9/11 Semester of Service


YSA’s core program strategies include large mobilization campaigns (Global Youth Service Day, Semester of Service), YSA Grants programs that distribute $1 million+ each year to 1,000+ youth-led service projects, and resources and trainings.


YSA has mobilized youth to serve on 9/11 each year since 2002. In 2002, YSA supported the United Day of Service with Champions of Hope, which included an event on the National Mall, and engaged youth across the country in launching year-round service projects. YSA has also worked closely with MyGoodDeed since 2002 to promote 9/11 Day of Service and engage youth in service. In 2008, YSA was designated by MyGoodDeed as a National Program Partner and has helped lead 9/11 Day efforts each year.


For the 2011 9/11 Day of Service, YSA’s activities align with our three core program strategies of mobilization campaigns, grants, and resources.




YSA has promoted the 2011 9/11 Day of Service through its communications to the public and our partner network, including affiliates of 150 National Partner organizations and 100 local and statewide Lead Agency organizations across the country. YSA has also promoted 9/11 Day of Service as an opportunity to launch a fall Semester of Service that would go through MLK Day of Service, providing a framework for educators to use 9/11 as a launching point for their fall service-learning programs.




YSA’s Youth Council managed a grant program to support 9/11 projects. YSA received 86 applications for the program and is able to fund 15 projects – a mix of $500 grants for 9/11 Day projects and $1,000 for Semester of Service projects that begin on 9/11 and will go through the fall semester.




YSA has also updated our signature 9/11 service-learning resource. First published in 2009 as “8 for 9/11” and updated in 2010 to be “9 for 9/11”, we are currently updating the resource to be “10 for 9/11.” The resource includes 10 themes or lessons about 9/11, each with related service project ideas. This resource is available for free at www.YSA.org/resources. An excerpt of this resource is also included in our Semester of Service Strategy Guide. 20,000 copies of this resource have been printed in the last 12 months. 


Out of 86 applicants, YSA has selected 15 grantees, including:


• Turner Elementary School –Albany, GA


• Camp Fire USA Patuxent Area Council – Bowie, MD


• Coe College – Cedar Rapids, IA


• Bonner Center for Civic and Community Engagement – Ewing, NJ


• UNC Pembroke, Office for Community and Civic Engagement – Pembroke, NC


• Virginia Conflict Resolution Center – Norfolk, VA


• UB Honors College – Buffalo, NY


• Mary Baldwin College – Staunton, VA


• Silver City Teen Center – Taunton, MA


• DOROT –New York, NY


• Mineola High School Student Service Center – Garden City Park, NY


• Missouri Southern State University –Joplin, MO


• Voluntary Action Center; Volunteer Macon, Inc. – Macon, GA


• University of Southern Indiana – Evansville, IN


• Duluth Area Family YMCA – Duluth. MN


Each of these grantees is engaging other partners in their community, so many other organizations will be engaged through these projects. Although 71 applicants did not receive a grant we expect that many will still implement their projects using other YSA resources.


We also expect many of YSA’s partners to participate, including many of our 100 GYSD Lead Agency grantees – local or statewide organizations that coordinate GYSD and other service programs year-round.


The grantees listed above have proposed to engage a total of 3,000 youth volunteers on 9/11. We will also work with our partner network and the 71 other grant applicants to track volunteer numbers.  We expect at least 7,000 youth volunteers to be engaged through these programs and reported to YSA for a total of at least 10,000 youth volunteers.


Each of our grantees and partners are provided with our service project planning toolkit, which includes tools for tracking volunteers. Grantees are required to submit a post-project evaluation through YSA’s online Cybergrants system.  Non-grantee partners are encouraged (but cannot be required) to submit a post-project impact report via webform on YSA’s website.


In addition to collecting the number of volunteers engaged, our evaluation also collects other information, including the diversity of the youth volunteers, the impact of the project on youth outcomes, on community outcomes, and public awareness raised. YSA has contracted with RMC Research to design our evaluations.


Each grantee was required to plan a project based on one of the “9 for 9/11” resource. This resource was designed to communicate the “lessons” of 9/11 to youth who have little or no first-hand memory of 9/11.  Each lesson commemorates 9/11 by defining what we learned about our society and ourselves after 9/11 and has project ideas that address one of YSA’s priority issue areas (health, education, environment, human service, and human rights) which align closely with CNCS’s priority issue areas. To deepen the community impact, partners and grantees are encouraged to continue their projects as part of a fall Semester of Service that begins on 9/11 and goes through MLK Day of Service.


YSA widely promotes 9/11 Day of Service through our field communications (including our website and the weekly National Service Briefing e-newsletter with 40,000 subscribers), our media and social media communication channels (including YSA’s Facebook and Twitter pages), and through regular messages to our partner network.


In future years, YSA will continue to promote 9/11 Day of Service as a national day of service (along with MLK Day of Service and Global Youth Service Day) and will continue to build school and afterschool participation in a fall Semester of Service that uses 9/11 Day of Service as a launching point. If additional funding is received, YSA plans to continue to run a grants program – managed by our Youth Council – to support projects for 9/11. We will also continue to update the “10 for 9/11” each year and develop a new Semester of Service resource (3-4 page tipsheet) for each of the 10 lessons, aligned with the service-learning process.