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Youth Can Earn $500 Educational Award this Summer!

Middle School Youth Can Earn $500 Educational Awards This Summer

HandsOn Manatee (aka ManaTEENs) is partnering with Innovations in Civic Participation (ICP) in Washington, DC to host an environmentally focused volunteer initiative called Summer of Service (SOS) during summer break 2010. The program aims to provide young people with the opportunity to become active members in the community and to promote environmental stewardship along the Sun Coast.

Youth volunteers are invited to participate in a variety of environmental service learning projects starting June 10th and continuing through August 21st. Projects will be hosted on weekdays, weekends, and evenings to accommodate the busy schedules of local youth and their families. The Learn and Serve America Program is offering an educational award as an added incentive for incoming 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th grade students to participate in SOS activities. The first 180 eligible youth entering these grades who complete 100 hours of service approved by HandsOn Manatee and engage in the orientations, training, and surveys offered by ManaTEENs during Summer of Service will earn a $500 educational award for college or vocational study upon graduation from high school.

Registration for participation in SOS will begin May 10th at www.manateens.org.

Ashley Bower, Hands On AmeriCorps member, will lead this exciting, new initiative. “The environment plays a major role in our lives and we are dependent upon it in many ways. We each need to do our part to give back to the Earth,” she remarked. “I hope the SOS program will challenge young people to become leaders in the community and that it brings people together to raise awareness about the value of environmental responsibility. Together we can combat the issues affecting our own community,” she added.

Youth from Manatee, Sarasota, Hardee and DeSoto Counties are encouraged to register by downloading the form at www.manateens.org, visiting the ManaTEEN office at 5131 Manatee Avenue West, Bradenton, or picking up forms at area middle schools beginning this week. Area organizations hosting summer programs for middle school students that are interested in integrating Summer of Service into their schedules are encouraged to contact Ashley at (941) 761-3207 or email: summerofservice@live.com.

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