Youth Action NetworkAdvisor
The Youth Action Network (YAN) is a youth organization which seeks to educate the student body and local community on local, national, and international issues. Our members work to raise the level of empathy among our student body and community. YAN is sponsored by the Tyrone Area School District and is made up of students determined to make a difference in their world.
Youth Action Network History and Activities
YAN was formed in the fall of 2009 to work collaboratively with many organizations and individuals from around the world. We joined together with a county-wide effort to form like clubs at all of the county schools. We are the only remaining organization today. Our first efforts were directed toward the genocide in Darfur. Our students have had the opportunity to listen to the following speakers: John Bul Dao, one of the “lost boys of the Sudan;” Invisible Children, an organization formed to help the youth of central African and to fight Joseph Kony’s army; Carl Wilkins, the only American to remain behind through the Rwandan genocide; OmeKongo Dibinga, an educator and rapper who tries to bring greater awareness to global humanitarian issues; and Dr. Lee Ann DeReus and Peter Frantz on the Panzi Hospital in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
We have spent most of our efforts on supporting the Panzi Hospital in the DRC. Dr. De Reus and Peter Frantz have been our keys connections with the Hospital. The director of the Panzi Hospital, Dr. Denis Mukwege, who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and has been honored with ten different international awards for his work for women’s rights in central Africa. YAN has raised approximately $10,000 for the Panzi Hospital, supporting the mothers and children served by Dr. Mukwege and his staff.
In the fall of 2014 YAN sponsored its first Golden Eagle Halloween event. The students of YAN, along with 100 other volunteers and adults, welcomed the families of the Tyrone area elementary aged students into the high school to participate in a safe, educational and fun evening of activities. Approximately 800 visitors attended that evening’s event. A donation is accepted at the door. The Halloween event is now an annual community event. That same year we began a 4-D movie event for that same audience where they are shown a popular movie with high school actors and lots of giveaways. We have averaged about 200 for this event.
Each year we culminate our work with a field trip for our members. We have gone to the Pittsburgh Folk Festival event “Around the World in a Day,” to Washington, D.C. to tour the Holocaust Museum, Smithsonian museums, and significant national memorials. We are anticipating a trip to Philadelphia in 2018.
Over the past year YAN has also been working with students of an Inuit village in Northern Canada and in the coming year we hope to begin working with Navajo students of New Mexico. We are hoping that we will be able to extend our efforts to students of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
YAN averages about 50 student members and is run by a group of student elected officers. We believe their efforts have had an impact on their world, both near and far. To date YAN has raised approximately $10,000 for the Panzi hospital, another $1,100 for the Tyrone Area Food Bank, and we believe we have increased the level of student empathy and community involvement in issues of local and international matters of social concern.
- Golden Eagle Halloween, 4th Tuesday of October
- YAN Fundraiser, November/December, helps offset cost of field trip
- Pennies For Panzi Campaign, February
- 4-D Movie Night, March/April
- Annual field trip, March/April