Becky Jarvis, a 16 year-old high school junior from Minneapolis, believes that youth have the power to change and impact the world around them through community service. She consistently demonstrates this power through the numerous community service ventures that she supports.
Becky does much of her service through youth councils and organizations. She has been a member of the Minnesota Youth Advisory Council (MYAC) since September 1996. This council advises politicians on issues affecting youth, such as student rights and responsibilities, and creating internship awareness and involvement for youth. Becky has been a member of the Minnesota Alliance with Youth since spring 1997, and is currently a co-chair of the organization, acting as a youth representative who provides the state with youth perspective and action. She has coordinated numerous projects for them, attending meetings twice weekly and working from her home. She has also been a part of the Youth Involvement Group of the Twin Cities Promise for Youth since September 1997. This organization was formed as a response to the President's Summit on America's Future, and provides Becky with the means to help students initiate their own service projects throughout Minneapolis.
Becky's volunteer efforts also reach beyond youth advocacy. She participates in food drives, helps out at soup kitchens, visits hospitalized children and has sandbagged during floods with her Synagogue youth group, of which she was the Programming/Social Action Vice President from May 1996 to September 1997 and has been the Membership Vice President since August 1997. She is the Coordinator of Volunteer Projects for her high school, St. Paul Academy. In this position, she volunteers for organizations like the American Red Cross, the Special Olympics, Habitat for Humanity, and Headstart.
Because of her commitment to service, Becky Jarvis was selected by the National Youth Leadership Council (NYLC) to be one of four young people to attend the President's Summit for America's Future in April 1997. During the Summit, Becky was responsible for making daily news reports on NYLC's Summit Action Youth website. In addition, Becky and the NYLC news team were able to initiate a "youth declaration" which was presented at the end of the Summit. This declaration pointed out to the adults in attendance that "this summit must be by youth, not just for youth, empowering youth to recognize the issues we are all facing…this movement can only work if we unite, youth and adults together."
The National Youth Leaders Council (NYLC) is a national non-profit located in the Twin Cities, dedicated to engaging youth in communities and schools through innovation in learning, service, leadership, and public policy, and providing technical assistance in service-learning (learning through service) to schools and community-based organizations. From October 1996 to September 1997, she was a part of their Youth Project Team, where she spent many hours coordinating service projects and providing youth voice and youth action. She was also a delegate at the National Conference on Service Learning in Orlando, Florida, for the Council, where she helped teachers learn how to better reach their students, talked with political leaders about educational policy and encouraged students to lead volunteer projects. Because of her past efforts for the Council, Becky is currently on the NYLC Board of Directors.