10 Steps to Create Quality Youth-Led Projects
Often times young people who have the drive and determination to serve in their communities do not know how or where to begin. It is important that the service field provides youth with resources and information on how to get started with service projects.
1. Form a club, or put together a group of young people who are interested in volunteerism.
2. Research and think about, individually, what kinds of things you would like to do. Some projects are more hands on than others, so think about your preferences.
3. Discuss and decide with your group what kind of work you would like to do. Make a set of group goals. Relay ideas and talk about the individual preferences of everyone in the group. Decide if your group wants it to do a long-term or a short-term project. If there is a conflict of interest, compromise, or split up ino subgroups.
4. Contact a volunteer center. If there is not one in you area, you may want to call any community center, church or synagogue, or a YMCA/YWCA. Be communicative. Tell them what your group is looking for. In most cases, they will match your group with a volunteer job that suits you.
5. Call the volunteer coordinators at the agencies or organizations you were referred to. Inquire about when your group is needed and what your group would be doing.
6. Discuss the volunteer job options with your group. Talk about the days and hours each member is available. Decide which agency best suits the group, and plan to volunteer there.
7. Keep in touch. Let agencies know if your group is going to volunteer there. If a volunteer coordinator does not call back, be persistent. Keep calling to let them know your group is still interested.
8. Prepare with your group any resources you may need before you start your project. Be sure your group is ready to volunteer.
9. Be Responsible. Be sure to get to your location on time. If you are going to be late or absent, call your volunteer coordinator. Dress appropriately and follow all rules and guidelines.
10. Have fun!! If you were referred to an agency that does not fit your group’s needs, let the agency know. Don’t give up; you are bound to find something that your group really enjoys. For additional resources visit www.YSA.org or www.SERVEnet.org.
Reprinted with the permission of Youth Service America. © 1996-2008 Youth Service America. All Rights Reserved.
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