A Year of VISTA Service: Five Lessons for Nonprofit Practitioners and Other Service Members

Derek Moore and Nicole Smith completed their AmeriCorps VISTA service this week. During their year of service, they supported the launch of a new online resource, ServiceWorks Online, which is part of a larger national program that uses community service as a way to build skills and connections for opportunity youth.

Igniting a Passion: Newark Youth Take On Gun Violence

High school sophomores and juniors were challenged to apply the communication, project management and community mapping skills they’d learned in ServiceWorks to their project addressing gun violence. The complexity of organizing an event, producing videos and inviting speakers was daunting. “You can absolutely do this,” I urged.

Earn to Learn: A Teen’s Job Is to Do Well in School

Young people commit — in writing — to a grade they will earn for each class. The better they perform, the higher their earnings. Each step reinforces the connection between education and employment — and provides a level of control that few youth in foster care feel they have.

Artistic Collaboration: Transforming Youth and Youth Justice by Integrating Arts

The room was silent. Twelve probation officers sat silently in a circle. Some glared at the floor, some looked at the ceiling. The African jembe drums sat, one in front of each PO, a silent invitation. As the lead drummer began, they started to play along, hands gently against the taut skins of the drums, a whisper. Then a thump, then some missed beats, louder, a faltering rhythm, then laughter. One hour later, 12 POs were shaking the roof as they drummed together, beaming at each other and making music.