Thank you for your generous support of our youth volunteers. The newly minted Hands On Tokyo Youth Impact project for college and high school students is continuing to grow within our organization.
The goal of the Youth Impact project has always been to empower students to become change agents in Tokyo. Staff and board members` aspiration is to give youth the resources and support they need in order to achieve their visions. Whether that be leading an English lesson for vulnerable children or working on promoting our organization to fellow students, we invite college and high schoolers to challenge themselves and create solutions and goals on their own.
Hands On Tokyo is, simply put, the bouncing board for students to realize their own potential. We have been fortunate that our youth volunteers have taken full advantage of our faith in them and pursued multiple trajectories. The primary three primary goals we, staff and youth volunteers, have decided upon are as follows:
- Becoming leaders at projects and creating project plans
- Occupying leadership positions within the peer group
- Promoting the youth impact project and reaching out to potential partner schools.
Throughout the summer season, our high school students have taken time to attend a variety of community projects. They have primarily focused on giving English lessons to special needs and vulnerable children. Projects with special needs children or those who have been abused or neglected can be very tedious. We must always consider potential tantrums and be careful not to trigger any painful memories or feelings of the children. The high schools students have treated the children with a gentleness and patience beyond their years. I think of the time a high school student was able to simultaneously soothe and guide an Autistic child through an English lesson. I remember the joy on the child`s face when she felt as though she had mastered the material.
I think of the ingenuity of our high school interns in June who created a special robotics English lesson. Despite any feelings of self-doubt and hiccups along the way, they remained engaged with the students. They were able to teach them the basic make-up of a solar panel car. I think of one of our new high school member sitting with an elementary school who was, at first, too shy to produce a full English sentence. After two hours though, she could confidently say, ` the dog is brown and black` and create full sentences. These are just a few stories out of many. Hands On Tokyo staff are looking forward to continuing to witness this maturity and awareness in our youth volunteers.
Finally our students have thought of a variety of ways to promote the Youth Impact program and reach as many new potential partners and sponsors.
It is essential that the Youth Impact Program grow at an appropriate speed. In order to maintain our membership and connect with new ones, college and high school students have divvied up responsibilities amongst themselves. For example, one of our college students created an Instagram account to help us to promote; please follow us at youthimpact_handsontokyo to catch a glimpse of what we do. Another university student is creating a new logo for the youth impact program.
Our high school students have also voted for their own leadership: a president, vice president, and two secretaries. They will help guide our high school students this year, and also act as a communicators between the Hands On Tokyo office and students. From September and onward, they are organizing times where we can give presentations at their schools, and hopefully, create new membership.
We are also planning a student led mixer on October 28th. This four hour event will not only promote our organization and causes, but also establish a mentoring program. College students will groom high school students to take on leadership roles at community projects. The college students will also help high students plan their future.
There are so many ventures Hands On Tokyo is excited to pursue this fall. It has not been easy communicating across 10 schools, but everyone has risen to the challenge and solidified their commitment to us and each other. Thank you for your past investment in our youth volunteers. These improvements would not have been possible without you.
At this crucial time of growth, we would like to encourage you to consider a donation. Be a part of helping students create positive change in Tokyo.
Hands On Tokyo is more than hopeful for the amelioration of the Youth Impact program. We are confident that the youth impact project will nurture deeper ties with individuals in need and fellow students in the Tokyo area. Being a bystander and waiting for things to happen is not a part of our youth volunteers` mentality; they are actively finding ways to improve themselves and this Youth Impact program. We hope we can continue to prove ourselves worthy of your investment and faith in us.