To build and develop community capacity for volunteerism by:
- Engaging everyone (ie. organizations and individuals) to see that they can make a difference, and show them how
- Encouraging and supporting the development of volunteer opportunities that lead to engagement
- Sharing information and resources
- Reflecting back the difference that people make in the community
- Building partnerships that strengthen community engagement
Student Success through Community Involvement: EPYC: Empowering Proactive Youth in Community
Youth in our community are falling behind in graduation rates. The 4-year graduation rate for the WRDSB is only 68%, WCDSB is 78%. In the 2016/2017 school year, 150 KW students did not earn their diploma simply because they didn’t complete their community involvement hours.
There is a disconnect between many students and their greater community. They may face any range of personal life barriers or perhaps they just don’t have the community knowledge nor confidence to get started and know how to do it meaningfully.
That’s where our YOUTH VOLUNTEER PROGRAM, comes into play. We have worked hard to help engage youth in our local high schools – but more resources are needed to reach out to all students and organizations who need support and help to connect to the right volunteer experience.
- Presentations to classes, assemblies in area high-schools
- Create student-led volunteer kiosks. Our staff will create a training manual, deliver communication pieces, and stay in touch with the kiosks as they pop up.
- Ideally – it would be helpful to create materials in several languages
- Community youth volunteering information for teachers, guidance, parents and social justice groups
- Posters for hallway boards or on social media
- Weekly newsletters with detailed and current information and inspiration!
- Weekly Volunteer Action Team – students meet at our Centre to learn more
- Virtual Volunteer opportunities – engage kids with skills to work at home
- Student Ambassador roles – provide leadership learning opportunities
- Providing an empowering employment experience in the non-profit sector
- EPYC2018 spring-time workshop event provide volunteer training and community discovery sessions
- Engage post-secondary students to youth to continue the exposure to the continuum of experiences in the non-profit sector for all ages.
- Regular touchpoints with our member’s Volunteer Managers (160+) to support a broader range of opportunities to engage with youth volunteers
- Working consistently with high school and post-secondary groups who use the Volunteer Action Centre for school projects (PR, Research, Human Resources, pitch competitions, etc.)
- $50 supports the production of one of our weekly updates shared with over 3,000 different individuals, including youth, teachers, parents, community members, businesses, & volunteer managers
- $100 allows one of our staff to provide presentations to classes, assemblies, school clubs and youth groups.
- $250 covers the logistic costs of running one of the six EPYC2018 events we create for teens in Kitchener, Waterloo, and Cambridge which includes volunteer training, personal and professional development, learning about the community and “hacking” local social issues in small teams.
- $650 assists us in upgrading our computer equipment which is essential to our core services, which are primarily digital resources
- $1,000 enhances our outreach tactics, covering the costs associated with creating and printing materials for the in-school student run “Volunteer Kiosks” at each local high school
The Volunteer Action Centre provides connections and leadership in Waterloo Region to support the development of individuals and organizations. We provide a hub for volunteer opportunities and engagement, and enable best practices and continuous learning for professionals in the nonprofit sector.