A chalk picture of the world in a heart next to text that reads "you are loved". Project completed by Chicago students as part of Earth Day service.

Global Youth Service Day

In celebration of Global Youth Service Day, buildOn students across the U.S. found unique ways to come together and serve their communities. Below is a recap of some of the projects that took place.

The Bronx

In the Bronx, buildOn students from Mott Hall and The Bronx School for Law, Government, and Justice came together to clean up and beautify Henry Hudson Park. The students also painted some positive canvases to display to help encourage healthy environments. 

(This service project was extra special for all of those involved because it was the first time since the pandemic that students in the Bronx have been able to come together for in-person service!)


In Oakland, buildOn students came together virtually to make dog toys out of repurposed clothes that would be donated to a local animal shelter. The project was planned and facilitated by students and also included a discussion on environmental challenges in their community and change in the future.


In Chicago, buildOn students – after preparing and investigating the issue – received a spring service kit that helped them complete three environmental service challenges: Neighborhood Cleanup (students were provided with gloves and trash bags to go around their community to clean up trash and debris), Chalk for Change (students were given sidewalk chalk to create art and spread positive messages about recycling and the environment), and Plant Hope (students received planter soil and flower seeds to create seed bombs that could be thrown into vacant lots to grow flowers or plant seeds in a decorated pot that could be given to someone they care about. 

Boston and Bridgeport

In Boston and Bridgeport, buildOn students were joined by Jasmine from Sustainable Westchester – a Bridgeport Community Partner – to learn about environmental injustice. Jasmine helped students plant their own indoor gardens using recycled materials. As a group, they also discussed how to promote healthy eating, cleaner air, and sustainable techniques!

Thank you to all the student leaders who volunteered to make these projects a success, and a special thank you to the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and Youth Service America (YSA) for sponsoring these events through generous donations.