JARC Teen Action Council
JARC Teen Action Council

JARC CEO Shaindle Braunstein says what makes the grant unique is that it directly helps teens help others.

The JARC Teen Action Council was awarded a $4,000 grant from the Stephen H. Schulman Millennium Fund for Jewish Youth. 

The funding will cover the second term of the Teen Action Council program from September 2021 through June 2022 and will be used for the program’s educational component.

“What we’re able to do with the grant is formalize the leadership education component,” said Shaindle Braunstein, JARC CEO. “Bringing in training around leadership development and working with persons with developmental disabilities and bringing in speakers around advocacy work — all with the goal to grow this into something that helps the youth take these skills into their future as adults.” 

Braunstein says what makes the grant unique is that it directly helps the teens help others. 

“This spreads our message and mission, introduces our local youth to JARC and creates ambassadors in the community who can go out and say, ‘this is what inclusion means, this is what it means to be a person with a disability, and this is how I can be an ally and advocate,’” Braunstein said. “To have the opportunity to provide vibrant programming for youth is something we’re really excited about.”

Through JARC’s Teen Action Council, local high schoolers can learn through service. The council allows teens to connect with peers, engage with the people JARC serves, learn important leadership and relationship skills, and learn about developmental disabilities and the importance of inclusion in the community. 

Students active in the council agree to a one-year term with an option for a second year. Members are asked to attend seven out of 10 monthly hourlong meetings, which to date have been virtual. Members are asked to plan one large group project together (this term, group made Chanukah Care Packages for persons served in JARC’s Independent Living Services program).

They are also responsible for creating a virtual activity for JARC persons served, which has included tote bag decorating, virtual game night and an outdoor scavenger hunt. All Metro Detroit youth are encouraged to apply. 

“I always want to tell people that with JARC, we have room at our table for everyone, and we want the entire community involved in our mission,” Braunstein said. 

“This is a wonderful opportunity for teens. If you’re someone who wants to be involved with JARC, we want you here, and there’s always a place for you.” 

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