Friday, January 1, 2016

HAPPY 2016

December 29, 2015 | Volume 22, No. 50
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The Year in Youth Service Briefing Headlines

As we wrap up 2015, here are the top 15 youth service stories of the year as told by Youth Service Briefing headlines.

1. "Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education." & "The Arc of the Moral Universe is Long... But It Bends Towards Justice"
We started and ended the year with quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as headlines to promote MLK Day of Service in January. In celebration of MLK Day 2015, we released our new Semester of Service Teacher Toolkit.

2. "Raise Your Voice, Map It Out, Tell Your Story"
In February, we launched the Global Youth Service Day 2015 campaign and announced that First Lady Michelle Obama would serve as the honorary chair of Global Youth Service Day for the fifth year in a row. 

3. "...on Global Youth Service Day"
In February and March, we called on youth to: 
- "Help End Hunger on Global Youth Service Day"
- "Make the World Healthier on Global Youth Service Day"
- "Make the World Smarter on Global Youth Service Day"
- "Protect the Planet on Global Youth Service Day"
- "Help Your Community Be Prepared for Disasters on Global Youth Service Day"

4. "Seize the Opportunity to Improve the World Around You Through Service" & "Tests Are Boring. Service Is Engaging"
In April, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan called on students to "seize the opportunity to improve the world around you through service" by serving for a day on Global Youth Service Day, a month through Classrooms with a Cause, or a semester or longer with Semester of Service. During back to school time, we highlighted YSA's Education Impact programs as a way to help students be more engaged and feel hopeful about the 

5. "GYSD Becomes Galactic Youth Service Day" 
On April 1, Steve Culbertson, YSA's President & CEO, remarked, "It's been 15 years since we grew National Youth Service Day into Global Youth Service Day, and the time is right to expand once again. Engaging all 3.5 billion youth on Earth isn't a big enough goal for us. Also, happy April Fool's Day!"

6. "Your Story Starts Today: Global Youth Service Day is Here!" & "The World Is Better Because of You"
On April 17-19, young people served and celebrated on Global Youth Service Day. The GYSD Map ended up with more than 6,000 projects all around the world. See the story of GYSD 2015 at: 

7. "You Auto Know... It's Global Road Safety Week"
This pun of a headline had the highest-ever open rate for the Youth Service Briefing. Teen driver safety continues to be a priority for youth around the world. In addition to our work in the U.S. with State Farm's Celebrate My Drive campaign, we also launched the UL Safer Roads, Safer India programthis year.

8. "15 Ideas to Make It a Summer of Service!"
In May - and all summer long - we shared 18 opportunities to make it a Summer of Service. See them all and begin making plans for summer 2016 at 

9. "Do You Know An Everyday Young Hero?"
In addition to sharing the story of one Everyday Young Hero each week, we asked you to nominate young people who know for this award. We're excited to announce that Newman's Own Foundation will sponsor an expanded Everyday Young Hero award program in 2016. Nominate a young hero today at 

10. "#WeStandStrong on 9/11 Day of Service & Remembrance", "New Disaster Prep Training Videos" & "Born on 9/11: Hope"
In partnership with Save the Children, 9/11 Day, and the Corporation for National & Community Service, YSA called on youth leaders to help their communities be prepared to stand strong during disasters by organizing disaster preparedness awareness events (Prep Rallies) and community service projects (Prep Projects) on September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance. 

11. "The SDG Generation" & "On The Brink of Something Historic"
On International Youth Day in August, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon remarked: "This is the largest generation of young people in history - and with this agenda, they can shape history. I call today's youth the 'SDG generation.' Young people can mobilize the world. They can lead us to a better future." In September, leaders representing 193 countries officially adopted the new Sustainable Development Goals during the United Nations General Assembly.

12. "The Future Is Here. Make It a Good One."
We celebrated Back to the Future Day on October 21 by sharing the wisdom of Doc Brown: "Your future hasn't been written yet. No one's has. Your future is whatever you make it, so make it a good one."

13. "Youth Service for the Global Goals" & "Announcing the YSA Global Goals Contest"
in November and December, we started aligning our work with the new global Sustainable Development Goals by accepting applications from organizations to serve as Global Youth Service Day Community Partners and announcing our YSA Global Goals Contest. 

14. "10 Ways Youth Can Help End Childhood Hunger"
As we accept applications for the Sodexo Foundation Youth Grants, we shared 10 strategies we've learned from YSA grantees about how kids can help end childhood hunger that you can use in your own community: 

15. YSA Grants
Throughout the year, many headlines promoted the availability of Disney Friends for Change Grants, ABC Summer of Creativity Grants, GYSD Lead Agency Grants, National Child Awareness Month Youth Ambassador Grants, Good Neighbor Innovation School Grants, and more. See a listing of all YSA Grants programs at  

As the world adopts new Global Goals, we share our progress over the last year to help all young people find their voice, take action, and make an impact on vital community issues. 

Thank you to all the youth volunteers, partners, and project organizers represented in the numbers below for being a part of a global movement of youth changing the world. Here's a snapshot of what we've accomplished with you over the last year:

In 2016, people in 193 countries begin working towards 17 Global Goals to achieve three outcomes by 2030: End Poverty, Promote Prosperity, and Protect the Planet. 

With half the world's population now under age 25, young people will lead the way. So, starting next year, and for the next 15 years, YSA will be focusing all our work to activate, fund, train, and recognize youth towards achieving these goals. 

For 2016, this means supporting 7,100 youth-led projects in 125 countries, in partnership with 5,600 schools and organizations, activating 450,000 youth volunteers, ultimately benefitting 3.3 million people on 6 continents.  

To do this, we need support from individuals like you. Your investment in YSA's programs will help youth all around the world lead the way to a safer, healthier, smarter, greener, fairer, and kinder world. 

Invest today in youth-led solutions to achieve the Global Goals in 2016 and beyond at 

Thank you for your support, and happy new year! 
Deadline: January 15 
YSA and Sodexo Foundation are looking for the most innovative and sustainable ideas from young people about how they can help end childhood hunger in their communities. 125 $400 grants are available for youth leaders ages 5-25 across the U.S. to turn their ideas into action and make an impact on the issue of childhood hunger on Global Youth Service Day - April 15-17, 2016 - and beyond. Apply at   
"Better Days" - Goo Goo Dolls 

The complete Service Songs of the Week playlist from 2012-2015 is at