Everybody can be great because everybody can serve.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Young Heroes beautifying the Culmer Metrorail Station for Make a Difference Day 2010
Young Heroes is a community service and leadership development program for 6th to 8th graders. Approximately 100 middle school students from around Miami-Dade County volunteer their Saturdays to make a difference in their community. From November to May, students meet two to three Saturdays per month to learn about social issues affecting their community and to complete a service project related to the issue of the day.
The mission of Young Heroes is to motivate diverse middle school youth to become powerful leaders and role models throughout Miami Dade County. By uniting community service and civic engagement curriculum, we strive to inspire idealism through cooperation, compassion, courage, and commitment.
HISTORY OF YOUNG HEROES
The Young Heroes program began in 1994 in response to an 8th grader's question, "Why can't I be in City Year?" Soon after, City Year Boston corps members developed a "mini City Year" experience for middle school students to perform transformative service to their community and develop civic leadership skills. The program also provided a safe and constructive out-of-school outlet for youth, as well as positive role models to mentor the Young Heroes. Since then, the Young Heroes program has been implemented in several City Year sites across the U.S., including Miami. More than 10,000 middle school students have served 18 different communities nationwide as Young Heroes since its founding year!
YOUNG HEROES STATISTICS
For the 2009-2010 program year,
- 175 middle school students in Miami applied to be Young Heroes;
- 129 were confirmed, including
- 55 eighth graders,
- 39 seventh graders, and
- 35 sixth graders;
79 students graduated in May with at least 100 hours of service;
- 21 schools around Miami were represented;
- 10 Young Heroes returned for another year of service; and
10,782 hours of community service were performed!
YOUNG HEROES PLEDGE
To serve as a Young Hero to the best of my ability;
To be cooperative, compassionate, courageous, and commited;
To demonstrate the values and beliefs of the program;
To hold myself and others accountable for our actions;
To respect others and celebrate diversity;
To provide great service;
To set a good example;
To lead with an open heart and an open mind;
To do my best to make a difference,
And help to build a stronger community for all of us.
I am a Young Hero -
I will make a difference!