Issue #23 | January 2020
Happy New Year!

We hope you had a great holiday season and have been enjoying your winter.

As usual, there is no slowing down here at UWYV. We've had many things happen in the last month. We received two grants, one from MSA (Mass Service Alliance) and one from the Barr Foundation . Read more about these exciting opportunities below!

Year three of providing Changemaking Professional Development to our local partners is in full swing. This is our biggest cohort of passionate educators to date. They have participated in the Co-Creation Session as well as the Problem Solving Session and are already amplifying their ability to help others in the community find their Changemaking potential.

It goes without saying that our Venture Teams have been active, as well. An elementary school Venture Team from Northwest Elementary invited representatives from the CASA Project to speak to them about how they represent the best interests of abused and neglected children in the Worcester County Courts. Read more about this informative visit here .

Samoset Middle School recently held a Venture-Team-wide "Day of Caring". Teams made greeting cards for a sick boy in the hospital and also held a bake sale. There is more about this exciting day at this link!

The Venture Team Pink Ladies from Francis W. Parker Charter Essential School recently hosted a movie night at the school. The team picked the 'oldie but goodie' Ferris Bueller's Day Off . The Team had a lot of help setting up the event. Many stayed after to help, including students, teachers, parents, and Youth Venture staff member, Jake. Admission to the movie was free, yet the Team raised money for their cause by selling concession items. It was a great turnout and from the concession sales, the Team will be able to make a generous donation to help breast cancer research. Way to go, Pink Ladies !

We are excited about what is upcoming this Spring! Our Spring Showcase is happening on March 19! That is always a fun and inspiring event. We are on the cusp of our very busy panel season and we anticipate many Teams with important causes to launch soon. We will be sure to keep you updated on those.

If you haven't liked our Facebook page, be sure to do that today, here ! We post regularly about all the activities our Venture Teams are doing, as well as updates on what is new and exciting for Youth Venture and Changemaking.

As always, we appreciate you and thank you for your continued support!

~the United Way Youth Venture Team!
Spring Showcase
Spring Showcase - - SAVE THE DATE!!

UWYV Spring Showcase  is happening on  March 19  at  Great Wolf Lodge  in Fitchburg, MA from  5-7pm . More than 50 Venture Teams will set up and share with you their ideas and mission.

This is a  unique event that presents the wide-ranging, inspiring, and innovative social ventures of the engaged public school students in North Central MA . It is an opportunity for parents, teachers, business and community leaders to see how teams of young social entrepreneurs are leveraging their passion and skills to generate solutions for their school’s and community’s challenges. The event will give community members an opportunity to hear from these active Venture Teams and support their efforts, and meet other invested community members.

Registration will be opening shortly and we will ask you to register in advance so we can plan accordingly. Suggested ticket donation will be $5 each. Watch your inbox for your invitation!

We are excited and honored to share that we were awarded a grant to support the Building a Community-Driven Portrait of a High School Graduate project. The 14 Portrait of a Graduate grantees represent 60 high schools across New England.

The grant period runs from January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020 and includes the following partners: 

  • Fitchburg High School
  • Gardner High School
  • Gateway to College (MWCC)
  • Leominster High School
  • Murdock High School
  • MWCC Early College Dual Enrollment (North Central MA Early College Academy, Health Career Opportunity Program, and Project Healthcare)
  • Pathways Early College Innovation School (MWCC)

About the Portrait of a Graduate Grant: 
Many high schools operate under a set of policies and practices that can feel disconnected from a larger vision for students’ success. For schools to successfully educate all students for the realities of our rapidly changing world, communities must construct a new understanding of what school could look like. That’s where a portrait of a graduate can help. 

A portrait of a graduate is a collective vision of what all high school students will know and be able to do by graduation. To create a portrait of a graduate, educators, parents, students, and community members work together to articulate a robust definition of student success in school and beyond. This process offers an opportunity to outline a community’s own values, align work that’s already in place, bridge existing gaps, and guide future decision-making. 

Join in this effort by participating as part of the grant’s Working Group member or a subcommittee member. Respond to this email today with your interest or to learn more. 

Please read the official Press Release here .
MSA Grant Recipient

We are also pleased to announce that we have been selected by the Massachusetts Service Alliance (MSA) as the winner of a $10,000 Youth Development Volunteer Initiative (YDVI) grant. These funds will go toward expanding the UWYV program’s efforts within two elementary schools in Fitchburg, Crocker and Reingold , and will create a stronger youth presence serving the community of two high needs schools.

We are thrilled to be partnering with these two new elementary schools. This project will address the community need for powerful and engaging learning opportunities for disenfranchised youth to practice volunteerism, empathy, and leadership. While enjoying serving their community and gaining real-world social-emotional skills, student-driven volunteer leadership efforts will shift mindsets school-wide toward empathy and problem-solving, while building the habitual practice of volunteering.  
Interested in writing for the official UWYV blog? Our audience wants to hear from YOU!

The Venturer Voice blog seeks students, Champions, Allies and community contributors to write pieces for our official blog!