Maine Global Youth Service Day 2012
Published August 1, 2012
What began as a challenge from a group of youth at Lincoln Middle School in Portland, Maine for Maine youth to pledge to serve their own communities in recognition of Global Youth Service Day, resulted in 14 groups of youth from Presque Isle to Sanford, and even youth in Canterbury, Connecticut, to step up to the challenge. A total of 920 young people (859 Mainers and 61 Conn. youth) committed 2203 hours of their time in the days around Global Youth Service Day (GYSD), officially April 20 - 22, 2012.
Many of the GYSD challengers committed to environmental projects. A group of 65 Girl Scouts cleaned up Popham Beach State Park. Ten Portland youth cleaned trails in Canco Woods, and hauled over a dozen large contractor bags full of trash away. Fifty Pemetic Middle School students picked up roadside trash in Southwest Harbor. The CFCC Youth Group in Canterbury, CT, cleaned up the town green. Two groups of youths participated in clean-up and community garden activities at the Opportunity Farm in New Gloucester. Even whole schools took up the challenge: The 425 students of Sanford Junior High School cleaned up public areas around their school. Other groups of students at Lincoln Middle School couldn't resist the challenge, either: The 68 students that comprise Moxie House planted trees in Baxter Woods, and 65 Churchill Science students created a rain collection system to water the school's vegetable garden.
But, it wasn't all about the environment. Other challengers saw different problems that needed their attention: The 6th Grade at Lisbon Central School in Canterbury, CT, raised money for Invisible Children, the nonprofit that brought global attention to the use of child soldiers in Joseph Kony's rebel war in Uganda. Ten Medomak Middle School Student Council members participated in Project Sticker Shock, a campaign with the Waldoboro Police Dept to place warning labels on alcohol bottles to raise awareness about the risks of alcohol. And, three different student groups from Presque Isle Middle School created community-awareness campaigns around important local issues: Twelve Future Farmers of America organized a successful food drive, 85 students of the Severe Weather Preparedness Team helped their community better respond to severe weather emergencies; and the 42 youth who make up Operation Adoption raised over $350 for the local animal shelter and raised awareness about reducing the number of strays.
These youth joined millions of their peers in all 50 states and 106 countries on six continents to complete nearly 4500 projects to improve their communities. GYSD is the largest service event in the world, and the only major event dedicated to youth. GYSD is organized by YSA (Youth Service America), an international leader in the youth service movement. Launched in 1988, GYSD has engaged more than 20 million youth in service. For more information about Global Youth Service Day, visit www.GYSD.org.