A Word from the CYES Youth Council

The CYES Youth Council is a group former Energy Specialists can join to help improve current conditions in their community and abroad.  The goal of the Youth Council is to complete several projects to help the community and world go green and stay healthy.

The local projects are usually smaller and take less time to complete, but help the group become more active in their own communities. The larger projects are intended to give the Youth Council members a more broad cultural outlook while simultaneously helping impoverished communities overseas. These take much longer to
complete and help teach members about donations, fundraising, and
additional marketing and communications skills.

What makes the Youth Council unique is the independent qualities each member contributes. Here, youth can directly learn how to manage and complete projects effectively. I joined the Youth Council because I wanted to become a more active, selfless volunteer in my community. I also wanted to be able to transfer my experience into the LIFT position (Leader in Field Training) over the summer with the CYES program.

The local project my group is working on is called Save Our Shores which is a beach cleanup and invasive plant removal.  The group is currently gathering donations, recruiting volunteers, and making fliers to set up for the project’s date. I have enjoyed learning about the fundraising process and working on fliers with team members.

Each goal I have committed to has taught me many new things and has shown me how members of the community are willing to contribute to a good cause. Working with my peers to complete this project has had both its ups and downs, but it has taught me how to work with a team.  Our Youth Council has had many difficulties. We started off with about 8 people, which eventually dwindled to 3. Communication was difficult and scheduling meetings with so many people with complex schedules was nearly impossible. Although we lost many people, we were successfully able to keep 3 dedicated members who made a powerful impact. We had great success fund raising at an Earth Day event in Alameda with face painting and a raffle for dinner on the island.

I have grown through this process by becoming more reliable, learning how to take initiative, and effectively communicating with my fellow team members and with business owners in Alameda.  I
can’t wait to see how what I learned applies to the projects my group completes. I also am anxious to help people internationally and learn even more! Youth Council is a great way to learn about how to make a real impact, rather than merely waiting for someone else to do it.

Marcella Miles, Youth Council Member

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