Youth Programs

Here are a few ideas on how your Chapter can recruit Youth Members:

  • Utilize scholarships as a way to increase youth membership. Offer free four-year membership to Chapter scholarship members of Italian-American heritage. This is not only a positive way to reward deserving young men and women, but it could also lead their parents to become UNICO members.

  • Focus on Chapter Presidents. Recruiting youth members is about attracting the attention of Chapter Presidents, not young adults. It is up to Chapter leaders to reach out to young people within the community to spread the word about UNICO.

  • Consider starting an ACES Chapter within your community. High school students are always looking for ways to add to their resumes and receive community service hours for graduation or Confirmation. An ACES program can expose many high school students to the benefits of UNICO. ACES members can subsequently become youth members and then adult members – a clear sign that ACES programs can offer long-term benefits to our organization.

  • Make UNICO a more youth-friendly organization. We cannot attract young adults into our organization without making UNICO attractive to them. I believe this means offering activities and events at our National Convention that appeal to youth members. Offering a youth membership registration package for our National Convention could be a simple way to draw more members to attend. Youth members need to see the value in coming to our convention. By tailoring a registration package to them with appealing activities, we can increase their attendance at the conference. This could mean having a pasta dinner or trip to an attraction in the area of the convention.

  • Young adults – particularly those in college – need to be careful with their money. This may mean that some youth members will not be able to come to the National Convention, particularly if attending would also mean taking their families with them. I propose utilizing software, such as Skype, for video chatting at our National Youth Committee meeting at the National Conference. This would allow youth members from across the country to participate in our meeting, even if they cannot afford to come in-person.

  • If your Chapter has any youth members who would be interested in joining our National Youth Committee, please encourage them to contact the National Office.

  • Creating a strong youth presence within UNICO is something that must happen at the local Chapter level; it is about building up our National Youth Committee with one dedicated student at a time. Small contributions will be significant and extremely helpful. The future of our organization depends upon the young Italian-Americans we bring into UNICO, and it is up to us to keep UNICO strong for years to come.