“I learned that I can have a positive impact on the world.” – Noah, 7th grader

This is one meaningful reflection from a participant in our Youth Volunteer Corps (YVC) recently. 

The YVC focuses on promoting a lifetime commitment to service, as well as developing critical job skills for future employment by offering volunteer service projects for youth ages 11 to 18. The latest set of middle schoolers recently finished a six week course at the Metropolitan Learning Center (MLC).

The class of six 7th and 8th grade boys spent that time exploring ways to be mindful in their communities as they approach service-learning. The students looked at different organizations in Portland and their impact, while taking part in their own projects through activities such as trash clean up around the neighborhood.

Ethan, an 8th grader in the group, shared how this went further than a simple classroom lesson. “I learned to care for the community.”

While Jack, a 7th grader, told us that the class helped him to notice his surroundings more. Helping to create such direct connections between the students and their community is one reason that Drake Carahan enjoys serving as the YVC Coordintor. “It was an honor to get to know these six young men and we look forward to teaching future elective courses at the Metropolitan Learning Center!”

Through the course of their time at MLC, the middle schoolers also built an amazing installation of homes. These houses reflect how their personal foundations, strengths and privileges affect their communities and how in the future each of us can have the opportunity to make a positive influence on those around us.


Stay tuned for more YVC updates including upcoming projects happening at Fir Ridge High School.