SCI Receives National Volunteer Week Grant

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Woburn, MA – 4/23/09 – Social Capital Inc. (SCI) has received a grant from the Massachusetts Service Alliance (MSA) in celebration of National Volunteer Week and Global Youth Service Day (GYSD).  The grant supports Speak Up For Healthy Teen Relationships, a project developed by three SCI Youth Councils coming together from Dorchester, Lynn and Woburn.  Each local council will implement a project addressing the common goal of promoting healthy teen relationships and lifestyles.  The youth chose this project based on their discussion at an SCI workshop held in March, where youth raised concerns about the factors of teen relationships that lead to teen pregnancy, STIs and involvement in abusive relationships.

SCI Youth Council members will recruit 100 teens to volunteer for this project, and anticipate educating 700 at GYSD events and reach thousands more through follow-up communication efforts.  SCI has also created a new unit in its youth leadership curriculum, “Mobilizing Citizens to Volunteer“ which helps youth develop the skills they need to successfully implement the project.

The SCI Dorchester Youth Council will host an event at the Dorchester House Multi-Service Center at 1353 Dorchester Ave. Dorchester, MA on Saturday, April 25th from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM.  This GYSD event will offer educational workshops and having youth council members create and display artwork pertaining to their project.  Local artists will also participate.  SCI Dorchester is coordinated through a partnership between Social Capital Inc. (SCI) and DotWell.
 
The SCI Lynn Youth Council will create a public service announcement (PSA) focusing on social norms in Lynn that allow unhealthy teen relationships.  This PSA will premiers at a teen-led fashion show, educating teens about HIV/Aids and unhealthy lifestyles.  The recording of the PSA will take place on April 25th from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM at Girls Inc. in Lynn, MA.  The teen-led fashion show, where the PSA will premiere will take place on May 29th.  SCI Lynn is coordinated through a partnership between Social Capital Inc. (SCI), Girls Inc. and Communities That Care Coalition. 

The SCI Woburn Youth Council will also create a PSA to be screened at the Boys & Girls Club of Woburn, where an open mic night will be held for local teen bands to showcase their talents.  There will also be groups on hand to provide educational information on healthy teen relationships and lifestyles.  This concert will take place on May 23rd from 6:00PM to 9:00 PM.  The PSA will also be shown on local cable TV stations. 

David Crowley, SCI President, commented,  “This provides a great opportunity for young people to develop their leadership skills as they tackle an issue they have identified as especially important to them and their peers.”

SCI provides critical services to their communities throughout the year by connecting citizens to strengthen communities. “MSA is pleased to support Speak Up For Healthy Teen Relationships during National Volunteer Week.  This is an opportune time for organizations across Massachusetts to not only shine a spotlight on volunteerism and honor those that serve tirelessly year round, but to also use these funds to promote youth leadership, elder engagement and community strengthening”, said Emily Haber, CEO of the Massachusetts Service Alliance.

This year’s National Volunteer Week theme is “Celebrating People In Action”, observed April 19 - 25. Created in 1974, National Volunteer Week honors those who dedicate themselves to taking action and bettering their communities. It’s also about inspiring, recognizing and encouraging people to seek out imaginative ways to engage in their communities and to put themselves at the center of social change.

In addition to the Speak Up For Healthy Teen Relationships project, SCI also celebrated National Volunteer Week by joining with Woburn Mayor Tom McLaughlin to host a volunteer recognition reception on April 23.

Founded in 2002, the mission of SCI is to strengthen communities by connecting diverse individuals and organizations through civic engagement initiatives. We envision a nation where individuals are strongly connected to their neighbors and play an active role in shaping the destiny of their communities. This increase in ‘social capital’ will result in communities that are safer, healthier and more vital.  For more information about SCI please visit http://socialcapitalinc.org