The Power of Community: Our Takeaways from the YVC Summit

“Our participation in the YVC Summit reinforced our appreciation of the power of a strong community to make a positive difference in member’s lives and communities.“ – Ryan & Thomas Growney SG’24 Last month, we had the incredible opportunity to attend and present the Youth Volunteer Corps (YVC) Summit in Tulsa, Oklahoma, an annual event […]

Panel Discussion Catalysing Change Week

“We believe in the untapped potential of young people and youth service.”-Ryan & Thomas Growney SG’24 We recently had the pleasure of participating in a panel discussion on youth service as part of the Catalysing Change Week 2023 organized by Catalyst 2030. We were joined by some incredible minds in the field of service and […]

A New Language of Purpose

A new vocabulary to describe the future you. Seventeen-year-old Jordan leaned back in his chair. He began by describing a neighborhood as if he were picturing the actual one: the apartment he shared with his roommates, the local restaurants and coffee shops, the weekends out, and sunny vacations with his future friends. He will work […]

Thirty New Attributes to Describe the Future You

What if we only have achievement-based goals like top grades, scores, or colleges? Where we only measure our marketable skills, better-paying careers, a beautiful house, and ski trips on school breaks?  Lifestyle goals often feel more like a video game, accumulating badges and scores, constantly measuring our winnings relative to others. Even community service has traditionally […]

We Are Systems Change Leaders

Please take 17 minutes and listen to this Ted Talk by Daniela Papi Thornton titled “Reclaiming Social Entrepreneurship”. This talk changed how we see our role as social innovators and how we approach social challenges in our community. We recommend watching her talk before reading the rest of this blog post. Don’t worry, we’ll wait. […]

How Do You Spark a Youth Service Participation Revolution?

The Path from Witness to Participant. We all know that working together with others for the common good is a powerful means of unlocking connectedness, health, academic success, transferable skills, social capital, and more — all while having a meaningful positive impact on our lives and communities. Yet, as the University of Maryland School of […]

Introducing Service Academy: A New Service Project

A photo of Ryan and Thomas Growney side by side

How can we start a New Service participation revolution? Hi – we’re Ryan and Thomas Growney. We’re twin sixteen-year-old brothers who are juniors in high school at St. George’s School in Middletown, Rhode Island. And we want to change the world! We believe in the untapped potential of young people and youth service. That’s why we created […]

What is “New Service,” Anyway?

Students sit around a table talking

How can we make youth service opportunities exciting? Service Academy is a social innovation project dedicated to reimagining youth service and developing young entrepreneurs and leaders to make a meaningful impact in their communities. As we discussed this project, we kept returning to one term: New Service. For us, New Service means a new way […]