Article written by Luna Stephens, Sunrise Project's Youth Journalist Intern
The Summer of Service kickoff party Jun. 1 brought excited youth, both enthusiastic returners and newbies to the program.
Spanning the summer, the program allows youth ages 12 to 18 to get involved in a way that interests them, through signing up for week long projects that include everything from gardening to advocacy work.
Over 50 youth are signed up this year, which is also the first year Sunrise Project will lead the former United Way program.
“I’m really excited for the gardens,” Chloe Board said. “I garden a lot, I garden at home and I just think that’d be really fun.”
Like Chloe, many youth want something fun to do over the summer that’s more rewarding than going to the pool or watching Netflix.
Cian O’Lear is a first time participant and will also be doing the school gardens week.
“I’m excited for this, definitely,” said Cian. “just getting out into the garden and working”
Another newbie, Avery Carroll, will be doing the advocacy project and “figured I should probably do something this summer”.
Another great thing about Summer of Service is that it gets youth volunteering in places other than organizations they are involved in or know. Spending a week at a site like the Ballard Center or a week spending time with organizations like habitat for humanity and family promise can teach them a lot about something they may have not been familiar with beforehand.
“I think it’s just a fun thing to do in the summer”, Board said. “Meet new people and do some work.”