WISH LIST: $100: expenses for 1 day of a service trip in Zambia; $500: seed funding for 1 student-led social venture; $1000: year-long entrepreneurship training for 1 LearnServe Fellow
Only 26% of high school students volunteer, and many view it as an obligation rather than an opportunity. LearnServe aims to change that by teaching DC students to be the next generation of social entrepreneurs and global leaders. Empowering high-schoolers who have the motivation (but perhaps not the means) to make a difference, the Fellows Program guides them through the creation of their own "social venture." One student has launched an energy improvement initiative at her school; one founded a scholarship program for children of incarcerated parents; another mobilized teams of peers to teach a hands-on science curriculum at local elementary schools. LearnServe also offers summer service-learning trips to Paraguay, Zambia, and Jamaica, where students experience the day-to-day realities of life in a developing country and support ongoing development efforts in poverty, HIV/AIDS, and education (80% receive financial aid). Since 2004, LearnServe has engaged 500 (soon to be 560!) students at 40 DC-area schools, inspiring kids first to change their communities ... and then the world. You can make it happen.