On Friday, April 15, 2011, a group of youth from the Gerald R. Ford Job Corps Center in Grand Rapids participated in Global Youth Service Day by clearing debris from a future construction site at The Cottages at MapleCreek.
Supervised by MapleCreek maintenance staff, the 11 young men and women from the Law Enforcement track at the Job Corps removed sticks and stones from the property. Their team chaperone, Mr. Stasiak, was a full-time police officer for close to 20 years, and now is a part-time officer for the Lowell Police Dept. and teaches at the Job Corp.
“We try to instill in them the principles of discipline and teamwork that they’ve not had in their lives before,” Mr. Stasiak said. “Some are more motivated than others. We have a sign on the wall that says, ‘I can’t means I won’t.’ We try to stimulate an attitude of willingness to try and do things.”
MapleCreek was just one of 10 work sites on April 15. For Global Youth Service Day, the Gerald R. Ford Job Corps Center sent out more than 130 students to participate in community improvement projects for seven local organizations and three churches.
At Gerald R. Ford Job Corps, residential students ages 16 through 24 receive the skills education needed to succeed in today’s workforce, at no cost to them or their families. Fields of study include Business Technology, Carpentry, Culinary Arts, Facilities Maintenance, Health Occupations, and Security. Graduates of these programs can then participate in advanced career training opportunities. It generally begins with an attitude shift and a willingness to work together, and maybe throw some sticks and rocks into piles on a windy spring day.
Global Youth Service Day is an annual campaign that celebrates and mobilizes the millions of children and youth who improve their communities each day of the year through service and service-learning. Established in 1988, Global Youth Service Day is the largest service event in the world, and the only day of service dedicated to children and youth. GYSD is celebrated each year in over 100 countries. Each year on Global Youth Service Day, millions of children and youth around the world work together with schools, youth organizations, nonprofits, community and faith-based organizations, volunteer and national service programs, government agencies, faith communities, and other individuals to address the world’s most critical issues and change their communities.