Jóvenes en Acción is a 4-week summer exchange program to the U.S. for Mexican high school students focusing on civic education, community service, and leadership. Participants from the 2017 program have been busy working on their team project activities. Here’s what they’ve been up to:
School dropout rates are a key issue for Construyendo tu Futuro (La Magdalena, Sonora). The team is working on ways to keep their 10th grade peers engaged and enrolled in school. In addition to conducting two activities monthly, they organized a 3K, Color Run that drew 250 participants to the citywide event. Entry fees from the event will be used to give scholarships to low-income students at their school.
Team Reconstruyendo Nuestro Entorno (Pachuca, Hidalgo) offered a range of workshops on up-cycling and environmental challenges in schools. The interactive workshops are designed to teach students age of 13 to 18-years-old about recycling basics and environmental destruction. They’re off to a great start: from October to December they worked with more than 370 students.
Promoting team-building across third-year students, Let’s Be Friends (San Nicolás, Nuevo León) invited peers to participate in Noche de Gala. Students were grouped into random teams and challenged with creating 5–7 minute films about assigned themes related to bullying. Thirteen short films were shown at a formal, Oscar-style event in late November. A total of 171 people attended the event, including U.S. Consulate mentors John Houston and Denisse García, and U.S. Embassy Cultural Affairs Specialist Carlos Ramos.
Sembrando Vida (Salina Cruz, Oaxaca) is raising awareness about their community’s coastal mangrove swamps. In November, the group held an information session about the environmental importance of these tropical trees and recruited volunteers for upcoming activities. Later that month, 50 volunteers age 15–50-years-old joined together to clean a section of the mangrove swamp to promote conservation of the local ecosystem.
· Promoting financial literacy, Money won’t Create Success (Culiacán, Sinaloa) gave 30-minute presentations to teachers, parents, and students in 18 classes that included a survey of current spending habits and a financial goal-setting activity. In addition, they set up voluntary savings clubs in every class and almost all students have signed up to participate. Through these presentations and clubs, they have reached over 700 individuals.
· Piensa Verde (Xochitepec, Morelos) took part in earthquake recovery efforts. When schools reopened in November, they resumed activities in their target elementary school, conducting weekly workshops for 20 students on bean germination and recycling. They also taught these 6 and 7-year-olds vocabulary related to environmental issues and separately organized a community clean-up of the Real del Puente canyon.
As the result of an information session, 53 students signed up to participate in a series of entrepreneurship workshops organized by team En Prendiendo Hoy (Veracruz, Veracurz). Participants will work together to develop innovative ideas, which will be showcased at a public expo planned for early 2018.