www.yvca.org – Youth Volunteer Corps
Youth mentoring youth is our future.
First some background: In 1985, Youth Volunteer Corps President David Battey was researching his thesis on public policy and discovered a lack of consistency for organized service opportunities for youth of all ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. So, Battey headed to Kansas City under the sponsorship of the Heart of America United Way and with funding from numerous public and private sources, the Youth Volunteer Corps (YVC) Greater Kansas City was born. The YVC model launched in 1987 and now is a national network of programs with each individual site featuring age-appropriate projects selected by students or submitted by YVC partnered non-profit agencies. Service learning is a growing national trend thanks to YVC’s pioneering efforts.
Their four goals:
1. to engage young people in service projects that are challenging, rewarding and educational;
2. to serve the unmet needs of the community and its residents;
3. to promote a greater understanding and appreciation for diversity of their community; and
4. to promote a lifetime ethic of service.
YVC has a summer and school year component each featuring programs sponsored locally by organizations such as the YMCA, Boys and Girls Clubs, Camp Fire, United Way, City Parks & Recreation and school districts. Funding is provided by foundations, corporations, individuals, United Ways, and local and federal government.
The summer component youth volunteers work on teams supervised by trained Team Leaders/AmeriCorps members. Their projects, which can last a few days or several weeks, allow them great satisfaction in seeing actual outcomes accomplished. This also reinforces the concept of teamwork, appreciation for diversity and civic responsibility. The school year component has YVC Program Directors, AmeriCorps members and staff working with teachers designing and implementing projects that tie school curriculum to community service after school, on weekends and during school breaks.
To volunteer for these fun and educational programs you must be between the ages of 11 and 18 and if there is an YVC in your community, you can become a Youth Volunteer. If you are 18+ you can serve as an AmeriCorps member with an affiliate, or you can serve as an adult volunteer. If there is no YVC in your community the resources on this website help you create one.
YVC’s solid foundations of volunteer opportunities enrich young people, and at the same time, develop a lifetime commitment to community service. This important website is a great resource for youth volunteers looking to find service projects in their communities, get involved and make a difference.