Today, AchieveWE.org celebrates International Youth Day, a day dedicated by the United Nations to youth issues. The United Nations believes that "youth are essential leaders and partners in finding solutions to the issues faced by young people in the world today," which aligns completely with the purpose and mission of AchieveWE.org. Moreover, today marks our third anniversary, and we've been thankful for the international community of youth who continuously engage with our programs and site.
Ever thought about being on the Board of Directors of a non-profit??We are looking for a group of motivated high school students (ages 14-18) to become leaders of AchieveWE.org. Achieve We is an organization that showcases the lives and talents of youth around the world, provides a space for self-expression and community problem solving, and facilitates outreach projects.
In addition to having their own focus, Board members will also:
- Represent Achieve WE in local area
- Participate in bimonthly conference calls consisting of progress updates and brainstorming sessions
- Develop new ideas for website content
- Create graphics and promotional material for Achieve WE
- Help manage social media accounts
- Develop a strategy for publicizing the organization
- Connect with individuals and organizations nationally and internationally to participate in Achieve WE programs
- Develop meaningful programs for the organization to offer
APPLY BY AUGUST 17TH
Thank you to Smile of a Child, a Greek Charity, for partnering with Achieve WE to feature your "YouSmilers." You can read the interview here, and read more about The Smile of a Child Below.
YouSmile is the European Student Voluntary Network of the Greek NGO “The Smile of the Child”. “The Smile of the Child” started from a 10 years old boy, Andreas Giannopoulos in 1995. Back then, the first volunteers were children who wanted to help other children. YouSmile is an innovative interactive initiative that has been established in 2012 for the promotion of creativity, communication and participation among youth. Children, teenagers and youth, volunteers of “The Smile of the Child” lead the activity.
· YouSmile is open to participation of youth from different nationalities, religions, ages or financial statuses.
· All the children and teenagers are equal and cooperate with each other under the values of respect and acceptance.
· Children and teenagers act against Bullying, Racism and Violence.
· Through its initiatives the children work on the awareness of other children and society itself on the subjects of equality, acceptance and freedom.
· Our purpose is that every child or young person is aware of his/her rights.
At the same time, YouSmile supports the other Departments of “The Smile of the Child” in the effort to eliminate child or family poverty and educate as many children as possible. Moreover one of the primary goals of YouSmile is to promote the three help lines that “The Smile of the Child” operates, i.e. the National Helpline for Children SOS 1056, the European Hotline for Missing Children 116 000 and the European Helpline for Children and Adolescents 116 111, to as many children and young people as possible and to encourage them to call the help lines and speak with no fear about issues that concern them.Finally, YouSmilers, as we call the members of YouSmile, visit children that are in hospitals after being removed from their families upon a prosecutor’s order due to abuse or neglect and keep them company, give them presents and play with them. They also assist voluntarily the Support Centers of the Organization with the distribution of essentials to families with children with welfare problems.
The mission of YouSmile is to encourage, support and bring together the volunteering actions and initiatives of children and youth at the European and International level. The main vision of YouSmile is a world where the voice of children/youth will be heard and taken into consideration by adults, while their creativity will be utilized in order to ensure their rights and capabilities as active members of society. YouSmile aims to embrace and promote the volunteering initiatives of students and young people from different countries and cultures. Long before youth participation became a priority issue for policymakers, YouSmile has been providing the opportunities and the necessary tools to children and youth in order for them to express themselves, learn more about their rights, enhance their skills, interact and bring a change in local societies.
This past weekend, Achieve WE visited Beacon Place in Waukegan, IL. Beacon Place is a fantastic community center in an underserved neighborhood of Northern Illinois that empowers families and kids and helps them with nutrition and education. At Beacon Place, Achieve WE talked to kids about their communities and their family identity. We then asked them to draw pictures of what makes them and their family special. Check it out at Visual Arts and read more about Beacon Place at beacon-place.org!
Achieve WE partnered with SOS Children's villages Illinois, a foster care organization, to donate uplifting winter-themed poetry and art to brighten the days of the children that the organization works with. The poetry and art were submitted by youth all around the Midwest. Thank you to all who helped make this a success, and we hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season!
Message from SOS Illinois:
Thank you to global change leader Harry P. for contributing to Achieve WE. Harry is a British-Zimbabwean who has advocated for youth rights since the age of 15. You can learn more about Harry on the Life Experiences page.
This Old Book in Grayslake, IL partnered with Achieve WE in announcing the winners of the 2018 AuthorFest Youth Creating Writing Contest. The winners and their short stories are posted on both the Contest Winners page and the Creative Writing page. Congratulations to the winners!
Thank you to the Chicago Tribune for mentioning AchieveWE.org in their article about AuthorFest! Read it here.
Recently, many youth from different parts of Greece told Achieve WE about their daily lives. Keep your eye out on the Life Experiences page to read their schools, cities, aspirations, and hobbies!
Thank you to Mara for being part of Achieve WE! Mara is a 19 year old college student from Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. In the Poetry Section, you can read her incredible poem, What If Poets Are Mediums? She is an extremely talented poet whose eloquence and abilities are far beyond her years. Youth like Mara show that one does not have to be an adult to impact others with compelling poetry and writing.
Thank you to Gabrielle Rejane Lynn for being a part of Achieve WE! In the Performing Arts section, you can hear her beautiful voice perform a cover of Imagine, as well as Sayonara from How to Eat Like A Child. Her cover of Imagine was her first recording in a studio--an incredible feat for such a young girl of (almost) eight! Gabrielle Rejane Lynn is from San Antonio, Texas where in addition to already being a well-rounded singer, she is an actress, model, singer, and dancer. She epitomizes Achieve WE's value and belief that youth accomplish amazing things! Like Gabrielle Rejane Lynn on Facebook and subscribe to her YouTube channel to hear more!