A Youth Volunteer Corps of Reading service project developed to support youth mental health was named the 2022 Project of the Year across the international Youth Volunteer Corps (YVC) network.
YVC has more than 30 affiliates throughout the U.S. and Canada, with over 4,000 projects taking place each year, and only one receives this top honor. The Project of the Year was awarded at the YVC Leadership Summit in Kansas City, MO., on Oct. 8.
The project was developed by YVC students who are part of the Youth Advisory Board of Berks County Community Foundation and Youth Volunteer Corps of Reading.
The group of 35 Berks County youth worked with the nonprofit Prevent Suicide PA on redesigning a tool called Anchor Cards to help students struggling with mental health issues.
The deck of 52 cards depicts ideas and experiences that can be used to keep one firmly planted, or anchored, to the present. The cards also provide opportunities for grounding, a practice that can help to calm anxiety.
“What we as youth really need is not only reassurance that we have support, but also space to focus and improve ourselves with the help tools like this.” said Sindura Sridhar, sophomore at Wilson High School and member of the Youth Advisory Board who helped to create this project. “My favorite part about the Anchor Cards is the idea that it allows you privacy, while also making you feel as if you’re not alone. I’m thankful to YVC for recognizing and supporting this idea.”
“The creation of Anchor Cards was one of the most meaningful processes I have ever been a part of. Our youth worked tirelessly to craft the deck as a way to help their peers struggling with mental health.” said Lindsay Sites, program director for Youth Volunteer Corps of Reading. “We feel a tremendous amount of gratitude for the award and cannot wait to get these into the hands of others.”
Anchor Cards will be introduced to select schools through a pilot mental health program being launched in early 2023. For more information contact email@example.com.