SARASOTA, FL – CYD (Community Youth Development) is seeking high school students looking for an alternative way to spend their spring break this year. From March 14-18, CYD will hold its 2nd Annual “Alternative Spring Break” (ASB) wherein youth will engage in a week of community service at various nonprofit and community sites. The students will begin the week with a day-long workshop on social justice and youth empowerment then participate in various service projects throughout the community.
“We’re proud to offer students opportunities to experience, discuss, and understand community issues in a meaningful way,” said Suriya Khong, CYD’s director of programs. “ASB strives to build long-term relationships between youth and community partners and to foster lifelong commitments to active citizenship.”
Student volunteers will participate in numerous projects such as: prepping horses for classes at Prospect Riding Center, painting a home with Habitat for Humanity, engaging with clients of Easter Seals, providing games and activities at Girls, Inc., making cages to protect turtles with Mote Marine, gardening at the Orange Blossom Community Garden, reading to children with the Early Learning Coalition, working with adults with disabilities at Loveland Center, and sorting/packing food at All Faiths Food Bank. Other community partners that will benefit from student efforts include Pines of Sarasota, Sarasota County Parks and Recreation, Cat Depot and Children First.
“Peer influence is crucial to volunteer programs,” said CYD executive director Karen Bogues. “Having friends who volunteer is a huge factor in a teen’s decision whether or not to volunteer themselves. Simply asking a young person to volunteer – whether they’re asked by a peer, parent or mentor – has been shown to increase the likelihood of participation. That’s why efforts such as the Alternative Spring Break are so important: if you can successfully engage young people in volunteering you can, in many cases, engage them in some form of community service for a lifetime.”
Spaces are limited and registration is required to attend. Applications can be found at cydonline.org/events/specialevents. For more information or to sign up as a volunteer, contact Suriya Khong at (941) 922-5126 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
CYD, which is celebrating 20 years of great programs to benefit area teens, provides the tools to empower youth as leaders in service to their community. Students in grades 6-12 participate in a variety of 21st century skill development programs. In 2015, CYD served over 2,000 middle and high school students through 160 youth development activities throughout Sarasota County. CYD is funded in part by Bank of America Client Foundation, Roberta Leventhal Sudakoff Foundation, Scheidel Foundation, Sarasota County Government, and Volunteer Florida. For more information, call (941) 922-5126 or go to www.cydonline.org.