Team Detroit Long-Term Project at Teen HYPE

By Kamran Salari on July 9, 2014 in Uncategorized

When Team Detroit began preparing for our long-term project, we established a primary goal of creating a positive change in the city of Detroit that would last beyond our term of service. It was for this reason that we decided to commit our service to an established organization that would continue to serve the community for years to come. Our hope was that we would provide resources for this organization that they would otherwise not have, and that we would develop a framework for these resources to remain in place after our term of service was complete. Specifically, we served at Teen HYPE, a youth empowerment agency that is involved in HIV testing and care, as well as other youth services. They have an after school program where kids can study and receive help with homework. They also hold many youth-run events and fundraisers, including an annual theater play.

Team Photo 1

While serving at Teen HYPE, we collaborated with staff at the agency to design a project that would help them in an area of need. We planned to establish a framework for volunteer administration and to extend the volunteer pool that Teen HYPE currently had on call for events. In order to accomplish these goals, we wrote volunteer policies, procedures, and job descriptions for specific volunteer tasks that were needed. While Teen HYPE had a website with a volunteer form, many of the completed forms were being overlooked and so we established a staff member at the organization to contact these potential volunteers. We made contact with several organizations and companies in Detroit and established partnerships with Teen HYPE. Several of these organizations agreed to be placed in Tees volunteer pool. We also formed volunteer partnerships with multiple school fraternities at Wayne State University, which we hope will continue with each incoming class. In addition to establishing a volunteer department at Teen HYPE, we also helped out at events and volunteered consistently in their after school program in order to provide short-term help as the volunteer pool was in the process of forming. We volunteered as tutors and mentors for the kids in order to assist the staff.

Spirit of Detroit

The fruits of our commitment became evident as the year progressed and we began to see the new volunteer administration in action. For example, Teen HYPE hosted a few lunch presentations for parents about talking to their children about teen issues and was in need of many volunteers beyond what Team Detroit itself could provide. Therefore, we were able to successfully call on the new volunteer pool that we recruited and were able to gather a large group from Chrysler to help out at the events. Moments like these confirmed that we made a difference for Teen HYPE and helped extend their reach to help the Detroit youth communities. While volunteering in the after school programs we were able to see the progress of many of the students as the year progressed. Because we were seeing the same students each week, we were able to track their progress and reinforce concepts that we knew they were having trouble with. As we finish our term of service in AmeriCorps, we know that this volunteer pool that we created at Teen HYPE will be available for them to call on for many years.

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