Teen Outreach Program Experience Culminates with Leadership Opportunity


A team of dedicated students, including Teen Outreach Program® veteran and Patrick Henry High School senior Anthony Patrick (left), are bringing Roanoke’s Global Youth Service Day 2018 to life.

Supported by Family Service of Roanoke Valley youth development specialists, the youth-led planning team is hard at work planning activities for the 30th Anniversary ofGlobal Youth Service Day (GYSD).

This year, Carilion Children’s and Family Service of Roanoke Valley, which plans the local GYSD events each year, have partnered to host the third annual Carilion Children’s Family 1 Miler in conjunction with the Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon on Saturday, April 21 in Elmwood Park.

Global Youth Service Day (GYSD) is the largest service event in the world and the only one to celebrate the contributions children and youth make 365 days of the year!

An important part of this year’s team is a youth volunteer who has been volunteering for GYSD and contributing to our community since he was in the 6th grade. For him, GYSD 2018 is a culmination of efforts he’s made to be involved in his community, connections he’s made through Teen Outreach Program® (TOP), and skills he’s developed through the years.

18-year-old Anthony began volunteering through his participation in the Teen Outreach Program® with Family Service at the 21st Century Neighborhood Learning Center at James Madison Middle School.

While there, he first volunteered for GYSD with his TOP® group by assisting with a blood drive. Since that first year, he has participated in TOP® in his neighborhood, at Boys and Girls Clubs, at New Horizons Health Care and now as a member of the Leadership Team planning Global Youth Service Day.

He has volunteered all over Roanoke and his GYSD projects have included participating in a Kindness Walk, making friendship bracelets for children residing at a shelter, and creating art projects for an after school center. He said his favorite activity was serving food with a friend at one of the GYSD celebrations (right).

Anthony said he loves being around fun people and making a difference in the community. “If I take initiative, I can make things happen!” Anthony said.

When he first began in TOP®, he was shy. Now he likes meeting new people and trying new experiences. He has also been active in ROTC at Patrick Henry High and has been employed since the 9th grade. He toured the campuses of Virginia Tech and Radford with TOP®, and now would like to go to Virginia Western Community College and then obtain his teaching degree. Anthony received a class ring for his leadership in TOP® (left). 

Anthony is a busy guy who sees the value in giving back to his city. He said volunteering takes time and dedication, but “you get out more than you give.”

He recalled his experiences with the Teen Outreach Program® in a paper he recently submitted in school. “They were helpful when it comes to setting your priorities, for instance, getting a job or saving,” he wrote about the program staff.

He talks about all the fun times he has had with Global Youth Service Day and all the help he has provided our community as being very important to his growth and development as a young man.

When he talks about the adults who have cared about him and mentored him through his years with TOP® and GYSD, it’s easy to see what is memorable to him are the relationships he has built and the friendships he has made.

Anthony continues to support the younger leaders in TOP® by attending weekly planning meetings at Family Service and offering his experience. If you would like to support Anthony and teens like him across our region as they engage in service learning, leadership and positive life skills, complete this form and get involved in Global Youth Service Day 2018.

We look forward to seeing you on April 21 at Global Youth Service Day and the Carilion Children’s Family 1-Miler with Family Service!!