Plan International USA (Plan) hosts a Youth Leadership Academy (YLA) every summer for youth ages 14-18. At the YLA, you learn more about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as develop and expand your leadership skills. During the YLA, you will select an SDG of your choice and design a community-based Leadership Development Project (LDP) to implement post-YLA.
The project will target your school or community, and you’ll have support throughout from a Plan mentor. An awesome bonus of the project is that it can count toward your junior or senior capstone project and service-learning credit!
Meet Victoria and Sierra
Victoria and Sierra attended the 2019 YLA, and since they attend the same high school, they decided to collaborate on an LDP. They designed and implemented an engaging project to boost their campus involvement in community service. Let’s learn more from their interview!
Q: Which Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) was your project centered on?
A: Our project touched on different SDGs, but we mostly focused on the following: Zero Hunger (Goal #2) and Reduced Inequality (Goal #10).
Q: What need or problem in your community did you address in your project?
A: In our community, there are not many people who place a strong emphasis on community service. Therefore, we mobilized to establish a community service club on campus to engage our school in community service. We also raised awareness concerning significant social issues in our community such as poverty and hunger, and developed ways to help address these issues.
Q: What were some key activities you implemented as part of your project?
A: We planned and hosted community food drives and developed different monthly service activities. For one of our monthly service activities, we donated non-perishable items and toiletries.
Q: How did your project impact your community?
A: Our community service club donated non-perishable foods and other resources like personal hygiene products to our community. We also raised awareness of the hardships that are impacting our community members.
Q: Were there any changes in your community that resulted from your project?
A: We witnessed an increase in the number of students participating in community service events.
Q: How many people participated in the activities you incorporated in your project?
A: Around 10-25 people participated in each community service activity/event.
Q: Do you think your project was successful? Why or why not?
A: Yes, we think that our project was successful. Our school became more engaged in community service. Our community service club provided resources to help our community fight issues like hunger. We also created an Instagram page (@hilltownsproject6) to capture our club activities.
Q: What would you describe as the highlight of your project?
A: The highlight of our project was attending our weekly club meetings because we enjoyed supporting and listening to our members’ ideas for upcoming community service projects/events.
Q: What advice would you offer to new and potential YLA members to help them with their projects?
A: We would like incoming YLA members to know that it is important to plan a reasonable project. Any project can be completed, but the most impact will result from a project that you feel 100% confident about and know will create a positive influence in your community.