MAHONING VALLEY Youth volunteerism earns the spotlight

Thirty area high school students will be completing projects at United Way partner agencies such as the Boys & amp; Girls Club and Salvation Army.
YOUNGSTOWN -- Students from school systems throughout the Mahoning Valley were to participate in volunteer activities today and Saturday in conjunction with the two-day National Youth Day Celebration.
Today, students from the Teen Advisory Panel of the Volunteer Center of Youngstown/Mahoning Valley, in partnership with the Youngstown/Mahoning Valley United Way, are visiting elementary schools and engaging children in fun activities that promote awareness of United Way and volunteerism.
On Saturday, from 9 a.m. until noon, students from Youth Leadership Mahoning Valley will be participating in Youngstown/Mahoning Valley United Way "Youth Day of Caring."
Agencies that benefit
Thirty students from area high schools will be completing much-needed projects at the following United Way agencies: YMCA, Boys & amp; Girls Club, Salvation Army and Second Harvest Foodbank.
JoAnn Stock, United Way director of campaign and marketing, said Youngstown/Mahoning Valley United Way National Youth Service Day activities are designed to increase awareness of United Way and how it works in the community, of United Way partner agencies and how they work to meet community needs and of the important roles volunteers play in helping to make the Mahoning Valley a better place.
National Youth Service Day is an acknowledgment of the energy, effort and volunteer service that many young people give to their schools, churches and communities all year, Stock said.
Their undertakings are contributions that improve the quality of the programs to which they give their time. In some cases, their volunteerism enables a program or a service to continue.
Showing appreciation
At a time when so much can put youths at risk for behavior that is nonproductive or dangerous, it is important to draw attention to and have appreciation for the numbers of young people who serve their community in ways that actually improve their community's quality of life, Stock said.
President and Mrs. Bush are honorary co-chairmen of National Youth Service Day, which is offered by the Youth Service America, the National Youth Leadership Council, and more than 50 national partners.

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