What distinguishes My Voice from most other approaches to service-learning is our focus on student voice.

My Voice, Need in Deed’s framework for service-learning, is organized around five steps:

Value Your Voice

Students recognize their gifts and talents and then decide on a broad issue for their service-learning project.

Who am I? Who are we as a class? What combination of gifts and talents makes me who I am? What are the strengths of our community? What are some of its challenges? This simple act of engaging students in identifying social issues has power. The conversation itself ignites motivation.

Open the Issue

Students use a variety of resources to explore the causes and effects of their issue and select one they would like to address through service.

When tackling tough issues such as racism, homelessness, violence, or substance abuse, adults can sometimes feel quite powerless. If we feel overwhelmed, imagine how this same experience feels for a child. Asking good questions that get to the heart of a problem gives students a sense of direction in their exploration.

Identify Your Project

Students use a variety of resources to learn more about their chosen cause or effect and determine how they would like to address it through service.

What do we want to accomplish with our project? A good service project is composed of the service the class conducts to address their chosen issue and the learning they will have to do in order to carry out the service effectively.

Conduct Meaningful Service

Students conduct meaningful service that addresses a cause or effect of their issue.

Conducting service builds students’ sense of purpose and capability. It calls on them to act and speak out on behalf of others.

Evaluate and Celebrate

Students evaluate their efforts and celebrate their successes.

Culminating events show students that their efforts have not gone unnoticed, encourage engagement in future service, and bring closure to the project.



These five steps adhere to the national standards of the National Youth Leadership Council

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