Can you sing, dance, or act? Then you can serve! Usher’s New Look has encouraged youth to answer President Obama’s call for service and change. At Camp New Look 2009, young people explored different ways to address issues in their community using their particular talents. It is based on the “Issue Action Power” model; an exclusive song, by the same name, was presented to the audience at the camp’s annual closing event.
When young people learn to use their talents to address issues and take action they also recognize they have the power to improve their communities through service. Instead of making excuses or simply acknowledging the need for change, youth take ownership and develop creative ways to address their communities’ most pressing issues. Adding these creative elements helps make service relevant and accessible to ALL young people.
Usher’s New Look is supporting creative youth-led service through its partnership with the United Nations Foundation and the Nothing But Nets campaign, raising awareness and funding for 40,000 bed nets for refugee camps in Ethiopia. Small grants of $500-1000 are available to fund youth-led service projects for long-term impact. All projects must build on lessons learned about issue, action and power as well as incorporate a creative element that builds on their skills and talents.
A group of campers in New York City are already hard at work developing a script for a musical that will educate audiences about the effect of malaria on families in Africa, and raise money for more nets.
Usher’s New Look has also received a grant from Learn and Serve America to expand this opportunity to those that have ideas but were not able to attend Camp New Look, or want to tackle another issue in their community. Those aged 12-20, will be able to apply in any of New Look’s outreach cities: Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York, Detroit, Milwaukee, New Orleans and Biloxi. The grants will be available as of September 24, 2009.