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Second Annual “What’s Your 50?” Volunteer Recognition Awards

Community Youth Concepts is excited for the second annual “What’s Your 50?” youth volunteer recognition awards and the Youth of the Year Scholarship! Please pass along to qualified students and help us highlight the great volunteer efforts of youth in our state! If you would like more information on how to implement service, check out www.iowaservicelearning.org for more resources.   Also, click here to access the...

Seeking Teachers to Mentor Des Moines Youth

Our Mentor Advantage Program matches local youth who have a particular career interest with adults who have skills and experience in that field. Mentors spend at least four hours a month with mentees, helping them explore their career options and working on volunteer service projects that develop leadership and social skills.   Two of the newest youths on our waiting list for mentor opportunities are female students who are very interested in teaching as a profession. If you have experience as a teacher, and you’d like to make a difference in the life of a student, please consider joining MAP as a mentor. For more information, contact Kelsey at kelsey@cyconcepts.org or...

uVoice Awards Two Grants

uVoice is a high school youth philanthropy board created in partnership between Community Youth Concepts and the Mid Iowa Health Foundation. Its mission is to be a board aimed at positively impacting the well-being of youth in central Iowa. This year’s board is comprised of 8 members from various high schools in Polk County. They learned how to assess needs in the community, design and award grants to address those needs, and participated in volunteer service projects throughout the community. This year’s uVoice’s grant application focused on reducing stress for youth in Polk County. Applicants had to demonstrate their efforts through activities that improve school climate, activities that ease the transitions between middle and high school and/or high school to college, promote a safe after school environment, or establish peer-to-peer mentoring. After receiving many grant applications, the students decided to grant their funds to Children’s Cancer Connection and Amanda the Panda. The uVoice students recognized that these organizations are making great strides in Des Moines and wanted to support their missions. The grant awarded to Children’s Cancer Connection will go toward a summer leadership camp, which the uVoice students will also support as volunteers. The Amanda the Panda grant will help create Cheer Boxes to brighten the holidays of families who have lost a loved one, and support suicide response teams which are sent to schools and various communities when they experience a suicide. uVoice empowers youth voices to directly combat the issues facing youth in our community. If you know a high school student in Polk County that would be interested in being apart of this unique opportunity, contact Tess Hunting for more information at tess@cyconcepts.org or...

Sign up for Career Connect Fall 2015!

Career Connect registration is now open for Fall 2015. Students entering grades 6 through 12 are invited to register for an exciting three month series of college visits, local business tours, and service projects. Participants will network with local employers, get résumé help, and learn how to get the skills that will help them become job ready. Career Connect kicks off at CYC on July 30th, and events are held weekly through the end of September. Transportation to events is available, and students who attend eight events will receive a special gift! Sign-up for Career Connect is open through July 27. Reserve your spot today!...

Youth Enrichment Center Ribbon Cutting

On Thursday, June 11th, CYC and the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute Class of 2015 hosted a ribbon cutting and open house to unveil our new Youth Enrichment Center. We heard from GDMLI members and CYC supporters about the hard work that went into creating this new great new space. Youth from King Elementary and our Kids With A Cause (KWAKers) program led tours of the building, which will provide a permanent home base for current and future programs. Working with local designers and contractors, the GDMLI class renovated a 550 square foot space to create the Youth Enrichment Center. The Center will support youth in out-of-school academic and mentorship programs, and give students a safe space to work, learn and play. Beginning this summer, CYC will partner with King Elementary to host King Kids, the first program in our Youth Enrichment Center. King Kids activities will support 21st Century Community Learning Centers’ science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning opportunities. In the future, we plan for the Youth Enrichment Center to serve as a welcoming and safe space for neighborhood youth in grades 4 to 12. CYC staff, AmeriCorps members and Drake University workstudy students will host interactive lessons, and computers will be available for research and homework help. Youth will also work with our Giving Garden, beehives, and other outdoor programming. Thank you to everyone who came out to celebrate this important first step in building our Forever Home. For more photos of the event, visit CYC on Facebook....

First Annual Youth What’s Your 50? Award Recognition

On Saturday, April 18th Community Youth Concepts and Iowa Commission on Volunteer Services joined together to honor Iowa youth who have gone above and beyond the call of service by volunteering 50 or more hours within the past year to needs of their community.  25 students were awarded, and on Saturday at the State Historical Building Miss Greater Des Moines, Serica Rowley and Miss Greater Des Moines Outstanding Teen, Sophia Aguirre, congratulated these students as emcees for the event. Collectively, these students volunteered close to 4,000 hours, impacting 97 different organizations, communities, and service projects, and had an economic impact of over $88,000. Later in the evening, six high school seniors were also awarded a $500 scholarship for volunteering over 100 hours. This scholarship was made possible by Kiwanis Club of Downtown Des Moines, Sloan and Amy Cownie and the Addam C. Medina Foundation, who believe in the power and impact of service. To see more pictures from the night, visit Iowa Service Learning on...