Issue #19 | April 2019
Happy April Vacation to all students and teachers!

We appreciate ALL of you for your hard work, dedication and commitment to making change. We hope you are enjoying your time off!

Our youngest Youth Venturers sure have had a busy month IN ACTION. One Middle School Team and two Elementary School Teams have been out and about making a difference. We are so proud of these young people! And one busy and productive high school Team has made another donation to their cause. Read about all - below.

We held our Changemaking Next Steps Session this month. Thank you to Sky View Middle School for graciously hosting us. Forty Changemakers convened to discuss how their year as Changemakers went, what worked - what may not have worked as well as they hoped, what they learned about themselves along the way, and what tremendous successes they experienced. It was a very inspirational time for all who came, as Vipin, our facilitator, led everyone through very deep and meaningful inner work. The Changemakers also spent time planning for the future and planning for the Changemaker Celebration happening on June 11 from 5-7pm at Wachusett Mountain’s Ski Lodge . We were also very thankful to host ten excited guests at this session! They all gave extraordinarily valuable contributions and were eager to hear from our Changemakers. It takes a village to raise a child, but it takes a whole ecosystem to raise a Changemaker, and our guests are assets in building this ecosystem.

This month six new Venture Teams launched. You can read about their missions, below, and can read about all of our Youth Venture teams by clicking here. Here's to all our young Changemakers!

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

~the United Way Youth Venture Team!
The Longsjo Middle School Youth Venture Team called Big Donations for Tiny Lives made a delivery of supplies for the SECOND time this year to the Sterling Animal Shelter.

This motivated and ambitious Team is making a difference in the lives of those tiny animals by helping out a great non-profit organization.
The Fall Brook Elementary School Youth Venture Team, Changemaker Champions, raised funds and recently presented a check donation of $348 to Leominster/Fitchburg Animal Control.

Todd Pickett the Animal Control Officer accepted the check on behalf of the organization. These young people designed and sold their own custom buttons, after learning that the Animal Control Officer works alone and is often in need of supplies.
The Mini-Ventures Team from South Street Elementary School recently hosted a school-wide "Hat Day".

Students from this Team determined that too many members of their community face homelessness and poverty, and especially suffer during the cold winter months.

On Hat Day, students could donate $1 to wear a special hat for the day. The funds went to support this Team which is collecting warm clothes and blankets at the school and will be donating them to the Family Resource Center.
The Oakmont Regional High School Venture Team, APush4Peace has just donated $380 to a teen library which is a Peace Corps Partnership Project in Mozambique!

Since December, these 25 students have given $1,325 to volunteer projects around the world - most which support teens. Incredible!

We continue to be impressed by this Team's commitment and dedication to making positive change.
Color for Kenya, Parker Charter School
Color for Kenya is dedicated to providing school supplies to Big Picture Learning schools in Kenya, Africa. They will help the students who may not be able to afford higher education in Kenya by giving scholarships to aid in reducing costs. The inspiration behind this project comes from the two girls on the Team who have realized how fortunate they are to be able to have a good education and they want to help other students have the same opportunity.
Surprise Supplies, Samoset Middle School
Grateful to always have the supplies they need, Surprise Supplies will help students and teachers at Samoset Middle School by providing them with school supplies. This team recognizes that having the right school supplies, in part, keeps them organized and capable of achieving good grades. The members of this team believe that all Samoset students should have the school supplies they need to be successful and that teachers shouldn’t have to use their own money to stock their classrooms with school supplies. Through their fundraising efforts, this team will donate supplies to Samoset’s “Karen’s Closet”, one of ten Karen’s Closets, a 501(c)3 organization, originally established in memory of Karen DeCisero at Johnny Appleseed Elementary School.
Can You Relate? Oakmont Regional HIgh School
This new Team from Oakmont Regional will create and publish videos on issues that teens face in high school and will broadcast on their school television station. They will make videos that spotlight issues that aren't always talked about day-to-day. They want students to see another point of view. Some videos they plan to produce will cover issues such as eating disorders, what it's like to be in foster care and how to make friends.
Friends, Jr., Oakmont Regional High School
This group of girls remember being in elementary school and feeling uncomfortable or uneasy around other students who were different from them. Now, in high school they are members of the Friends Club which is an inclusive group of students who work to create positive relationships and experiences for the special needs students at the school. The Team's idea is to bring this club to the elementary schools in their district, so younger students have opportunities to build friendships and relationships with other students. They are hosting a fundraising bowling night to raise money to offset the cost for students to participate in the future activities of the Friends Club Jr.
Esperanza, Gardner High School
The Spanish word Esperanza means hope and that is exactly what the latest Gardner High School Youth Venture team Esperanza is bringing to area homeless and foster children. They have partnered with Our Father’s House to donate items based on it's needs list. They also help area foster children. This team understands that foster kids are often transferred without notice and may not even have the basic necessities to take with them. They will fill duffel bags with food, clothing and hygiene products so they not only have the items they need but will also have a proper bag of their own.
You Will Be Found, Gardner High School
This GHS Youth Venture team will create a student lounge within the school. This will be a safe space for students to relax and unwind from the stresses of being a teenager. Teen depression and mental illness in their community motivates this team to take action in creating this peer to peer space. Partnering with the Gay Straight Alliance, the team will encourage the inclusion and acceptance of LGBTQ+ students and promote this lounge as a welcoming environment for all to feel accepted. 

CONGRATULATIONS to all the new Venture Teams that launched this month!!
Well done!
The theme of the Changemaking Next Steps Session at Sky View Middle School was what each Changemaker's future might look like given the process they have gone through this year. Much time was spent reflecting on the huge successes and roadblocks they overcame, and the experience of Changemaking as a whole. In addition, time was spent in the planning mode for themselves, their schools, and the Changemaker Celebration in June.

The following day we were invited to a Meet & Greet Event hosted by Fitchburg Public Schools at Coggshall Park where community leaders and community members could come meet our very own Ashoka facilitator, Vipin Thekk. He spoke to the attendees about the importance of Changemaking as an ecosystem.
This event was attended by many guests, one of whom was Fitchburg’s Mayor, Stephen DiNatale, who came out to see Vipin and meet with members of the community who were there to learn more about Changemaking in North Central Massachusetts.
Interested in writing for the official UWYV blog? Our audience wants to hear from YOU!

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