Jobs for Nevada’s Graduates (J4NG) students pledge 100 community service hours to the “YAY” Youth Assisting Youth Project
With a passion for community service, Valley High School students in the J4NG (Jobs for Nevada’s Graduates) program developed a project that directly impacts homeless youth in Las Vegas. The project was recognized by the City Of Las Vegas’ Youth Neighborhood Association Partnership Program (YNAPP) with a $1,250 grant to implement the project. The grant was formally accepted by the J4NG students and the J4NG specialist who leads the program at Valley High School, Maria Romero, on Wednesday, Feb. 3 at City Hall. The students will begin implementing the project immediately.
The Youth Neighborhood Association Partnership Program (YNAPP) offers grants of up to $1,250 each year for youth to create and implement neighborhood based service learning projects of their own design. Last year, Valley High School’s J4NG officers, made up of students in leadership positions, began raising donations through a clothing drive for homeless youth, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students were unable to continue the project. With distance education now more evolved, the new J4NG officers picked up the project with passion to fulfill the goal of helping the underserved community youth in Las Vegas.
With the grant money, the students will be donating backpacks with school supplies, hygiene products, undergarments, blankets, electronic chargers and other essential items to homeless youth. With the help of community partners and local businesses, the students will ask for in-kind donations to support their project to maximize the number of care packages they can donate.
“J4NG students at Valley High School impressed our Board with their presentation of the ‘YAY’ Youth Assisting Youth Project, by showing their investment in the project and already securing a donation for backpacks with the local nonprofit, Communities in Schools,” said Candace Boring with the City of Las Vegas Department of Youth Development and Social Innovation. “We are proud to see these young people continue year after year, give back to our community with kindness, commitment and compassion.”
Through the students’ research on homelessness, they learned about the impact it has on social-emotional health. To acknowledge this, the students will personalize each care package with motivational letters and t-shirts designed with inspirational quotes to provide a sense of motivation and strength to struggling youth.
“Valley High School’s J4NG students have always been motivated to help the community through various community service efforts, and supporting the homeless youth in Las Vegas was a project these students felt passionate about,” said Valley High School’s J4NG Specialist Maria Romero. “Though many of the students in the J4NG program come from economically disadvantaged households themselves, they wanted to create a plan to help those less fortunate in any way they could. Through the “YAY” Youth Assisting Youth Project, students are determined to help their community in need.”
In December 2020, J4NG students presented the “YAY” project at JAG National’s Virtual Student Leadership Academy Conference, and out of over 1,400 schools in 38 states, Valley High School placed first in the national competition. 30 students will participate in the project over the course of the next three months and have pledged 100 community service hours, as a class.
Visit www.j4ng.org to donate items or funding for this project.