Operation REACH Launches Youth Change Network

Jan 22, 2010, 13:13 ET from Operation REACH, Inc.

New Orleans-based organization builds a national movement for youth leadership

NEW ORLEANS, Jan. 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- National nonprofit organization Operation REACH, Inc. (ORI) is launching the Youth Change Network (YCN), an innovative initiative designed to build a progressive network of youth-serving organizations that are promoting community-focused youth leadership across the South. Sponsored by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Foundation for the Mid South, and the Corporation for National and Community Service, the YCN is intended to create institutional change within the southern region by building the capacity of small to mid-size youth-serving organizations that are cultivating in youth the ideals of activism and service.

The Youth Change Network is a part of Operation REACH's Gulfsouth Youth Action Corps, a program that harnesses a national network of college-age AmeriCorps volunteers to engage, empower, and inspire youth through service-learning opportunities. Since 2006, Operation REACH has engaged more than 12,000 youth, empowered more than 150 AmeriCorps members in service, and provided more than $500,000 in awards and grants to support community-focused youth leadership across the South. Through the YCN, Operation REACH is building on this success to lead a paradigm shift from "youth-serving" to youth-led and youth-driven service delivery models, increase philanthropic investment in youth leadership and youth-inspired social innovation, and build resilient communities where youth can live, learn, lead, thrive, and grow.

Operation REACH is inviting progressive youth-serving organizations across the South to join the YCN and become affiliated with this national movement for youth-led and youth-driven leadership. Members of the Youth Change Network will gain support in elevating, cultivating, and celebrating youth leadership in the nonprofit sector. Membership benefits include networking opportunities, national exposure and marketing, capacity-building support, and advice on developing innovative work with youth across the southern region.

To apply to join the Youth Change Network, youth-serving organizations should contact Cynthia Okechukwu at (504) 529-1922 ext. 106 or via e-mail at cokechukwu@operationreach.org. Membership is free and open to youth-serving and youth-driven organizations across the South.

Operation REACH is a national organization that engages, empowers, and inspires children, youth and families through innovative community-based learning opportunities. ORI is also one of the only Louisiana-born AmeriCorps organization to receive funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service for national expansion.

SOURCE Operation REACH, Inc.