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Bruce's Solution to Promote Action Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Heather Girling, Canada Feb 1, 2008
Education , Technology , Globalization   Interviews


Bruce's Solution to Promote Action Youthnetwork.org is a unique tool for social change; it leverages the scale of the internet to help people find information about local community resources. Members can help contribute to the development of this nationwide network of local youth programs and services by simply adding their organization to the sites collection of resourceful tools for action. It's not only a great way to search for tools to get involved but also to publicize social programs that work in your community.

With an education in political science, business, and law; Brandon Bruce from California, USA found himself in a position to make a difference. He is an advocate for runaway and homeless youth in California, and became frustrated when he couldn’t find a comprehensive source of information about local programs and services for young people. He wanted a service he could use to look up the location of the nearest shelter, the telephone number for the recreation center, the hours of operation for the library, the directions to the park, and the eligibility requirements of the afterschool program. He asked everybody he knew in the youth service field where he could find such a reference. People who worked in the areas of program referral, direct service, and social policy all said the same thing: A one-stop clearinghouse of information about community resources for youth did not exist, but such a service would make a big difference in the lives of young people in cities and towns around the country.

Brandon began to research the idea of a network of community resources for youth. He decided to build a website with a nationwide directory of youth programs. He developed the website based on three ideas. First, the network should be open to everybody and available 24/7. Second, it should be easy to use. Third, it should draw upon the knowledge of the community by inviting everybody to add and update information about local youth programs and services. Today, the website combines the power of technology with the power of community to serve thousands of people across the country.

He incorporated his non-profit organization in college because he wanted to build a venture that would have a social impact and knew that his social enterprise was a unique concept. Brandon’s current challenges include areas of technology and finance. He would like to expand on his partnership base and ventures. He has already built a robust technology platform that serves tens of thousands of unique visitors every month and realizes the potential of a broader network of information. He hopes to continue to adapt his technology and business model to meet the needs of the people his site serves.

Brandon’s advice to potential young social entrepreneurs is to “start.” His only regret in his professional life is that he wishes he started his venture earlier. “A defining moment is any time I make a commitment to doing something.” says Brandon. This is an excellent call to action.

To learn more about Brandon Bruce’s social initiatives or www.youthnetwork.org, visit the site and search for organizations that interest you, you may find an organization in your area or an idea that could benefit your community. Starting your own social enterprise is as easy as taking the first step, following your dreams.

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Heather Girling

I have been fortunate to have experienced a variety of excellent opportunities such as, working at EMI Music Canada, a recording studio, djing in night clubs in Toronto and Tokyo and participating in photography festivals in Tokyo; but, nothing has been as rewarding as working with youth.
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