Youth Service America (YSA) and The Walt Disney Company, including Disney|ABC Television Group, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media, and Walt Disney Studios, are working together this summer to inspire kids and families to make a positive impact in their communities through the Disney Summer of Service campaign. Youth can use fun summer activities — like sports, arts, reading, and being outdoors — to join Disney in a movement to make the world healthier, greener, and stronger. Kids who volunteer — with their friends or family, or on their own — can apply for a $500 Disney Be Inspired Summer of Service grant to create a project or expand an existing project throughout the rest of the year.
Youth, ages 5-18, in the U.S. can visit YSA.org/BeInspired to tell their volunteer story, get inspiration and planning resources, and apply for a Disney Be Inspired Summer of Service grant. 250 youth-led service projects will be selected to receive a $500 grant that will be awarded to each sponsoring organization in support of that project. Applications will be accepted through September 30, 2017, and select grantees may have a chance to be recognized by Disney|ABC Television Group or their local ABC affiliate.
Additionally, Disney is providing 26 organizations with grants to create or expand volunteer opportunities for youth during the summer months.
“Children and youth possess unique perspectives, creativity, energy, and idealism,” said Steven A. Culbertson, President and CEO of YSA. “The Disney Summer of Service campaign harnesses these strengths and invests in young people as they change the world, one project at a time.”
Examples of 2016 grant-awarded projects include:
- Splish Splash, led by a 13-year-old in Clayton, Missouri, engages experienced youth swimmers to teach swimming to and form friendships with kids with autism.
- Hack Night, created by a 17-year-old in New York, is an initiative to introduce middle and high school students in underprivileged communities to the computer science industry through panels, workshops, and demos of software development projects.
- Peace, Love, and Chess, organized by a 12-year-old in Sturgis, South Dakota, aims to build a supportive learning community based on love of chess, composed of students who might not normally know each other or socialize together.
- Make Good Decisions Soccer Game, an effort of a 16-year-old and his teammates from Carmel, Indiana, uses soccer to raise awareness about the dangers of underage drinking.
“The Disney Summer of Service campaign exemplifies our company’s long-term commitment to strengthening communities, through volunteer service. We hope that this effort will inspire young people to help others and create a brighter tomorrow,” said Kevin Callahan, Vice President, Corporate Citizenship of The Walt Disney Company.