Understanding the Active Citizen Framework – Part 2

UNMDGThis week, we will continue with our discussion of the Active Citizen Framework – your step-by-step guide to the process that helps Jaycees create and execute projects and development opportunities that empower young professionals and benefit their communities. By offering a specific framework, providing examples on how to best utilize the information, and ensuring sustainable local impacts, we challenge you to use the Active Citizen Framework to change the world.

Last month we addressed Step 1 – Needs Analysis. In case you missed it, you can read that post here.

Step 2 – Formulate Sustainable Solutions

Following the development of a comprehensive needs analysis, thought should be given to creating ideas that promote sustained engagement that drives a community towards prosperity. The Active Citizen Framework identifies three stages of integration for effective development. Below is a listing by JCI of the different stages and a brief description of each.

Health and Wellness – Whether it’s hunger and poverty or childhood obesity, all communities face challenges in health and wellness. By ensuring that people are living happy, healthy lives, projects can lay the foundation for prosperity, success and future development. Here is a resource for you to review: HealthyPeople.gov

Education & Economic Empowerment – Everyone deserves a fair chance at realizing their dreams, but unfortunately, many don’t get it. Providing continuous educational opportunities and equitable economic conditions gives individuals the chance to lead productive careers with a high quality of life and opens the door to future development. Here is an interesting resource from the United Nations.

Sustainability – There’s only one planet we call home and we must preserve it for future generations while also developing communities to support an ever-growing population. Both environmental and economic sustainability are essential to building stable, productive, prosperous cities and towns, and neither one can come without the other. Here is a resource for you with articles on sustainability all over the globe! Sustainable City Collective

With modules designed to work either independently, or as a set, the JCI Active Citizens Framework is your guide to ensuring successful, long-term projects, providing an immediate positive impact to the community.

Next month is Step 3 – Taking Action with Partners. Feel free to post a project update on JCI’s Facebook and Twitter pages. We’d really like to know how your efforts are succeeding.

Happy Valentines Day

valsWith a great big hug, we offer our best wishes for a Happy Valentine’s Day! Traditionally, Valentine’s Day is believed to celebrate one or more Christian Saints named Valentinus who gave their lives to perform marriages deemed illegal by the Roman Empire in the late 400s. Celebrated by the West on February 14th, the day evolved in the 1700s to include the exchange of expressions of love and affection between individuals, and since the 1800s, has grown to include the expectation of a greeting card…minimum.

As Jaycees, we believe that Valentine’s Day is not only an excellent opportunity to show your love to those close to you, but also a chance to demonstrate your feelings for the well-being of your community by sponsoring or getting involved in a project. Your local chapter is a great place to share, learn, and work with others to develop ideas into clearly defined goals that promote positive leadership and change within your community (such as the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals). Take a look at JCI’s gallery of recent Jaycee projects for some creative ideas and helpful tips on choosing and implementing the right venture for your group.

Michigan State President Jay Johnson commented on the value of getting involved with projects directed towards addressing local needs, “Community projects are an incredibly positive framework for promoting the values and mission of the Jaycees. Our members become more active and visible as leaders within their localities, and the community benefits with solutions to some of their real-life problems. Not only does it demonstrate that the Jaycees care, but it also encourages others to develop their own projects and get involved.”

Together with JCI USA,we are ready to provide you with the support and training to succeed with your next project. We’d love to hear about it first. Share your thoughts with the online community on our National Facebook and Twitter pages, or contact us locally to get started.

This Valentine’s Day take some time to think about not only the individual you love, but also your community and how it could benefit from some TLC. We’re excited to see your new ideas!

What Jaycees and Olympians Have in Common

Once again it is time to celebrate the spirit of international competition and goodwill during the XXII Olympic Winter Games currently being held in Sochi, Russia. Athletes from almost 100 nations will compete in 98 events lasting nearly three weeks, from February 6th through the 23rd. Beyond the anticipation of being the most expensive Olympics ever, there is historical significance, as the Sochi Olympics will be the first held in the former Soviet Union since its breakup in 1991.

Sochi

From our organization’s beginnings, we have been strong supporters of the US Olympic program at the local and national levels, through projects such as raising money to help pay for training and related expenses, to individual Jaycees representing our country in competition.

As you watch these great competitors over the next couple of weeks, take a minute to think about the similarities that Olympic athletes have in common with the Jaycees. The Olympic motto is “Faster, Higher, Stronger,” and it’s a message that applies to life, in addition to a sporting event. To succeed, you must always work towards improvement – or in the words of the JCI slogan, “Be Better.”

The same spirit, dedication, and positive contribution that is inherent in these world-class competitors is also shown in the projects that our members design and implement, the trainings that help Jaycees become more professionally valuable, and the community service that assists the less fortunate among us. You can take a look at JCI’s Facebook and Twitter pages for some great examples.

As you cheer on athletes from around the world, use their efforts as the motivation to become active in your community. Check out how you can get involved with your local chapter, or see what the JCI USA is promoting. While you may not bring home a gold medal from donating your time to a needy cause, or volunteering to educate other Jaycees on a special skill, the rewards you feel and benefits to your community are even more medal-worthy.