Genesee County #LeadASAP

Youth Service America

We all want to make our communities – and our planet – greener, safer, healthier, fairer, and stronger. Youth Service America (YSA) believes that youth have a unique ability to change the world, thanks to their passion, creativity, and willingness to look at old problems in new ways. 

That is why we are partnering with Genesee Serves, the community's volunteer center, with the generous support of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, to launch the Genesee County Youth #LeadASAP campaign.  Our goal is to engage at least 7,500 local youth (ages 5-18) in youth-led, high-quality service projects that address an authentic community need AND provide youth with skills they need to succeed in work, school, and life.

If you are an organization or K-12 school that provides opportunities for youth to
#LeadASAP, we invite you to apply to be part of this campaign!

YSA will hold a free training in the Flint are in November or December to help participants get started.
Schools and organizations participating in the training will be eligible for grants up to $1,500 each to support high quality, youth-led service projects that take place around and between Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service (January 15, 2018) and Global Youth Service Day (April 20-22, 2018).  Participants – both grantees and non-grantees – will receive other support from YSA and Genesee Serves, including free resources, training, networking, and recognition opportunities.
YSA empowers youth to “lead ASAP” through Awareness, Service, Advocacy, and Philanthropy. When youth #LeadASAP, they acquire the skills they need to be successful in school, work, and life – skills like creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration.

A(wareness): Youth are powerful when they raise awareness,
sharing information and teaching others to positively change behaviors (e.g., encouraging seat belt use and safe driving, recycling, and healthy eating; discouraging smoking and bullying; and teaching families how to prepare for disasters).

S(ervice): Youth are powerful when they serve their community,
creativity, time, and talent to directly meeting community needs (e.g., tutoring, planting trees, improving school buildings, cleaning parks, distributing food or serving meals, and teaching senior citizens how to use technology).

A(dvocacy): Youth are powerful when they advocate for a better world,
speaking out and joining others to influence policy makers to change policies and laws, especially when they affect young people (e.g., rallies, protests, meeting with elected officials, speaking at public meetings, voter education, candidate engagement, organizing petitions, and online advocacy).

P(hilanthropy): Youth are powerful when they are philanthropic,
collecting, and donating financial and in-kind support (e.g., raising money for disaster relief, clean water wells, mosquito nets, or research to treat and cure diseases; food drives and supply drives; and collecting books for children).

Successful participants will:

  • Integrate youth voice and leadership into all aspects of project planning.
  • Describe how their projects will provide an opportunity for students to develop critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and communication.
  • Describe how their projects will address a significant community need to help fulfill one of the 17 Global Goals, including plans to assess project impact against stated goals.
  • Demonstrate storytelling capacity to use project impacts to inspire and promote more youth to serve year-round.


  • Eligible organizations include nonprofit organizations and K-12 schools (public, private, and independent).  Organizations will be invited to join YSA’s Global Partner Network (www.YSA.org/partners).  Schools will be invited to become a Global School of Service (www.YSA.org/schools).
  • Organizations and schools must be based in Genesee County, and funds must be used to benefit Genesee County.  Organizations and schools based in Flint are particularly encouraged to apply. 
  • Organizations and schools must designate a representative to attend a half-day, free training in the Flint area in November/December (date TBD).
  • Service activities should take place between January 1 – May 1, 2018


At the free half-day training, you will:
  • Understand YSA’s and Genesee Serve's vision for high-impact, youth-led service projects, and how this initiative can improve your school/organization and Genesee County;
  • Develop an action plan for your service project, including an implementation calendar;
  • Network with other service-minded schools and organizations to share effective practices;
  • Understand YSA’s IPARDC planning model and the additional resources and technical assistance we can provide you; and
  • Leave with strategies to ensure your success, in areas such as partnership building with diverse organizations, storytelling/promotion, and sustainability planning.
Genesee County Youth #LeadASAP is powered by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation