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2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit

California Association Of Student Councils

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Education, Educational Services, Student Services, Youth Development Programs

Mission: The mission of the California Association of Student Councils is to provide leadership development for elementary, middle and high school students that emphasizes authenticity, ethic, and collaborated decision-making through peer counseling.  Our primary focus is the training of students, advisors, and organizations in California and across the world.  CASC enhances the quality of education by involving students in activities and programs outside the classroom that builds citizenship and encourage self-esteem.  CASC serves as an advocate for youth, provides a channel for student views, and empowers youths to take action.

Programs: CASC programs are completely student run and staffed and invovle mostly peer to peer trainings in small groups. Major skills learned at CASC programs are meeting skills, conflict management, project planning, and team building. Along with trainings, CASC holds conferneces in Sacramento where small groups of students tackle an issue in California public education. At the end of the conference, they present a formal proposal for action to the State Board of Education or the Senate Education Committee. Full information on conferences can be seen here: htttp://www.casc.net/programs

Community Stories

46 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

The California Association of Student Councils (CASC) easily changed my life. When I was in high school I was a little lost and unsure about myself and future, and then was directed towards a CASC Conference, which helped me find my voice and my direction. I am now 30 years old and work in mental health, helping empower others, and I truly believe that this is a result of my involvement with CASC.

Gina54

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The California Association of Student Councils is easily the best decision of my high school career. Never have I ever felt so empowered and confident in myself and the personal development I have experienced over the last four years from CASC is truly amazing.

I started CASC as a shy freshman when I attended UC Berkeley 2011 Summer Camp. CASC was such a welcoming, friendly environment and despite only four days, I became such great friends with people in a short period of time. Not an avid speaker, CASC presented me many opportunities to step outside of my comfort zone and grow externally and internally. After summer camp, I took it upon myself to take on as many CASC opportunities as I could, and throughout the past 4 years, CASC really pushed me to become a better person and leader.

CASC gave me a voice and the knowledge and skill set of a life time. I cannot thank CASC enough for the support and lessons it has taught me as well as the amazing people who I have become close friends with. CASC is definitely one of the most life-changing experiences ever. Without this organization, I really don't know where I would be because CASC has truly made me who I am.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

CASC made me the person I am today. UCSB Summer Camp started my CASC journey -- I was inspired by high-school-age counselors and staff, directly changing lives. I couldn't imagine myself being so confident and impactful. But I went to SDP and trained and learned for three long days, and then I found myself counseling my own group of 8 high school students. I found myself and I found confidence in myself and my leadership abilities. I am a leader. And I made my mark on hundreds of lives. I didn't have to be loud or outgoing or grownup to "be the change I wanted to see in the world." I can't thank CASC enough for making me a leader.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am one of those kids that wants to make a change in this world. Before I became a part of CASC, I had no idea how to go about making this change. After going to one of their programs and being a part of the State Council, I finally discovered what I want to do and how to go about making a difference. They opened my eyes to tons of opportunities and showed me that the best time to start something is now. I can't thank them enough for the tools they've given me that will help me become the leader I want to be and for how much they inspired me. I hope they can keep working on helping kids like me for many years to come!

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

CASC has opened so many doors for me as an individual. It has granted me the opportunity to become a real part of my community. It is an incredible organization that has changed my life for the better in a short amount of time. It gives youth the chance to take their ambition and run with it in a way that will impact lives forever. CASC's mission is to better the future, and if I know anything for sure it is that it has bettered mine.

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

CASC is an organization that has changed my life. I have been fortunate enough to attend the Santa Barbara Summer Leadership Conference, SABE, SABLE, and YASC. Through experiencing the full extent of CASC, I now am a better leader, because I am now equipped with the life skills I need (i.e. running a meeting, public speaking, conflict-resolution) to pursue a leadership position in any field I feel passionate about. Not only am I more capable– I am more confident thanks to CASC as well. SABE and SABLE gave me the opportunity to analyze and understand– and even make changes to–my own education. YASC equipped me with the inspiration and skills necessary to start or work with other non-profits. Now that I am a board member, I can say that CASC on all levels, whether you be a delegate, a counsellor, a cabinet member, a state council member, or a board member, changes lives and continues to develop skilled and ethical leaders from all walks of life.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had my first CASC experience last year when I joined the Los Angeles county region cabinet, and since then CASC has transformed my life. This organization really empowers students to try to step up to make a difference in their community. At my first major conference, SABLE, the Student Advisory Board on Legislation in Education, I presented a bill proposal before the California Assembly Education Committee. This was a marvelous experience for me. To date, I'm still trying to make the bill proposal a reality, using the experiences CASC gave me. Currently, I am the Region 9 President and a student member on the Board of Directors. Honestly, I just want to get as involved as possible with this wonderful organization and help grow it to its greatest potential. I've seen lives drastically changed by this organization and I want to make sure every student in California has an opportunity to have their lives changed.

Review from Guidestar

Jasmine Y.

Board Member

Rating: 5

While CASC came into my life later than I would have liked, I completely embody what CASC has to teach and give. While the California Association of Student Councils does a wonderful job reaching out to students across the world, it especially affected my community. Because of CASC, our region board has been able to accomplish so many things and has been able to give back to our community.

Without being involved CASC, I'm not quite sure where my passion would lie. CASC has not only changed my life, but over the way I think and the way I treat affect others. And I am totally okay with it. It has helped me become not only a better, open minded person, but a more effective leader and student.

The second I began to work with CASC, I fell in love with it. The atmosphere, the kind, welcoming people, and the shared passion to truly do something great was so alluring I could not help but keep coming back.

I am confident that CASC will continue to improve me as a person and cannot wait to impact others the way CASC has impacted me. CASC is truly a wonderful organization that I hope will continue to help kids in the future have a voice and truly Change The Future.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The California Association of Student Councils is a life-changing experience that all elementary school, middle school, and high school students should take part in. CASC is not just any leadership organization. What sets CASC apart are the results and success of its programs. Without attending my first CASC conference, I would not be the leader that I am today. CASC has given me the confidence, passion, and set of skills that make me believe that as one individual in the entire world I can make a huge impact. With the set of skills that CASC has given me, I feel ready to take on any challenge, and I can only hope to give back to this amazing organization as much as it has given to me.

2 Simon Z.

Board Member

Rating: 5

CASC embodies the essence of leadership. Why? Because as an organization that is centered around student leadership and student advocacy, CASC successfully strives to develop all types of students from diversified backgrounds and cultures in order to produce excellence in students. Each year, CASC provides a bigger platform for students to express their concerns in both leadership and education on the regional and state level. The organization never fails to inspire the youth to produce phenomenal change.

To me personally, CASC has facilitated my development as a high school student throughout the past three years. By attending multiple in-year conferences, I have thoroughly gained the skills necessary to become an inspirational leader in both my school and community. CASC gave me the confidence to open up to other members in my community and work to inspire change.

CASC's motto is "Change the Future." But it does more than that. It changes people's lives.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

this organization teaches students lifelong skills that can be used in the profession and personal life - from running an effective meeting, building teams to conflict resolution and communication. They have programs for elementary to college level - from participating to train the trainer. I have volunteered on many levels from conferences, summer camp counselor, speaker and board member.

Previous Stories
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Former Volunteer

Rating: 5

California Association of Student Councils is a unique student led non profit organization that provides leadership experience and skills to our future leaders. I had the opportunity to be involved with them from high school - through college and into my working career. www.casc.net

Grace20

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have written a review down below, but I can not stress how great and life changing this organization has been for me. CASC gave me a second home and to a high schooler, it is very special. CASC has been changing students' lives and more than that, it gives students a voice and a purpose. CASC has restored hope for many, and it continues to give more and more. CASC will always be my special place, and an organization that has given me hope for success.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

This organization is by far the best non profit. I may be biased because of my involvement, but CASC is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I am still a part of CASC and I just came back home from YASC. I first went to the UCSB summer camp in 2011. It was the summer before my sophomore year, and I wish I knew about it sooner. CASC means so much to me. It gave me the capacity to love different people and to think about both sides of the story. The idea of being a leader is not only to serve people, but to empathize for another, and take my values and someone else's value to find a common ground. To lead people does not mean to boss them around, but to go hand in hand with someone else to serve a bigger purpose. This is what I learned through CASC. The people in CASC just amazes me and makes me want to go back right after I leave an event. I feel like I am at home when I am around the lovely CASC students and staff. I admire Doc so much and the students on state council am region cabinets. I definitely recommend the non profit to every student in California. CASC is amazing and everyone should be able to experience what I have experienced through CASC because it is life changing.

Walter Y.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Being in CASC has given me so much, from the life-long friendships to leadership skills and increase in confidence. Before CASC. I didn't know where i was heading and I didn't know much about myself, personally. CASC forced me to step outside my comfort zone and face challenges that I never would have faced alone. It has taught me that team work and trust are essential to any successful organization. The skills that i have learned and gained from CASC will be beneficial to the rest of my life.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I recently attended the Student Advisory Board on Education and it was truly life-changing. The people I met were intelligent, motivated, and passionate about education reform. I had never before gone to such a conference where us high school students were able to make a difference, and even advise adults, and being able to participate in this conference made me feel extremely accomplished. It was a one of a kind experience working with youth from all over California to draft proposals for the State Board of Education, and it is an experience that I will never forget.

1

Client Served

Rating: 1

Would not recommend. Organization is mismanaged, outdated in its practices, and grossly over-priced.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

CASC has helped me develop as a student, citizen, and leader. In my position on CASC's State Council, I have gained experience that I know has taught me skills that I will apply for the rest of my life. The people that this organization has given me the chance to get to know are phenomenal.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In the spring of 2009 I found out about a nonprofit organization that hosted local leadership conferences throughout the school year and I heard about one coming up called the California Association of Student Council's Summer Camp. I seemed interested at first because of my friend's comments about his attendance the year before. So I signed up for a scholarship in order to attend the conference and I got it. After going through Summer Camp at UC Santa Barbara through Track 1, I found out that I had the potential to do more than just get good grades, so I decided to join the Region Cabinet. After joining this organization I learned to come out of my shell by stepping outside of my comfort zone and helping others realize the potential they have. Today I continue to stay involved within the organization by attending this past Summer Conference(Track 2), the Staff Development Program, and soon in November by attending the Student Advisory Board on Education which is one of the only opportunities where students get the opportunities to present proposals to the State Board of Education. Last but not least I would like to thank all of those who participate in this organization for keeping the statewide movement going by empowering youth to take action. - JMH

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When I attended my first CASC conference in the summer of 2007, I was an incredibly shy, insecure freshman in high school who thought she had literally no place in the world. At the end of my four days at UCSB Summer Camp, I was a changed person. I knew that, as a leader, I had a purpose, and I had finally found that purpose. Through CASC, I have found myself, I have learned to believe in myself, and I have been able to shape myself around one of CASC's core values: the power of the youth to change the world. Because of CASC, I have been inspired to change my community, and to fight for student rights, and representation in our education systems. CASC provides pathways for students who want to have a voice, who want to hone their leadership skills to be the best they can be, who want to make lifelong friendships. After four years of being involved in this incredibly organization, I am a completely different person than I was on the first day of Summer Camp in 2007. I can honestly say CASC has changed my life for the better.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It's hard to put into words what CASC means to me. It has changed my life. I went into the organization as a timid and extremely insecure person and left much less timid and far more confident. It allowed me to see that I have the power to make change and it gave me the skills to do so. It changed my perspective on the world and has affected my life in every way. I would recommend it to any person from any background. It's an amazing organization and you'll meet some of the most inspirational, intelligent, and genuine people out there.