Creating Kindness


Hello everyone, I'm Jaida, I am 12 years old and I came to the SLC with me and my mom's nonprofit KIDS CARE.  Being the service people that we are and the horrible Nashville school shooting that just happened, we decided to make kindness cards for the front-line workers who responded to the shooting. With the help of the SLC and our new friends at Laurel Springs School we were able to collect 115 Kindness Cards from the people at the conference. We drove 20 minutes from where the conference was to the Nashville Fire Department #20 which is right next [...]

Creating Kindness2023-04-17T10:04:50-05:00

Reflecting on the 34th Annual National Service-Learning Conference


By Grace Chenxin Liu, YAC Member Recently, we wrapped up the 2023 National Service-Learning Conference and celebrated the National Youth Leadership Council (NYLC)’s 40th birthday! This experience was incredible and impressive in every way. From the number of enthusiastic participants (even leaders from overseas!) and supportive environment on the Youth Advisory Council (YAC), to the astounding work of the NYLC staff and unique storytellers and presenters. There was so much trust and teamwork there, which I felt from the moment I met the NYLC team and YAC all the way to the way we embraced each other when saying our farewells. I [...]

Reflecting on the 34th Annual National Service-Learning Conference2023-04-10T13:28:32-05:00

Celebrating 40 Years of Generating Change!


On March 16, 1983, the National Youth Leadership Council (NYLC) was founded by Dr. James Kielsmeier to train young people to be servant leaders, originally in response to tension caused by court-mandated school integration. Students were coached to respond to racial injustices and utilize acts of service to create inclusion in their schools. NYLC’s original mission statement stated that “young people are necessary resources to society with inherent ideals, boundless energy and flexibility making them important co-creators and co-workers with older adults”. From this early start, NYLC has led a movement linking youth, educators, and communities to redefine the roles [...]

Celebrating 40 Years of Generating Change!2023-03-01T12:26:04-06:00

Equity in service-learning


Quality service-learning experiences support contribution and leadership from diverse voices, providing every stakeholder a seat at the table in decision-making. It supports young people in learning to embrace the different perspectives, experiences, and contributions of their peers, as well as those of the community. It helps them gain a stronger perspective on issues by approaching them with vulnerability and humility. According to author/researcher Shelley Billig in the article Research on K-12 School-Based Service-Learning - The Evidence Builds, "Service-learning has a positive effect on students' interpersonal development and the ability to relate to culturally diverse groups.” To achieve positive outcomes through service-learning, [...]

Equity in service-learning2023-02-17T15:12:24-06:00

Campus Compact: Telling the story of service in Higher ED


By Congressman Brian Baird, Guest Writer Most colleges and universities have thousands of stories of service to tell, but no public place to tell them.  That’s a missed opportunity that can and should be solved in ways that are at once inspiring, affordable, sustainable and can lead to increased enrollment, donations, outcomes, and public engagement. Perhaps surprisingly, that can all be accomplished even in a time of declining enrollments, revenues, and tightened budgets. Before describing how service stories can be more effectively told on campuses, it’s worth considering that at present there is no signature physical space – no museum, memorial, [...]

Campus Compact: Telling the story of service in Higher ED2023-02-17T14:40:25-06:00

What’s your definition of youth voice?


Like many complex issues, understanding youth voice can be challenging and confusing. Is it young people speaking their minds? Is it youth addressing an issue they care about? Is it youth deconstructing systems that don’t serve them? Is it a graffiti mural in a community space? It’s all of the above.  And more. What practitioners of service-learning can all agree on is that youth voice is centered in service-learning - in fact, it’s one of the standards of quality service-learning. Service-learning provides youth with a strong voice in planning, implementing, and evaluating service-learning experiences with guidance from adults.  Consider these contrasts [...]

What’s your definition of youth voice?2023-02-17T14:36:09-06:00

What would service-learning be without reflection?


Reflection is a power tool in the practice of service-learning. Often it seems like a simple act - think about what you experienced, write about it, talk about it, create something, but in reality it isn’t simple at all. It requires you to think deeply, to explore not only what you experienced, but what you gained from the experience. It asks you to not think about what you did, but how you grew as a person. Reflection is a building block of service-learning and one of the K-12 Service-Learning Standards of Quality Practice. Without reflection, we may focus on what we [...]

What would service-learning be without reflection?2023-02-17T14:26:56-06:00

Nashville, TN Hosts 2023 National Service-Learning Conference


On April 2-5, 2023, the National Youth Leadership Council, with Volunteer Tennessee and the Tennessee Afterschool Network, will convene hundreds of youth and adults at the 34th Annual National Service-Learning Conference®, One Giant Leap for Service-Learning. The National Service-Learning Conference is the largest gathering of youths and practitioners from the service-learning field, drawing nearly 500 attendees from across the United States and several other countries. “The event is more than workshops and keynote addresses; it is an extension of the classroom, allowing for the youth and adult attendees to be part of a national movement, to learn and share with each [...]

Nashville, TN Hosts 2023 National Service-Learning Conference2023-02-17T14:24:14-06:00

Latinx Youth Saving Lives Through Culturally-Specific Service-Learning


When Minerva Garcia and Izabella Varela noticed the effects of COVID-19 on Latinx communities, they jumped at the opportunity to involve the Ascendencia affinity group at Northside College Prep in Chicago to be part of the solution. They joined a national initiative of Latinx people serving their communities and country to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 through targeted bilingual messaging in English and Spanish. As of September 2021, only 39% of Latinx people in the United States had been fully vaccinated, and Latinx groups continue to have disproportionately higher hospitalization and death rates due to COVID-19. As a national partner [...]

Latinx Youth Saving Lives Through Culturally-Specific Service-Learning2023-02-17T14:33:27-06:00


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