Nothing can inspire change like the unfettered creativity of the young mind. Using this philosophy, David Kietzman and Whitney Kasserman developed an eight-week seminar in 2005, during which students could build solutions for their own communities. They explored local needs, wrote grant proposals, and fostered a grassroots movement to create a community pocket garden. With a $10,000 city grant, the youth planted 12 trees and 300 plants and installed benches and a mosaic trash can, creating a green space that was open to everyone.
After the garden’s success, Youth Speak Collective began promoting more “for youth, by youth” year-round programs to help students gain confidence, contribute to their communities, and develop skills they could use to find jobs once they leave school. Subsequently, the organization’s reach has grown. The program sponsors a career internship program, family support, and 24/7 Dad class, which teaches fathering skills and financial literacy to young dads. Additionally, youth can play a fast-paced version of soccer in Club Futbolito or document and address problems in the community with the youth council. For the artistically minded, the visual- and design-arts programs teach youth basic street-design concepts and how to create short films for local businesses.
See how Groupon helps you discover local causes and lend a helping hand at the Groupon Grassroots blog.