Congratulations to the students who organized our overall World Link Top Ten Global Youth Service Day (GYSD) 2023 Projects!
Take a minute to read about our top ten!
Ani Karapetyan – “Help Educate Armenian Students in Need”
Responding to the war in her country in 2020, many university students lost their parents and their ability to pay for their education. Ani, contacted the main University in her country to get a list of students that were in need of assistance and developed a charity concert to help them. She selected 7 students to try and help. She organized her entire school in this project in making shrinky dinks and other jewelry to also be sold at the concert. She had 44 participants at the concert with an audience of 150 people and she raised $1,277 of which will be divided among the 7 selected university students and aid them in paying their university fees for another year.
Erkin Esengeldiev – “Teacher Star Awards”
Erkin wanted to generate a local event that would show appreciation for teachers by having students nominate teachers and then hold an “Oscar Style” event to highlight them. He organized students who nominated teachers for different awards to be presenters. He went to local businesses and secured donations of money and food to have refreshments at the event. Twenty teachers received awards. In addition to this project, Erkin helped with at least three other GYSD projects. He deserves the title of the busiest little GYSDer!
Kleja Verbylaite & Lorena David – “Support Outside the Box”
Both Kleja and Lorena believe in the importance of mental health, especially of those who have served their country. They learned about “Outside the Box” a local non-profit that coordinates peer-to-peer support groups, connects service members and veterans with local mental health resources, and provides grants for mental health treatment or addiction recovery services. Once hearing about this organization, they called the Executive Director to learn about what they needed most. Being a newly founded organization, they learned the non-profit needed monetary donations the most. The two got to work. They helped “Outside the Box” establish a social media presence by creating a Facebook page. They then created a spreadsheet of potential donors consisting of restaurants, veteran-owned companies, and more. During their free time, they made calls, walked to local businesses, and put-up posters. The school counselor also sent out information and donation links to parents. They have raised over $600 and a lot of awareness for this non-profit!
Livanur Ceylan – “Linking Our Hearts for Asude”
Livanur responded to a very special need in her exchange group from Turkey. One of her fellow Turkish exchange students placed in Fresno, California, lost her entire family and home during the recent earthquake in the area. Livanur imagined what it must be like to first be an exchange student in another country, but then to have nothing to return to when the year is over. Connecting with all the places she volunteered at during the year, her school clubs, and friends, she set out to help raise money for Asude to provide something for her to be able to use to reestablish her life. She set out by making Turkish Delight candies and setting up booths, making presentations, and various activities resulting in raising $2,100 for Asude. She is an example of the impact that one person can make when you dedicate yourself to a personal mission.
Milica Savkovic’s – “Make Those Beautiful Souls Bloom Again”
Milica’s GYSD project celebrated International Women’s Day while fundraising to help women in poverty and victims of sex trafficking. For two days, Milica sold donated flowers to raise money for an organization that gives a platform for women living in impoverished countries to sell their own goods, earning themselves a living wage. The organization also donates to “Elevate Academy” a program to help sex trafficking survivors. During her first day of sales, she sold through 200 flowers in just 30 minutes! On top of flowers, Milica also sold rubber bracelets with inspirational quotes. Everyone who donated entered a raffle to win $100 to use on the organization’s website. Through her flower sales, bracelet sales, and an online link, Milica raised more than $1000. Half will go to support the women entrepreneurs while the other half of it will go to the academy, sponsoring one survivor’s access to the program!
Praveen Kumar Arul – “Fundraising Event for People Affected by Recent Earthquakes in Syria”
Roepesh Sohan – “Special Miners Day for Kids with Special Needs”
The main goal of his project is for kids with disabilities to make them feel like they are a part of the community. He saw that students with disabilities that attended his school were not really being treated like other students and sometimes bullied. He felt the need to try and get students and those with disabilities to get to know each other and understand each other better. He organized his friends in clubs to help him write and deliver over 100 personal letters from students to those with disabilities. He then organized a Special Miners Day where students in his school would get together in a mixer with students with disabilities and do painting activities to get to know each other and possibly bond. The project was successful in getting students to become connected with the students with disabilities that attend their school simply by getting them to know each other through some organized activities.
Roza Ashyrbekova & Yasmeen Laith Jamil Tarazi – “Snacks for Safety”
The team of Roza and Yasmeen wanted to raise money for their local host community to help provide benefits to displaced families in need of emergency shelter and accommodation. They decided to make snacks influenced by snacks from their countries. Local service clubs got involved and other student groups helped them to promote their project. They raised a total of $1,574 that was given to the local Salvation Army which will provide funds for displaced families to stay in local hotels.
Tereza Pastorkova – “Connections Across the Generations: High School Supports the Elderly”
Tereza set out to connect her fellow students with the elderly in their community and to motivate them to provide more attention and care to their elderly population. She was able to get about 10 of her friends to make over 250 personalized cards and then organized a day where she and her ten friends went to the Woodland Park Senior Center and spent the day doing activities and sharing the cards with the elderly there. Her goal was not only to brighten the day for the elderly, but to show her friends the value of visiting the elderly and doing things with and for them. She generated so much goodwill with her project that students and teachers all said they learned from her example and will try to carry it on.
Theresia Sanvia Santoso – “Trash Life- From the Trash, Create Better Life”
Theresia wanted to do something to reduce the amount of plastic waste that is going into the environment and at the same time provide some relief for homeless people. So, her idea was to collect trash, take it to a recycling center and cash it in, and then provide that cash to the local soup kitchen that feeds the homeless. The recyclable drive was put together with the help of the Local Lions Club. She got some help from various school clubs to collect and haul the recyclables. She raised $500 for the local soup kitchen all from cashing in recyclable materials that did not end up in the environment. We have a saying “killing two birds with one stone”. Theresia managed to do this with her GYSD project.
Thank you to all World Link students who organized a project for GYSD 2023! More than $19,000 and countless charitable donations were given to those in need this year!