National Service Briefing

YSA Logo 

December 1, 2011

Volume 18, No. 47  

Circulation: 39,950

YSA Partners with Go Inspire Go and Lil' MDGs for GIG Spark:
A Lesson on Compassion


YSA has partnered with Go Inspire Go, and Lil' MDGs to bring you GIG Spark: A Lesson on Compassion. We're inviting YOU and your community (school, organization, friends, etc.) to use your passion and creativity to produce a "GIG Spark" and inspire viewers with your video. 

A "GIG Spark" is a short 1-1:30 minute video that inspires viewers to take action and help others after they've watched the video. The video will feature you showing and telling viewers what you want them to do and show it on video.

Use this as a teaching and communications tool in your school, classroom, or organization, in your home, or anywhere where you can spark some creativity and inspiration - then share it on our platforms to be seen around the world. Selected videos may also appear several platforms; YSA, Go Inspire Go, Lil' MDGs and Miley Cyrus's Get Ur Good On website, the Huffington Post and Deepak Chopra's 

Please send an email and your YouTube video link for Go Inspire Go's review by January 9 to 

Learn more at:   

Connect with YSA


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YSA Funding Partners


State Farm
Sodexo Foundation
United Healthcare

Corporation for National and Community Service
Learn & Serve

News From the Field

World AIDS Day - December 1

World AIDS Day is celebrated on December 1 each year around the world. This year's World AIDS Day is about "Getting to Zero"  by 2015 - Zero AIDS Related Deaths, Zero New Infections and Zero Discrimination. Learn more about how you can join the World AIDS Campaign at:  

Learn more about how national service programs have been fighting AIDS: "Since 1994, AIDS United AmeriCorps members have been making a difference for people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. The AU AmeriCorps program was the first national AmeriCorps program to focus exclusively on HIV/AIDS. Over the past 16 years, more than 600 AIDS United AmeriCorps members have provided HIV testing, prevention and quality of life services to tens of thousands of individuals and families." Read more at:  

International Volunteer Day - Dec. 5

Celebrate International Volunteer Day (IVD) 2011! IVD offers an opportunity for volunteer organizations and individual volunteers to make visible their contributions - at local, national and international levels - to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Help UN Volunteers showcase the power of volunteer action in every country. From now until December 6, help light-up our world by watching the weekly video and responding to the weekly question with your best photo and caption. On December 5, UNV will also launch the first-ever State of the World's Volunteerism Report. And, the tenth anniversary of the International Year of Volunteers will culminate with celebrations in many countries and the UN General Assembly will discuss volunteerism. Learn more at:  


Service-Learning Featured in Principal Leadership Magazine

The December "Green Schools" edition of NASSP's Principal Leadership magazine features several articles on service-learning, including:   

  • "Why Green?" -  a letter from Earth Echo International's Philippe Cousteau
  • "Greening the Curriculum" and "Environmental Stewardship Through Service Learning" by Cathryn Berger Kaye
  • "Inspiring a STEMester of Service" written by YSA's Susan Abravanel and Sarah Guy and featuring YSA STEMester of Service grantees Sarah Bayer, Donna Chang, Travis Garwick, Allan Harris and Mary Stell

Read the digital edition of this month's Principal Leadership at   

MLK Day of Service is January 16

2009 National Service-Learning Conference 

Each year, Americans across the country come together on the King Holiday to serve their neighbors and communities. Learn how you can plan your own MLK Day project or join a project already being planned at  

Grants & Awards 


FWD the Facts Contest

Deadline: December 2

USAID and the Ad Council has developed a multimedia campaign called "FWD" to generate awareness and donations for the immediate relief efforts for the Horn of Africa. FWD stands for Famine, War and Drought-the three crises currently devastating the Horn of Africa as well as the call to action to FWD the facts and increase awareness. Tell us how you can help raise awareness for this crisis in your own community. Submit your proposal for a local event or other grassroots ideas to get your community involved in the fight against famine, war and drought in the Horn of Africa. GOOD will provide the winning proposal $5,000 to implement their plan locally, and the winner will be featured in digital and social media channels by USAID and the Ad Council.   

Case Foundation #GoodSpotting Sweepstakes

Deadline: December 23

 This holiday season, YSA is joining the Case Foundation in #GoodSpotting! Together, we're catching people (or organizations) in the act of doing good. Snap a pic of your friend, neighbor, coworker (or it could be you!) doing something good, and share it online using the hashtag "#GoodSpotting." You can also upload it directly from the Case Foundation Facebook page. Then enter the #GoodSpotting sweepstakes to win up to $500 in holiday spending money and $5,000 in grants for your favorite charity. Let's go #GoodSpotting! Submit all #GoodSpotting pictures by 12/23. Learn more at:  or on Facebook at or on YouTube at  


Sodexo Youth Grants 

Deadline: January 17

YSA will award 100 Sodexo Youth Grants of $500 each to support youth-led service projects in the United States that address the issue of childhood hunger on Global Youth Service Day (April 20-22, 2012). We're looking for projects that engage your peers, friends, families, neighbors, Sodexo employees, and other community members in creative, youth-inspired solutions to ending childhood hunger in your community.  Over 17 million children in the United States live at risk of hunger. YSA and Sodexo are calling on young people, ages 5-25, to help make sure your peers don't have to worry about where their next meal will come from. Learn more at:     

State Farm Good Neighbor Scholarship Program

Deadline: January 25

Applicants to the State Farm Good Neighbor Scholarship Program must be a high school senior who will graduate at the end of the 2011-12 school year, plans to enroll in full time undergraduate study at an accredited two or four year college, university or vocational-technical school for the entire 2012-2013 academic year, has a cumulative grade point average of 2.50 to 3.20 on a 4.00 scale, is a U.S. citizen, and demonstrate financial need. Up to twenty-six (26) selected recipients will receive a $2,500 award. Only the first 360 applications received will be accepted.   


Everyday Young Heroes

Donald Chao

Bellevue, WA

YSA recognizes 16 year old Donald Chao of Bellevue, Washington as one of our Everyday Young Heroes for his work to educate his community about ocean acidification and the negative impact of human behaviors and activities on the Puget Sound ecosystem.

Ocean acidification is a result of increased carbon dioxide emissions released into the atmosphere that reaches bodies of water, creating carbonic acid and raising the acidity of the water.  In an environmental stance, ocean acidification alters the natural acidity of the Puget Sound. In an economical stance, ocean acidification devastates economies, through a drastic decline of seafood health, quality, and quantity. After discovering the appalling lack of public knowledge of ocean acidification, Donald decided to educate the people of their impact on ocean acidification by forming the Ocean Acidification Education Project (OAEP).

David received a seed grant from American Express and DoSomething, which provided funding and publicity necessary for the growth and development of the OAEP.  With the help of local organizations and schools, including the Tzu Chi Foundation, Newport High School,, the Mercer Slough Environmental Center, Pike Place Market, and the Cities of Greater Seattle,  David was able to develop a website and create educational materials and recruit volunteers to disseminate knowledge about ocean acidification in the Puget Sound.   

For his dedication to educating his community and protecting local water sources and ecosystems, we honor Donald as an Everyday Young Hero. 


To nominate a young person who has improved their community through service to be recognized as an Everyday Young Hero, please visit

Resources & Trainings

The Power to Share: Leveraging Social & Traditional Media in Social Ventures

 Tuesday, December 6th at 5:00 PM Eastern
A desire to communicate messages is weaved within the fabric of the human identity. However, this idea is arguably truer for those charged with the responsibility to take action against a social cause. Youth leaders from Greening Forward's Earth Savers Club Program have developed an ultimate guide to help you raise awareness for your social cause. Leveraging online, print, video, and audio platforms, one has the potential to reach an audience ready to be educated, engaged, and empowered.   

NYLC Webinar: Getting Started in Service-Learning

Wednesday, December 7, 2011 at 5:00pm Central 

Want to learn more about service-learning? Join us in this webinar to learn the basics! We'll give an overview of service-learning, share best practices, and discuss a step-by-step plan to help you get started.   


Points of Light MLK Day Webinar: Story Telling, Data, and Social Media

Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 3:00pm Eastern

Register at:   


MLK Day Webinar: Recruiting Stellar Volunteers

Wednesday, December 7, 2011 at 3:00pm Eastern

The next MLK Day webinar  will cover: Generating New Volunteers - Where to Look; Engaging Diverse Populations (youth, students, seniors, etc...); Volunteer Management; Online Resources for Volunteer Management; Tips for Team Leaders; and Maintaining Volunteers Beyond the Day of Service. Learn more and register at:  

Points of Light MLK Day Webinar: Engaging and Serving Veterans and Military Families

Thursday, December 8, 2011 at 3:00pm Eastern

Veterans and military families are an integral part of almost every community in the country. This session will highlight resources to help you better serve as well as engage veterans and military families in service on MLK Day of Service and beyond.  

Service Calendars

Conferences & Events

National Youth Service Summit 

March 30 - April 1, 2012 - Cincinnati, OH


National AfterSchool Association Conference
April 2-4, 2012 - Dallas, TX 


National Service-Learning Conference 

April 11-14, 2012 - Minneapolis, MN


Best Of Out-of-School Time Conference 

April 25-28, 2012 - Palm Springs, CA  


National Conference on Volunteering & Service 

June 18-20, 2012 - Chicago, IL 


See more events on the Conference Calendar.  

Seasons of Service


December 2011

World AIDS Day - December 1
International Day of Persons with Disabilities - December 3
International Volunteer Day - December 5
Human Rights Day - December 10

January 2012

National Mentoring Month - January
MLK Day of Service - January 16

Semester of Service - MLK Day to GYSD
No Name Calling Week - January 23-27

See more important dates on the Seasons of Service Calendar.  

Quote of the Week

"The way to get things done is not to mind who gets the credit for doing them."

- Benjamin Jowett 

The Editors

Mike Minks

Mike Minks

Director of Outreach
and Innovation

Danielle Miranda

Danielle Miranda

Manager of Outreach
Associate Editor

Mike Man

Mike Man

Manager of Outreach
Associate Editor