Community Service Guide Expands and Is Recognized as "New Media" for Silver Knight Award

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High school students are required to perform community service yet often times do not know where to volunteer. Many may want to find out what other teens think of a particular service organization. The creation of the Opp-Guide serves both purposes: the Guide provides a database of volunteer opportunities throughout Broward, Palm Beach, and Miami-Dade counties in a fun and youth friendly way by having youth prepare written reviews of the particular volunteer experience.

Our goal is to expand the reach of the Opp-Guide to various communities throughout the U.S.

High school students are required to perform community service yet often times do not know where to volunteer. Many may want to find out what other teens think of a particular service organization. The creation of the Opp-Guide serves both purposes: the Guide provides a database of volunteer opportunities throughout Broward, Palm Beach, and Miami-Dade counties in a fun and youth friendly way by having youth prepare written reviews of the particular volunteer experience.

The Opp-Guide, a 501(c )(3) corporation, was founded by Melissa Oppenheim, now a senior at Fort Lauderdale's Pine Crest School, in 2004. Modeled after the "Zagat Survey®," this comprehensive database is available in print form and online, at http://www.opp-guide.com. The Opp-Guide features honest and interesting reviews of volunteering opportunities -- written by teens, for teens. Among the many organizations reviewed by the Opp-Guide are those for animals; child, teen and elderly issues; medical causes; and entertainment, athletic and teaching opportunities.

The Guide's website allows teen reviewers to rate these agencies and organizations in five categories: "Fun," "Friendliness," "Involvement," "Helping," and an "Overall Review." This enables students, whether newcomers or veterans, to identify those non-for-profits that best fits their skills and interests. By matching the volunteer experience with the teen, the Guide's hope is to encourage volunteerism among youth that will carry throughout adulthood.

Initially serving Broward County, the Guide is now expanding its reach into Dade and Palm Beach counties. "Our goal is to expand the reach of the Opp-Guide to various communities throughout the U.S.," said Ms. Oppenheim. As such, middle and high school students outside of South Florida are encouraged to become involved by starting local branches within their geographic areas. The Guide has received grants and foundation monies to further its expansion. Anyone interested in supporting the Guide can do so on-line at http://www.opp-guide.com.

Aside from her dedication to the community, Ms. Oppenheim, the founder of the Opp-Guide, continues to make headlines for her educational achievements. Ms. Oppenheim, who plans on attending either Harvard or MIT in the fall, was recognized as one of twenty-five juniors, internationally, as a 2007 "Tomorrow 25" leader by Time Magazine, in conjunction with Bentley College and is also the recipient of the highly selective Coca-Cola Scholarship, awarded to top high school seniors who have demonstrated exceptional community service.

Recently, Ms. Oppenheim won the highly prestigious Silver Knight Award in the New Media category for the creation, development, and sustenance of the Guide. The user friendly, opp-guide.com website, won accolades for reaching youth to volunteer. While Ms. Oppenheim is leaving for college, her organization will be left in very capable hands, including those of her sister, Wendi Oppenheim, who is the 2008-2009 President and a board of six students. As such, the Opp-Guide will continue to provide honest reviews of local not-for-profit opportunities for future generations.

For further information, contact:
Wendi Oppenheim, Public Relations                
954-260-0563                        
Wendi.Oppenheim @ opp-guide.com
Opp-Guide of Greater Fort Lauderdale
2500 Weston Rd, Suite 404
Weston, Florida 33331

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