Friday, July 16, 2010

Go to Bat for ICP!

Innovations in Civic Participation (ICP)* is participating in State Farm's recently announced "Go to Bat" program in partnership with Major League Baseball. With your support, we could win $25,000 to continue valuable work in promoting youth civic participation throughout the world. Click here to vote. (You can find ICP under the Human Services category.)

You can win too! During each week of the competition, a winner will be chosen from among those who have voted. By voting for ICP, participants are not only giving their support to the organization, but also enter themselves in a contest through which they could win two tickets to games three and four of the World Series. In addition, the winner's charity will win $100 for every home run hit during that week.

ICP is a leader in the global movement to promote sustainable development and social change through youth civic engagement. We embrace a positive view of young people that recognizes their potential to create beneficial and lasting social change in their communities through active participation in service opportunities.

With this idea in mind, ICP has created several publications and programs that have been vital resources for young people, governments and NGOs as they build their own youth service and civic engagement. ICP incubated the idea of Summer of Service which was included in the 2009 Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act. It provides middle school students with intensive service projects during the summer, helping them to foster a sense of community in young people who are at incredible and volatile transition period. In addition to supporting this innovative idea, ICP is working with three partner organizations to provide Summer of Service opportunities for 600 students this summer.

Internationally, ICP worked to expand youth civic engagement opportunities in South Asia through an extensive multi-year project. This initiative involved an impact assessment of youth service in the region, a mapping study of policy and program assets and the launch of a new online resource center. To carry out this project, ICP collaborated with organizations in Nepal, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The information that has come as a result of this project will serve as a vital resource for youth service in the region.

These are just a couple of examples of the work that ICP does. Through publications, we compile important information that helps youth service practitioners and partners evaluate and improve their own programs. We work with a variety of institutions, groups, governments and individuals to gather the most comprehensive picture of youth service and civic engagement so that they are able to work more effectively with young people in their communities. ICP also serves as the secretariat of several networks including the State Education Agency K-12 Service-Learning Network, the International Association for National Youth Service and the Talloires Network of university presidents supporting civic engagement on their campuses and in their communities.

ICP serves in a very specialized niche. While the value of volunteer service and civic engagement is acknowledged throughout the world, many countries and organizations don’t have the capacity, resources or information to tailor their programs in order to create lasting change. Young people have the ability to channel their energy to create real, lasting and beneficial impacts on their communities, be they local, national or global. ICP provides valuable resources, collaboration and serves as a financial intermediary for communities across the world to support their ability to engage young people on a large scale.

By voting for ICP, you can help change lives by helping us give young people across the world the tools to shape their futures.


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