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Youth Volunteer Corps Builds Leadership

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Young people have the potential to make a real, meaningful difference in their community.

That’s what Kansas City native David Battey believed in 1987 when he founded Youth Volunteer Corps with the mission of creating volunteer opportunities to address community needs and to inspire youth for a lifetime commitment to service. “It was a risk,” said Battey, president and founder of Youth Volunteer Corps. “Few people thought that we’d be able to convince teenagers to volunteer over the summer instead of working a job. But we took the chance.”

It was the right call.

Now, 30 years later, YVC has grown from a summer program in Kansas City into a national volunteer service organization with more than 30 affiliates across North America. It’s also grown into a respected, well-known program through which young people ages 11 to 18 participate in team-based service learning opportunities. YVC has helped more than 300,000 young people take ownership of problems in their communities by developing deeper connections to their neighbors and a greater understanding of the world.

YVC volunteers have delivered meals to those who are hungry; they have played with kids who were lonely and have lent their strength to people who simply needed an extra hand. They’ve given nearly 5 million hours of service and have been honored by mayors, governors, and even presidents.

“I’m in awe of everything these youths have accomplished,” Battey said. “But I’m even more amazed when I think of all they will accomplish in the years to come.”

As Youth Volunteer Corps celebrates its 30th year, Battey encourages people to look for inspiration from the young people in their lives. Their energy and passion can be infectious, and with a little guidance, they have the power within them to change the world. ■

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Written by: Kellen Jenkins

Join the Youth Volunteer Corps Celebration!
What: Celebrate youth volunteers as Youth Volunteer Corps marks 30 years of service. When: Saturday, October 28, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Where: InterContinental Kansas City at The Plaza, 401 Ward Pkwy, Kansas City, MO
For Tickets: Call 816-472-9822 or email questions to