Issue #18 | March 2019
Happy Spring!

The snow is melting - the weather is getting warmer - and the sun is shining later in the evening. Ahh, Spring is in the air!

As Spring arrives, so does Panel Season. This year is certainly no exception. Within the last month alone, EIGHT teams have launched - yes, EIGHT! We are delighted (and busy!), and SO proud of t hese young Changemakers. Read about their ideas, below.

Did you have fun at our biggest event of the year , the UWYV Spring Showcase? More than 300 guests (adults and students) joined together at Great Wolf Lodge to celebrate, and learn more about the 50 Venture Team s present. It was an incredible, inspirational evening.

We also spent time telling Fitchburg Public Schools students and their families all about Youth Venture and about Changemaking at the aweSTEM event. See more about that, below.

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

~the United Way Youth Venture Team!
Community members, officials, school staff, and families who attended this year's Spring Showcase were impressed by the ideas, passion and problem-solving ability of the students.

The teams who participated in the showcase displayed a wide range of projects , from creating awareness of mental health issues and lesser-known diseases such as POTS, to making their schools a better place by creating a school newspaper and ideas to end bullying and racism. Students also tackle global issues by supporting the Peace Corps and disadvantaged global communities.

Students presented Phil Grzewinski , retiring long-time president of the United Way of North Central MA, a signed poster recognizing him for bringing Youth Venture to North Central MA and for his support, leadership and incredible legacy. this year - a dance floor and DJ (Sky View Middle School's very own Mr. Grossman! Thank you, Mr. Grossman!)! It was a fun, inspirational and memorable night!

You can view all the photos from the night, here !
Students for Action of FHS
The Students for Action Team at Fitchburg High Schoo l is devoted to empowering students to enact change concerning issues that members not only care about but that also affect other students. The main purpose is to promote school safety and student activism through the power of using their voices.
Food Chain, Girl Scout Troop 61150
The Food Chain Team wishes to provide food to the population that needs it. They understand that far too many people are dying because they do not have enough food. This Team helps the people who visit Loaves & Fishes. They fill bags of non-perishable food items to donate to Loaves & Fishes. They host Easter Egg Hunts and hand out flyers to raise awareness for the cause.
Fab 5. Ayer Shirley Regional HIgh School
The mission of Fab 5 is to supply the Apple Valley Assisted Living Home with games, coloring books, and other activity items. They not only collect supplies but they also spend time with the residents; making connections, playing games, etc. Their main inspiration for this idea is that they realized that not all elderly people have guests to visit. The Team's visits allow the residents to create memories and not feel so lonely.
Animal Lovers Association, Monty Tech
This Team is passionate about animals. They help find homes for animals in shelters, and provide lots of love and attention in the time they are in the shelters. They host “Adoption Days” and “Puppy Days” where they raise money and educate about shelter life for animals.
Survivors Adelante, Monty Tech
Survivors Adelante is dedicated to bringing resources; such as first aid, school supplies, and non-perishable foods to Puerto Rico. The primary inspiration for this venture is Hurricane Maria, which devastated the island in September of 2017. The island is still struggling to get everything back up and running. Each member of this Team has direct ties to Puerto Rico, most of them include family. They partner with Mahar High School, providing Mahar with supplies to bring during their service trips to Puerto Rico.  
Give Hope to Fosters, Monty Tech
Each of the members of this Venture Team have a personal connection to a foster care experience—either directly or through a loved one. This knowledge drove them to plan fundraisers and donate clothes, food, water, and toys to the MA Department of Children and Families for the most vulnerable in our community.
Unity, Monty Tech
This team has individually experienced racial “jokes” and other insensitive comments. Their goal is to bring greater awareness to their school community, which consists of students representative of 19 towns and cities across North Central Mass, that racism is not acceptable and to teach their fellow youth how to be more sensitive and empathetic to people who are different from them.
Mini Venture, South Street Elementary School
A leadership team of fourth-grade South Street elementary students determined that too many members of their community face homelessness and poverty, and especially suffer during the cold winter months. They launched a school-wide project to raise money and collect winter gear that will be donated to MOC’s Family Resource Center in April.
We recently attended the AweSTEM event, hosted by Fitchburg Public Schools' Elementary Honors Academy and Middle School STEM scholars. We were invited to share UWYV with their guests. Innovation is alive in each Venture Team, as they navigate the best way to solve social problems that are close to their hearts.

It was a night open to the students and their families for hands-on, interactive engineering design challenges, science experiments, and technology. It was also an opportunity to showcase awesome opportunities Fitchburg students have at their schools, some things that students have been up to, and a night of celebration of the students in the advanced academic learning initiative.

At the UWYV table, Rachel and Jake informed the students and parents about Youth Venture opportunities at their schools, and about Changemaking. Students could add to the big UWYV tree, listing the ways they want to make a positive impact on the world.
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 new official blog!

Do you have a UWYV story (or idea, event, news item) that you would like to see featured in YV Monthly?