SYI Volunteer Day: Students Give Back


Each year, students who work through Summer Youth Initiative (SYI) take a day to give back to their communities. This year, the format is different to comply with state mandates and guidelines to protect students from the COVID-19 pandemic. Rather than host one collective event involving all SYI students, each SYI employer is hosting its own smaller event.

“Each SYI employer has come up with its own service project that really drives home the importance of community involvement,” says James Avery, director of Educations & Training for the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce. “It’s been exciting to see how involved and engaged everyone has been throughout this process.”

At Clio Schools, for instance, SYI workers will be working with younger students through the Clio Schools Summer Recreation Program. The teen employees will help run activities that keep students active, which is outside their normal duties working in maintenance, technology and the administrative office.

“This is a great opportunity for our SYI employees to practice their leadership skills,” says Tim Kumar, principal at Clio Community High School. “And as they work with other volunteers, it also gives them the chance to practice teamwork.”

Other projects completed by SYI employees this summer include:

  • Creating care package and sports kits (International Academy of Flint)
  • Supporting Mott Community College’s EATS Food Pantry (Mott Community College)
  • Cleaning up and beautifying Dewey Park (Sylvester Broome Empowerment Village)
  • Cleaning up the area around the Community Enrichment Center (Communities First, Inc.)
  • Volunteering at Catholic Charities of Flint (Goodwill Industries of Mid-Michigan)
  • Cleaning up the Flint River (Flint River Watershed Coalition)
  • Helping Berston Field House prepare for social distancing measures (The Chosen Few Arts Council)
  • Beautifying the area around the North End Soup Kitchen (North End Soup Kitchen, Mr. Gaines’ Garden Program and Flint Children’s Museum)

For more information on Summer Youth Initiative, visit

TeenQuest and Summer Youth Initiative are made possible through the generous support of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.

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