The run is a great reminder of how truly valuable volunteers are in our community!
YAH teamed up with Operation H.E.L.P./The SOURCE to assist with the 2nd annual Les Berg 5K Run/Walk on May 21, 2013. The run is held in honor of the late Les Berg, who was one of the communities most valuable volunteers and philanthropists. Proceeds from the race are used by Operation H.E.L.P./The SOURCE to help provide service for those in the Hudson community facing crisis. Our YAH volunteers helped monitor the race checkpoints and cheer on participants as they ran along the scenic St. Croix River and through downtown Hudson.
The run is a great reminder of how truly valuable volunteers are in our community!
Youth Action Hudson would like to celebrate your valuable commitment to volunteerism with Youth Action Hudson this year! We invite you are your family to this year's Volunteer Recognition Picnic:
When: Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Where: Camp St. Croix, 532 County Road F, Hudson, WI 54016 (follow signs to Lodge)
Time: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
YAH will be providing hotdogs and beverages. We ask each family to bring one picnic dish to share such as salads, sides or desserts. RSVP by Friday, May 31st to YAH by emailing: email@example.com or calling us at 715.386.9803.
Youth Action Hudson had the privilege of attending PeaceJam on Saturday, April 27 at North Community High School in North Minneapolis. Three of our youth, Marina, Alyssa and Alayna attended the day's events. Our day was filled with bright, sunny feelings of hopefulness and inspiration. Two of the youth that attending the even on Saturday wrote a testament of their experience at PeaceJam. Their testaments are beautifully written and you can read more about Leymah and our PeaceJam group under YAH programming on our website.
Listening to Leymah Gbowee speak at the 2013 Peace Jam event is something I will easily remember for the rest of my life. I wasn't really sure what to expect before arriving in Minneapolis; but, whatever I thought it would be like, didn't resemble the reality of it all.
Upon arriving I immediately felt out of my element. I have experienced this “out of element” feeling in the pit of my stomach before; but, generally that feeling was always expected, this time it wasn’t. Regardless of my out of sorts emotions I still was welcomed by a lot of bright smiling faces and cheerful young people which shed a light on what walk of the life I or the person sitting across the room from me came from. It wasn't until later that I realized these feelings are why I participate in events like Peace Jam; so, that I can become a less narrow and more accepting human being. It’s easy to forget that not everyone has the same view of the world as you but it’s almost beautiful how someone who has never even met you can say I accept you even though I know that our lives are so different.
Leymah Gbowee’s speech touched on things like self-esteem, forgiveness, and the overall idea of taking actions
of peace instead of violence to resolve conflict. I was just blown away by the way she communicated to the audience because when she spoke It seemed so personal like it was just me and her, and she was there to answer all of the hard questions that I had about my life. In the middle of her speech I choked up
a little because I always felt alone in the obstacles of my life and it was such a relief to know that I wasn't alone.
In the days following the PeaceJam event with Youth Action Hudson I often found myself thinking about Leymah and the impression that she made on me and I keep trying to put my experience into words; but, I came to the conclusion that I really am just speechless, even still. I think that I will often visit this memory for guidance and inspiration because it was chalk full of strength and wisdom.
By Alayna Tackaberry
"My overall experience at PeaceJam was amazing. Listening to the speech by Leymah Gbowee and to questions being asked really stuck with me. The speech touched me AND I felt like I could relate so much. Also family groups was so fun and a new experience. I felt like we were an actual family because we got along so well and by the end of the day on Saturday we could talk about anything to each other! The walk to the park was something new to me. Thinking about friends, family and those who have had to suffer through tough times and step things up got to me. After the day ended on Saturday I looked at things differently and that I want to change things up. I want to change how I react to people, how I look at my life and how to create more peace in the world."
By Alyssa Leigh Iverson
We have had a busy and eventful past three months. With the Talent Show, Reed Grimm, Empty Bowls and so many more successful events - we're reminded why volunteering is such a rewarding experience.
Empty Bowls - February 2013
Talent Show - January 2013 (Check out more photos on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/yahhudson?ref=tn_tnmn)
Why Volunteer? Why Service Learning?
Why do schools and sports and outside organizations, like YAH, encourage volunteerism? Obvious answer volunteering leads to scholarships. The idea that the more involved you are the more marketable you will be. Obviously .
But, what else is there. Did you know that studies show the more students who participate in community service are more likely to grow up to become voters? Truth. Youths who take part in volunteering activities become more involved in their communities, and as a result, tend to care more about what happens in those communities. In OUR community.
What else? Students often experience an increased sense of
self-efficacy. We want our youth to know that they CAN make a difference in what they do. Through volunteerism they become more competent and develop a can-do attitude that can spread to their work and academic pursuits.
Need more, community service is a problem solving skill builder, a lifelong activity that helps everyone become more physically and mentally happy, a way for your youth to find a sense of responsibility and pride, a way to learn beyond the classroom.
Just think about this. And then read on. We have had a great
number of youth volunteering with YAH through the months of February, March and April. We are proud of their commitment! As this school year comes to an end we will be celebrating their dedication to service and honoring our YAH seniors who
move onto the next chapter of their lives. Our Volunteer Recognition will be Wednesday, June 5, 2013 at Camp St. Croix! Stay tuned and keep volunteering.
As prom season comes to an end, we would like to take a moment to highlight the success of our All Dressed-Up Event. Teens from Hudson, Somerset, St. Paul, Menomonie, Amery, Coon Rapids, Baldwin, Ellsworth, River Falls, Clear Lake, White Bear Lake, and Woodville traveled to North Hudson
Village Hall to choose from hundreds of dresses. With the help of generous donations from the community and our great team of volunteers, we were able to help over forty teens fin dresses, shoes, and accessories to complete their prom look!
Thanks to all of those who donated dresses, shoes, and accessories and those who donated their time to help make this event possible. With your help - we were able to make prom dreams come true for over 40 Minnesotan and Wisconsin teens!
On Sunday April 21, 2013, Youth Action Hudson held our 2nd annual Water Walk as part of Camp St. Croix’s Earth Day Celebration. The Water Walk aims to raise awareness of the water crisis that is affecting millions across the world.
In addition to walking a 5k (3.1 miles) course, participants carried jugs filled with water to simulate the walk that millions of women and children in developing countries are forced to take every day to provide water for their families. Despite the chilly weather - we had a great turn out at the Earth Day celebration. Eight participants completed the walk and gained a new perspective on water security! A big thank you to Camp St. Croix, our wonderful youth volunteers, and all those who came out and helped us celebrate Earth Day!
This year, YAH students decided to donate any proceeds to charity:water – a nonprofit organization the helps provide clean and reliable drinking water to communities in developing countries. Our Youth Advisory Board at YAH chose charity:water because they provide status reports, pictures, and GPS coordinates for projects, which allows both our students and donors to see the accomplishments of their contribution.
To learn more information about charity:water, or to donate to
Youth Action Hudson’s project, follow the link below!
In March, our YAH Peer-to-Peer members had the opportunity to present to 6th, 7th, and 8th graders at Hudson Middle School. Three of our groups talked to 6th graders about cyber communication and social media and the importance of using these types of community safely and responsibly. The 7th graders were presented with information regarding confidence: how to have confidence, how to give other confidence, and how to maintain confidence! The finals groups spoke to 8th graders about the "profile of a high school student" - answering questions about classes, meeting new people, and getting involved in organizations and programs at the high school.
Overall, 29 youth volunteered their time to be part of Peer-to-Peer and present to the middle school students. Not only does Peer-to-Peer benefit the middle school students, but it also helps to build public speaking skills, confidence, and leadership skills in our youth volunteers!
My name is Alyson Maitrejean and I grew up in Stillwater, Minnesota. I am currently a senior at the University of Wisconsin – River Falls. I initially began my college career as an elementary education major; but, after taking an introductory environmental science course, I was immediately drawn into the program. Since then – I have been pursuing a degree in Community Planning which promotes sustainability and strong community involvement. I have always known I wanted to work with people and within communities – and this degree has given me the opportunity to do that while promoting environmentalism and sustainability. While searching for an internship that ties together my passion for youth & community involvement, as well as sustainability, I stumbled across Youth Action Hudson and immediately knew it was something I wanted to be a part of. I believe that change can start right here in our communities and I am so excited to be
part of an organization that highlights the importance of youth involvement and promotes such a variety of causes. I look forward to growing and learning from my role as an intern here at Youth Action Hudson and continuing to get to know the staff and students!
Youth Action Hudson (YAH) has had a busy end to 2012! We are gearing up for our Hudson Youth Have Talent show on Friday, January 11, 2013 and following close behind is our Empty Bowls dinner and Reed Grimm Concert on Friday, February 1, 2013. The New Year is all about making resolutions and as a youth based service learning organization I think the best resolution we can have is continuing to encourage and engage our youth to get involved in the Hudson community. The National Commission on Service-Learning defines service learning as, “a teaching and learning approach that integrates community service with academic study to enrich learning, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities.” Bringing the classroom into the real world. Service-learning offers powerful lifelong benefits. Youth experience greater self-respect, character development and self-discipline, increased motivation and engagement in studies, more tolerance, a broader perspective, and improved academic performance.
We invite everyone to attend Hudson Youth Have Talent Show next Friday, a program that gives Hudson’s youth a chance to shine and showcase their talents! Your voice matters! The AUDIENCE will vote on an audience choice winner to open for American Idol finalist, Reed Grimm on February 1st. Winners also receive $100 and $50 cash prizes! Your support will strengthen our new year’s resolution! Can’t wait to see you next Friday!
This fall Youth Action Hudson’s Peer-to-Peer program took off with 43 youth in grades 9-12 from Hudson High School volunteering their time to research and create interactive and informative presentations on the Steps to Respect to combat
bullying. Peer-to-Peer was originally established by six high school youth who wanted to address peer conflict and establish healthy approaches to resolve that conflict. YAH youth presented to the fifth grade classrooms of Trinity Academy, E.P. Rock, River Crest, Houlton, St. Patricks, Hudson Prairie, Willow River and North Hudson. YAH had 21 youth that had participated in Peer-to-Peer before and 22 first-timers. This was very exciting as the program has grown since YAH Engagement Coordinator, Elise Whaley started last year. As well as more student involvement YAH had two students, Bella Romanoski and Leisha Cory, step up as student leaders for the program. Both Bella and Leisha are seniors at Hudson High School and got involved with Peer-to-Peer as freshmen. Bella said, “We thought it would be a fun way to do a great service for young elementary kids and to hopefully make a difference in how they treat their peers.” Whaley could not have done Peer-to-Peer without both those leaders this year! Whaley said, “Every group is given the same information and they use their creative, bright minds and styles to make their presentation influential. I was blown away by the activities they came up with this year. They did a terrific job and the Hudson community should be incredibly proud of them, I know I was.”