Paul Vidas, Two Rivers

Organization(s): Nvolved, Inc.
Position(s): President
Work Setting: Other
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What I Do
  • Workshops/ Presentations
  • Current Projects

    Interest Groups
    40 Developmental Assets (Search Institute), Alternative Schools, Character Education, Civics-Based Service-Learning, Community-Based Organizations, Faith-Based Service-Learning, Independent Schools, Interfaith Service-Learning, Intergenerational Service-Learning, Marketing Service-Learning, Rural Service-Learning, Small Schools, Social Entrepreneurship, Social/ Digital Media (e.g. social networking, multimedia, blogs), Urban Service-Learning

    Where I Work
    Urban (small city), Suburban, Rural

    Who I Work With
    Middle and High School, Higher Education, AmeriCorps, Community-Based Organizations, Faith-Based Organizations

    Short Description of My Current Work
    Nvolved, Inc. provides GetNvolved, an online service that promotes community service and service learning by helping students find opportunities, record their experience, and build verified portfolios.  

    I review thousands of entries made by students, train teachers in the use of the system, call nonprofits to find opportunities, facilitate communications between users, troubleshoot, promote to schools, and tend to the administrative requirements of the corporation.  Almost everything is done online using the tools provided on GetNvolved®.

    Professional History
    After earning my MS-E and BS in Psychology in 1976, I operated county-wide dropout prevention/retention programs before taking a job with the YMCA in 1987 as the Teen Program Director.  Grant writing led to the creation of Summer Youth Employment, Learn & Serve, AmeriCorps, America READS, and other programs.

    In 2000, The YMCA asked me to organize a large event for youth.  I produced the “Teen Symposium – 2000”.  Twenty schools sent a total of 400 students to event.  There, they were shown survey results and asked to respond to a ‘call to action’; the Teen Action Database and United with Youth (a United Way initiative) began.

    In the early 1990’s, I studied the 40 Developmental Asset Model and became convinced that “Feeling Valued by the Community” was critically important to positive youth development, but only 21% of youth claimed this asset: the lowest score of the 40.  I reasoned that to feel valued by the community, youth need valuable roles AND the community has to know about what has been done.

    In 2007, I retired from the YMCA to become a social entrepreneur.  I created, GetNvolved®, a successor to the Teen Action Database.

    Professional Expertise/ Passions
    Positive Youth Development continues to be my general area of interest.  After 40 years working in the field, I have sorted through a number of philosophical and scientific approaches to the subject that led me to take action.  Now, I am interested in applying the best technology available to provide the infrastructure need by me and others working in the field.

    Besides a formal education, I have a technical background that includes Nuclear Power School (USN), YMCA Senior Program Director certification, certified as a trainer in Developmental Assets, and many successful grant applications.  I bought my first computer in 1983 and built my first computer in 1991.  This combination of education and experiences has given me the knowledge required for my current work; the operation of an online service for youth, teachers, youth workers, and others interested in positive youth development through volunteerism.

    Nvolved, Inc. is a for profit business.  GetNvolved® is a collaborative tool that empowers youth to engage in service.  It enables schools and community-based organizations to work together in a new way based on the youths’ desire for intrinsic positive youth development needs: power, belonging, competence, and importance.

    What I'm Most Excited About in My Current Work
    What I do day to day is very uplifting.  I see the great things the students are doing and their connections to other adults in the communities service by them.  The conversations I have with the adults is mostly very positive; appreciative for the help and the relationships with the youths.  But the most exciting thing is that I may be able to share this with thousands of others like me.

    GetNvolved® is built for expansion.  I deal with a dozen schools, thousands of youths, hundreds of nonprofits, and scores of businesses.  At some point, it will be beyond what I can do alone.  My dream is that one day communities all around the country will use GetNvolved® to weave a network around youth so that schools, faith-based groups, nonprofits, civic entities, and businesses provide meaningful opportunities for every youth and recognize their service.

    This is really fun.

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