September 2010 was when 15-year old Deby Nouanlasy registered as a youth volunteer with the Volunteer Connection. She soon became a member of the Youth Advisory Council, playing a major part in developing and implementing two community service projects with the Council. “Put a Halt to Hunger” initiated a project to combat childhood hunger by distributing healthy snack packets through local agencies. Deby helped organize a youth-led food drive that yielded over 400 items and increased awareness of the growing number of individuals in Salina who continually go hungry. The second project, “Teen Dating and Domestic Violence Awareness” involved development of a program on recognizing and preventing abuse for presentation at local school and other venues, as well as a collection of items to create welcome packets that included care and comfort items for children who accompany their mothers seeking shelter from abuse at DVACK. Volunteer Connection Executive Director Nancy Klostermeyer says Deby demonstrated great leadership qualities, along with teamwork and project planning skills. “She took the initiative to involve members of Salina South’s Drama Club with updating the ‘Teen Dating and Domestic Violence Awareness’ video.” From her experiences Deby has developed skills in budgeting, grant writing, public speaking, and time management.
By December 31, 2015, engagement of youth in volunteerism will increase as indicated by the number of youth ages 11-19 registered with and reporting service hours which address community needs.