Town of Colonie youth spend a beautiful Saturday in service to their community
On Saturday, April 16, more than 100 young people from the Town of Colonie took advantage of the sunny spring day to get outside and give back to their community as part of Global Youth Service Day.
Founded by Youth Service America, Global Youth Service Day is the largest service event in the world and is focused on gathering young people together to conduct community service outreach, foster service learning and organize ”youth voice” activities to benefit their communities.
“It was a spectacular event,” said Laura Archambault of the Town of Colonie’s Youth Division. Participants in the event ranged from 8-year-old members of a local Brownie troop to young adults in their early 20s with a youth job corps program; volunteers came out from Girls Inc. and Christian Brothers Academy. Clara Seo, a junior in Shaker High School’s student government, coordinated her school’s involvement this month for the second consecutive year and participated for the third. “As part of Shaker Student Government, we are given an opportunity to lead a project. In desire to lead a project that would be much more service based, I came across a senior (I was a freshmen at the time) who was leading Global Youth Service Day. I teamed up with her to follow her footsteps for the rest of my time as a Shaker StuGov member.”
“We had a really good variety this year,” said Archambault, who began organizing the annual event back in February. “I send out a flier and then I reach out to all the schools and ask them to make an announcement. I give them site locations and a brochure and then they get to pick where they want to volunteer. They can come individually, but we also encourage groups: boy scouts, girl scouts, government clubs.” This year, volunteers competed projects at Beltrone Senior Living Center, Mohawk Hudson Humane Society, Pruyn House, Regional Food Bank and Sheehy Manor Senior Citizens Center.
“What a great day we had,” said Pruyn House Curator Diane Morgan. “We were thrilled with the turnout of young people who came to help us. We look forward to having the grounds ready for all the events that we have and to have that big day of clean up, with all of those people helping, was just spectacular for us. It’s a 5.5-acre site here, and keeping it ready for all of the events that we now have scheduled is a big help. We’re very grateful to all of those groups for giving us a hand.”
“Community service means a lot to me,” said Seo. “Personally, I think much of it comes from the selflessness to give to the community for all it does for us – whether we see it, feel it, know it, or not. Because of GYSD, I think it gives rise to many good future Samaritans – people who take that extra step to make the difference in the world they live in.”
“Global Youth Service Day,” she continued, “gives a chance for Shaker students to get out into the community and help out the community they live in. After three hours of sweat and laughter, Shaker students are able to feel pride and joy in the feat, no matter how small it may be, they have accomplished. It gives us a chance to leave school grounds and interact with the people, the nature, and history—like the Pryun House—of our Town of Colonie community.”