May 19, 2010
This past February, 17 students from Global Visionaries presented seven different proposals of service projects they would like to launch to benefit social justice causes in Seattle and abroad.
These student-led initiatives are part of a pilot partnership program between Global Visionaries and Youth Venture, an international social entrepreneurship organization that specializes in providing youth with the resources to launch their own self-sustaining service projects. After the presentations, the groups were awarded $6,200 to launch their ventures.
Project proposals include Bridges of Hope, a program aspiring to put a face to the problems of homelessness, Ping Pong for Nompondo, which aims to give resources to a small school in Nompondo, South Africa, and Youth Campaign for Political Action, dedicated to fighting youth apathy in Seattle/Bellevue, among many others.
One of the presenters was AJ Winkelman, a junior at Mercer Island High School. Winkelman, along with Gabe Tse, introduced EducAid, an after-school tutoring program where high school students tutor elementary school students for at least one hour per week.
“When I went to Guatemala, we learned about how important education is, and we saw how excited the kids were when they saw a school being built,” Winkelman said. “Education is the most important way we can help them help themselves.”
A relationship between Global Visionaries and Youth Venture seems like a perfect match, as both organizations share similar values. As Global Visionaries offers students with the resources to make a positive change in their communities, Youth Venture provides them with the training and knowledge necessary to make those changes effective and sustainable.
The students involved in this pilot program began working with Youth Venture team members in mid November. Youth Venture sponsored ten workshop activities for GV students to participate in, with their tenth workshop culminating in the panel presentations. Previous workshops focused on teaching students the business skills needed to become successful social entrepreneurs; such as budgeting, making time lines, brainstorming ideas, implementing ideas into action, fund-raising, creating goals, assigning duties and planning for the future.