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Civic Impact

Young advisors needed to lend their voices to Pittsburgh Cares

Pittsburgh Cares is creating a Youth Advisory Council for the first time to make sure younger voices have a say in the direction of its volunteer activities.
 
Students 14-18 years old can apply themselves or have a teacher or other mentor nominate them for a one-year term beginning this September. Application deadline is June 29.
 
"We're really looking for a diverse group of youth," says Nina Zappa, Pittsburgh Cares' Youth Engaged in Service program coordinator. "We just wanted to make sure there's an inclusion of youth voices for all our programs so we are better serving our organization."
 
Among the duties, Youth Advisory Council members will be grant reviewers for the organization's mini-grants program and gain professional development and networking opportunities.
 
Pittsburgh Cares already has students taking charge of Martin Luther King Jr. Day projects and school-related donation drives. Young people, says Zappa, are most attracted to volunteer activities involving interaction with even younger kids -- whether it's doing arts and crafts or sports or helping with homework and reading -- and to providing a direct service at a food bank or soup kitchen. But the new Youth Advisory Council will let students have a voice in more of the organization's activities.
 
"This will be more of the youth in charge of actually doing" the activity planning, she says. "Maybe they will come up with a better way [to organize] that is more youth-friendly and get more youth involved."
 
Writer: Marty Levine
Source: Nina Zappa, Pittsburgh Cares
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