Global Youth Service Day (GYSD) is an excellent opportunity for young people to learn that they have the power to positively influence the lives of others in their communities. Created by Youth Service America (YSA) in 2000, the annual GYSD engages with young people in more than 135 countries. According to YSA's website, it is "the largest service event in the world and the only one dedicated to the contributions that children and youth make 365 days of the year." Young people, ages 5-25, all around the world, are invited to participate in this event.
The three main goals of Global Youth Service Day are:
- To celebrate the service contributions that young people make
- To inspire kids and young adults to get involved in service and civic engagement
- To create an experience that is meaningful for both volunteers and the communities with which they engage
This year, GYSD will be celebrated from April 15 - April 17, 2016. There are many ways that young people can get involved with the event. They can search for service projects and organizations on YSA's website. To make things easier, YSA includes a variety of advanced search options. For instance, website users can search for ways to take action in their communities by cause, by audience or by program. Young people can also participate in service training (login required) and apply for grants to create their own service projects through the YSA website.
Henry David Thoreau once wrote, "Goodness is the only investment that never fails." Encouraging kids to participate in GYSD is like investing in the global social good. Young people who learn about making the world a better place will likely become socially responsible adults. In the world of business, these adults are more likely to participate in corporate social responsibility efforts. Global Youth Service Day, like every child, every adult, and every business, has the power to change the world for the better.