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Youth As Resources: The Power Within

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Using comments from youth, adult program leaders and board members, and service recipients, this videotape describes a program in three Indiana communities in which youth initiate and conduct community service projects with the assistance of small grants to cover materials and other costs.
Begun in 1987, the Youth As Resources program aims to transform both the youth and the community. Working with adults, the youth design projects, seek funds from a board consisting of youth and adults, and work with adults to complete the project. Projects depicted in the videotape include the roofing of the house of a low-income woman, the production of a play that explores adolescent pregnancy and emphasizes that youth have choices, the production of a drug-prevention puppet show for elementary school students, the construction of a 1-mile fitness course and trail for children with special needs, and the repair of a deteriorating playground in a low-income neighborhood. After a project ends, the youth sometimes continue with the participating agency or business as volunteers or employees. Youth, adult leaders, and service recipients agree that the program has had positive benefits for everyone concerned.