This year the ninth grade participated in the Youth Project Initiative in history class. The project is for young students to research a social issue and find a non-profit organization that they would like to support. It would be a competition between the groups in the grade for a chance at one of three grants that would go towards their organization. On service day, eight of 16 groups would present in front of a panel of judges as well as the entire grade in hopes of winning a grant.
For our YPI project, my group chose to support suicide prevention for our social issue and our organization was The Samaritans of NYC. They’re mission was to help prevent suicide in New York through a hotline that was available 24/7. Through this project our team had to make a website and a presentation to introduce others to our topic and make them more aware of the issue at hand. Over the course of this project we have all worked together to try and use the best of our abilities. Unfortunately, we did not make it to the finals to present our presentation in front of the judges or the grade. However, we did get to see other people present their projects and show off all of their hard work. This service day was truly memorable, because the entire grade participated even if they didn’t get to present, as some people were judges and everyone was given the opportunity to vote.
This project was somewhat challenging as we couldn’t really connect with our group on any deep personal levels. Also, we didn’t have any statistics or special facts or experiences about our organization as everything was anonymous or confidential. That made it difficult to feel a connection to our organization or those who are helped or have come to the organization searching for help. Our group had to have our site visit in the library at school because or organization’s location is private. Another challenging aspect of the project was that these organizations that we’re all working with are very busy, which made it very hard to schedule. Although, this project did help me develop my patience and a better understanding of the outside world and just how big it is. Overall I loved working on this project as it really opened my eyes!