High-schoolers today know that learning doesn't just happen in classrooms. It happens during weekend volunteer projects, through community-based outreach projects and in working across borders and disciplines to make the world a better place.
For 15 years, the Student Service Leadership Workshop, an effort of the Mayerson Foundation High School Service-Learning Program, has pooled creative minds with passionate ideas to encourage more diverse and service-based learning opportunities inside the classroom and out.
This fall, in partnership with the University of Cincinnati Center for Community Engagement and Peace Village, the foundation is pulling 500 high-school students and teachers together to share ideas and inspire each other with their best practices and high hopes.
"Many schools have required service hours to graduate from high school, but these conversations allow students to go deeper, ignite a flame, and take ownership of what community issues students address at school," says Clare Blankemeyer, program director of the Mayerson High School Service-Learning Program.
She notes that nearly 50 local high schools, both public and private, are sending representatives to this year's conference, held at the University of Cincinnati.
One of the iniatives highlighted is Charitable Innovations,
a Cincinnati-based, student-run, nonprofit. After a fundraiser is held for a charity, CI invests the capital into short-term micro-credit loans instead of transferring proceeds raised directly to the charity.
These small loans are made through Kiva, a non-profit organization and funds directly support impoverished entrepreneurs around the world who are trying to start ventures to lift their families or villages out of poverty. Funds are guaranteed of 100 percent return on investment in eight months, essentially allowed the fundraisers to do good—twice.
• Learn more about the Mayerson Foundation's service learning iniatives in high schools by contacting Clare Blankenmeyer
• Check out Charitable Innovations
• Learn about UC's Center for Service Learning and Civic Engagement
, which supports ongoing efforts to connect work in classrooms with work in the community.
By Elissa Yancey
Follow Elissa on Twitter.