Citizenship sessions to get youths involved

Participants will be encouraged to develop community service projects.
YOUNGSTOWN -- Volunteer Services Agency Inc. is looking for high school students who want to make a positive impact on their community.
The organization is holding a Service Learning Impacting Citizenship Institute from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Make A Difference Day, at Fairview Arts and Outreach Center, 4220 Youngstown-Poland Road.
The institute will give students in grades 9 through 12 from any area schools an opportunity to make a difference in their community.
The Service Learning Impacting Citizenship is a program of the Points of Light Foundation & amp; Volunteer Center National Network aimed at increasing the civic behavior and aptitude of high school-age youths.
It provides young people with the skills and knowledge to develop a course of action that goes beyond traditional volunteering and utilizes other forms of political action.
Hopefully, students attending Saturday's event will come up with some community service projects that they can implement on their own or in teams, said Corrie Adams, project coordinator for the Teen Action Group and the Retired Senior Volunteer Program at Volunteer Services Agency.
Mayor Jay Williams will welcome participants to the institute, and the day will be divided into two sessions.
The morning program will center on a panel of local community presenters and the afternoon will be spent in small groups with the task of coming up with service projects the students can undertake, Adams said.
"We think that we need to get our young people more engaged in what's going on around them," she said, explaining that the focus will be on civic engagement and volunteerism.
The Points of Light Foundation believes that active citizens as voters, volunteers and general participants are essential to the health of our democratic society. Citizens are not born but made, and the foundation believes it can provide education and experiences that will raise the quality of civic participation by young people.
The program is geared for 100 students. Interested students can call the Volunteer Services Agency for information or to receive a registration packet at (330 782-5877. There is a consent form that parents or guardians must sign. Students won't be permitted to register at the door.
Members of the morning panel will include:
Maureen Cronin, Mahoning County common pleas judge; Laura Lyden of the Lyden Oil Co.; Mark Callion, aide to U.S. Rep. Ted Strickland of Lisbon, D-6th; Rebecca Martinez and Becky Miller of Second Harvest Food Bank; and the Rev. Lewis Macklin of Holy Trinity Missionary Baptist Church and a community advocate.

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