Community leaders of tomorrow

February 23, 2010

Youth activism can lead to a better world

Teens today are changing the world one day and one life at a time and Issaquah youths are joining the movement.

Volunteering by 16- to 19-year-olds has more than doubled since 1989, from 13.4 percent to 28.4 percent, according to a 2007 report from The Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that oversees service programs in the U.S. Volunteering by that age group is also 36 percent higher than it was in 1974, when it was 20.9 percent. Today, 8.2 million people ages 16-24 volunteer their time.

Mitchell Byron, a Liberty High School alumni who volunteered for Athletes for Kids and is deaf, is one of them.

“I want to give back to a community that has given so much to me,” he said.

Students are learning philanthropy at home; through community organizations, like Kiwanis and Rotary clubs; in children’s leadership groups; and in school, according to the agency’s reports.

Locally, there is an Issaquah School Board policy dedicated to ensuring students learn philanthropy before they graduate, said Superintendent Steve Rasmussen.

“Globally, we want kids to know that we’re in a world that they can impact, personally and in larger groups,” he said. “I want them to know what they do impacts the rest of the world, and it is incumbent upon them to be much wiser than my generation.”

Students in Issaquah have taken that message to heart, not just for their grades, but also in hopes of leaving their world better.

“We have to take action to see the outcome that we want,” said Lindsay Baringer, a senior at Issaquah High School who volunteers with the Issaquah Schools Foundation. “If you help out, the world will be a nicer place to live.”

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Contribute to local and South African students through Generation Joy until Friday

March 21, 2009

NEW — 6 a.m. March 21, 2009

Thousands of Issaquah students have been rummaging through their closets, drawers and garages to find items they can give to others a half-world away, and you can help.

Students from Beaver Lake Middle School have been making presentations to other schools in the district to help them raise donations for orphans and students in South Africa.

The students made a presentation to Clark Elementary School students March 11. This is the first year Clark students will join Beaver Lake students in raising donations of items for Generation Joy.

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