 20-22 & 27-30: Performances
October 1: Post-performance/strike out day

Be sure to visit the DTT’s website for more information about the group’s offerings. If you’re interested in volunteering with the Dance Theatre of Tennessee, contact Christopher Mohnani at 615-391-5500 ext. 3 or via email: cmohnani@dancetheatretn.org.

A Match Made in Service: A HON Day Love Story

Guest Post by: Lauren Repass

Two years ago I was given the opportunity to volunteer at Hands On Nashville Day. Even though I had other friends volunteering and I knew it would be a good experience for me either way, another motivating factor for me to participate was to hopefully make a connection with a co-worker I had a crush on named Marcus.

I got up two hours before I had to be at the school site so I could do my hair and make-up and pick out the perfect outfit. I arrived at the school at 8 a.m. that Saturday morning. Once I arrived, I met up with all of the other volunteers and we gathered around so we could get instructions. I was assigned to the same team Marcus was (surprise!) We were outside painting the portable classrooms when we made our first connection.

After a day full of painting and some yard work, we continued on to the HON Day afterparty, which was great. We were able to meet some of the people that were volunteering at other schools that day and ask how their projects went. We also got to meet some of the students and teachers. The Hands On Nashville staff was very appreciative of everyone’s efforts and how much we achieved in that one day. They also catered a lunch for us at the afterparty and had raffle prizes. I won a CMT One Country bag with tons of cool stuff in it and Marcus won tickets to the play Holes at the Children’s Theatre.

Marcus and I were the last guests to leave the afterparty because we were having such a good time talking. As we were leaving, Marcus asked if I would like to see the play with him soon. Of course I said yes! We ended up having our first date together before we made plans to see the play. That was almost two years ago and now we have a little boy named Lincoln who is seven months old and we are getting married in October in Florida!

Hands On Nashville Day not only gave me the opportunity to do some good work in my community, it helped start my wonderful family as well. I have no doubts that we were meant for each other and that things would have worked out for us no matter what. But the fact that our first encounter was at HON Day really helped make our connection strong right from the beginning. We were able to see each other’s charitable side immediately, and that is something that helped us grow together as a couple and will help our new family grow in the future. Marcus and I continue to volunteer and promote this great opportunity.

A true HON Day family: Lauren, Marcus, and baby  Lincoln.
A true HON Day family: Lauren, Marcus, and baby Lincoln.

Hands On Nashville Day 2013, the community’s largest day of service to public schools, will take place Saturday, September 21 from 8 a.m. to 12 Noon. More than 1,500 volunteers will take part in done-in-a-day improvement projects such as painting and landscaping at 50-plus Metro Nashville Public Schools, greatly enhancing learning environments for both students and teachers alike. Following the school projects, all HON volunteers are invited to attend the CMT One Country Celebration at The Listening Room Café for a complimentary lunch, free entertainment, and door prizes. Learn more about HON Day 2013 and how you can participate at: www.HON.org/honday.

Nonprofit Partner Spotlight: Mid South Chapter, National MS Society

imageChances are, you probably know someone who suffers from multiple sclerosis (MS). The disease affects an estimated 2.1 million people worldwide and does not discriminate between men and women or adults and youth. While great strides have been made in the research, diagnosis, and treatment of MS in recent years, the battle against this crippling disease continues.

Leading the fight in the U.S., the National MS Society works toward its organizational vision of a world free of multiple sclerosis by funding research initiatives, facilitating professional education and advocacy efforts, and providing programs and services that help those with MS and their families move their lives forward.

Our featured nonprofit, the Mid South Chapter of the MS Society, is based in Nashville and serves more than 9,000 individuals in Tennessee, northern Georgia, northern Mississippi, and eastern Arkansas.

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An enthusiastic youngster shows support for the MS Society.

They offer an array of support services and educational programs for MS patients and their families, including a lending library of books and audio materials, empowerment seminars, employment programs, wellness and exercise program referrals, and much more. The Mid South Chapter oversees 25 different self-help groups, all of which are led by volunteers. Plus, they organize a number of events throughout the year that help raise awareness about the disease and the Society’s work.

Volunteers are a driving force in the movement to cure MS. For the Mid South Chapter, committed and dedicated volunteer help is an essential component of the group’s advocacy efforts, programming, and day-to-day activities. The Chapter has a variety of flexible volunteer opportunities available, both ongoing and short-term.

>Click here to volunteer with the National MS Society’s Mid South Chapter!

Three of the Chapter’s biggest annual events are right around the corner and volunteers are needed to assist with all of them.

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Both recreational and serious riders alike can participate in the MS Society’s bike tours.

At Fall Crush, a unique wine tasting and auction that takes place in mid-September, individuals can volunteer to assist with guest registration, silent auctions, and wine pairing stations. During two separate bike tours – Bike MS: Bike to Jack and Back and Bike MS: Rock ‘N Roll – volunteers will help with registration, staffing rest stations, assisting with traffic flow, loading luggage, and setup and cleanup projects.

Individuals can also assist with in-office work, such as bulk mailings, phone calls, and event organizing. Those who are skilled at using programs like InDesign or Publisher are also needed to help with the group’s marketing and promotional efforts.

Be sure to visit the Mid South Chapter’s website to learn more about their outstanding work. If you’re interested in volunteering, contact Michelle Stewart at michelle.stewart@nmss.org (event volunteer opportunities) or Abby Mullen at abby.mullen@nmss.org (in-office volunteer work).