Youth Lend A Hand to Fight Childhood Cancer
Omnivision Youth in TOP® Hold Benefit Lemonade Stand
"We are the World, We are the Children. . ." That's the song the young women at Omnivision SELF's TOP
® program sang as part of a presentation they made to staff in July of this year. The youth were making a formal request to organize a lemonade stand at a local park to raise money for childhood cancer research. In TOP
® they realized that several of them had loved ones impacted by cancer and they determined to do a service learning project in response. They found www.alexslemonade.org , an organization founded by an 8 year old girl who responded to her own cancer diagnosis by holding lemonade stands to raise money for cancer research. The young women at SELF were inspired to hold their own lemonade stand.
Omnivision staff approved the service learning project and the SELF youth made educational posters, wrote a mini-grant to cover the cost of supplies, tie dyed tshirts for themselves to wear, and made all the arrangements to hold their lemonade stand at Charlie Daniel's Park in Mt. Juliet. On August 1 they spent 4 hours at the park, giving away lemonade, passionately talking about their cause to passersby, and encouraging people to give online to the Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation.
"This was something close to our hearts," said one young SELF resident. "It's really hot out here today, but it's worth it."
Research shows that high quality service learning helps develop self-efficacy, that is, a sense of one's own power and influence, a sense that by putting in effort one can see results. The young women at SELF sang "We Are the World" before their project, but afterwards they had the experience of living up to those lyrics.
In May, the federal Administration for Youth and Families gave a shout out to Tennessee's implementation of TOP® for youth in custody. Check it out!
Oasis Center is excited to welcome a new member of the TOP® Statewide team, Pam Bell. Pam will be delivering TOP® Facilitator training, managing provider sites, and will have a special focus on helping congregate care providers implement high quality service learning. Pam has worked in residential settings for more than 5 years and is a certified TOP® Facilitator and Trainer. She can be reached at email@example.com. Welcome, Pam!