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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

27 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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

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

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
1

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

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

CASC is and AMAZING organization that has changed my life. I have learned to love people for who they are and what they contribute to society. I have met so many wonderful friends through CASC and we all share the same love for improving the California Education system. At CASC, not only do you learn practical leadershiip knowledge such as project planning, problem solving, and team building, but you also learn a lot about yourself which in turn makes you a better leader for it. I will always remember the "CASC-high" and strive to feel that powerful for the rest of my life. CASC is a one a kind organization that all students should have an opportunity to experience.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

CASC is an amazing experience. I'm sure that plenty of reviews have already raved about the one-of-a-kind experience that this organization offers. It is true. Strong friendships are formed on so many different levels and it seems everyone manages to make a deep connection that lasts far beyond just one conference. I am a very upbeat person in general but I feel that my smile gets twice as big every time I am at a CASC event because I enjoy myself so much. I definitely encourage any student who is interested in community involvement, governmental voice, or just leadership in general to attend any CASC event.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience with CASC was, quite frankly, life-changing. Looking back, I only wish I got involved with CASC earlier than I did. I was a delegate at summer camp my first year, and I was so motivated by the staff: I couldn't believe that the organization was run entirely by students. I returned the next year as a rising h.s. senior, hoping to be a counselor myself; although that didn't work out for me, I learned a lot about unconditional service for something I am passionate about while I served on the A-team. For me, CASC is a reminder that we can all be the change we want to see happen. Through CASC, I have been practicing not judging others-- through CASC's staff development program, I have met people whose qualities I want to possess as well. I've always agreed that the world would be close to perfect if everyone went to CASC.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

CASC has really changed my life in ways that I never thought possible. It is amazing because it is almost all student run, and that has a way of touching youth that teachers, parents, and other adults can rarely accomplish.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience in CASC started when I became involved in the student governing body of the organization. In different programs, especially the CASC summer camps, I had the opportunity to learn helpful leadership skills that I would never be able to learn at school. CASC has also reminded me of the value of the education we receive. In addition to all of these great knowledge, I've met many wonderful people who are involved in this organization.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My first CASC experience was at a Region 2 meeting back in 1988. It was so great to be around other students wanting to make a difference in their schools and communities. I wanted more! I went to Chico and Santa Barbara summer camps and was even more excited to learn meeting & organizational skills and what kind of leader I wanted to be from other students my age. Coming from a very small town, I did not have too many opportunities to learn what a diverse state we live in. I became more a confident leader but also learned who I wanted to be. I had the wonderful opportuinty to become a counselor and later a gamma (Counselor's counselor). I was invited to facilitate with other organizations and also travelled to Russia to work with our sister organization there. I continue to be involved with Alumni activities and remain in contact with many of the amazing people I met 20 years ago.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

CASC is an exceptional organization. It provides a look at what society can be when individuals take the time to build and develop their leadership skills and are pushed to put them to use in positive ways. The conferences and trainings are gateways to meeting individuals from every corner of the state of California. It is an organization that offers individuals the opportunity to grow by providing clear, detailed and precise feedback. It also exposes students to a variety of extremely valuable leadership models and best practices. More than a student council organization, CASC actually brings people together, builds strong and fruitful alliances and pushes individuals to work their hardest for the good of their community. After traveling much of the globe, meeting individuals from every walk of life, political background and moral viewpoint, I can say that no other set of experiences has better prepared me for life than my times with CASC. In addition, many individuals whom I met through CASC remain in my life as excellent friends and colleagues. I cannot say enough about the value and impact that CASC has had on my life. I know that many others would say the same. I look forward to hearing about the great strides CASC makes as an organization in years to come.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I will never forget the moment I walked into my first CASC Conference. It was a room full of new faces, loud cheers and people passionate about leadership! Because of that common passion, we instantly became family! At that moment I realized what CASC is about. It is not just a student run organization; it is the voice of youth in California. What I have gained from the CASC experience has been immeasurable. CASC gives you the opportunity to explore issues affecting the world, lead and empower others, learn unique leadership tools, work toward improving the California School System and work hands on in the legislation process! I LOVE CASC! :)

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

CASC is the best thing that ever happened to me. Before I attended my first CASC conference, the Youth Action Summit of California, I thought that individuals had no significant impact on the world. After those several days, I realized that I was completely wrong. CASC has inspired and empowered me, as well as given me the practical tools to make change happen. CASC has taught me that there is no excuse for apathy and inaction and that any change, no matter how small, is significant because it influences others around you to change for the better. Through CASC, I have met the most incredible people and have become a better person myself.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

CASC gets young people helping young people, seeing themselves as leaders, and acting like leaders in their communities and in their world.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

CASC has affected me by giving me the tools, resources, and support that I need to change my life, school, and community for the better. This organization is amazing because it is dedicated to helping all students achieve their personal goals as well as teaching them the tools that are needed in everyday life, such as project planning and conflict resolution. I believe in this organization. They really are changing the world.