Serving at-risk youth in Western Massachusetts.
Nurturing youth work professionals.
Changing our community.
What we do:
YouthServe AmeriCorps Members mentor at-risk youth through a variety of youth-serving agencies in Western Massachusetts. YouthServe Members are trained in Positive Youth Development Theory and use practices rooted in that theory to create opportunities for youth to be meaningfully involved in their communities. YouthServe Members implement programs that empower youth by building their skills and their confidence. YouthServe Members inspire youth achievement by modeling a professional, enthusiastic, and compassionate attitude toward community involvement.
Why we do it:
Franklin and Hampshire Counties in Western Massachusetts are in an area known as the Pioneer Valley. Two hours west of Boston, the Valley has universities, museums, live music, and vibrant retail districts. It also has gentle hills, a quaint New England atmosphere, great skiing, and as much outdoor recreation as a person could want. In this idyllic setting, however, 40% of families live below the poverty line; there are fewer social programs and there is less state and federal funding to address critical community needs than in the more densely populated areas of Massachusetts. YouthServe AmeriCorps strives to minimize the effects of rural poverty on area youth by providing youth the support and opportunities they need to become successful, self-sufficient adults.
Since 1996, YouthServe has served over 9,000 youth. Local initiatives such as the Annual Franklin County Legislative Forum for Youth, the Night Owl Teen Warming Center, the Community Edge Teen Page, the Youth Voice Youth Center Newsletter, a Communities In Schools-style project, and dozens of afterschool programs have all been initiated or sustained by YouthServe Members. For twelve years, youth participating in Member-led programs have reported feeling more engaged and valued in their communities, and less inclined to engage in risky behaviors, as a result of YouthServe’s efforts.
In addition to the difference they make in the lives of young people, YouthServe Members collaborate with each other as a team of dedicated, passionate, engaged individuals learning how to become influential citizens. YouthServe provides Members with an opportunity for professional development and personal growth. Many YouthServe Members go on to complete graduate degrees or become employed at not-for-profit agencies.
Find out what past Members say about their service with YouthServe.
Apply to Join YouthServe:
Applications for the 2013-2014 RISE AmeriCorps program can be downloaded here. Please fill out the application and return it by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to the RISE AmeriCorps Director 196 Federal Street, Box 1P. Greenfield, MA 01301. Note: Included in the application are two forms for references to fill out and mail to the above address.
Member Service Sites – Our Partner Agencies:
Members serve 35 hours per week at sites that provide critical youth services in Franklin and Hampshire Counties. Each Member undertakes a specific project that is unique and that enhances the services offered on-site. In return for this service, sites provide Members with ongoing training and supervision, as well as contributing a small cash match toward the Member stipend.
Current and Previous Site Partner Agencies include Athol-Royalston Middle School, Big Brother Big Sisters of Franklin and Hampshire Counties, The Brick House Community Resource Center, Community Action ! Youth Programs, Community Coalition for Teens, DIAL/SELF, Gill-Montague School District, Greenfield Community YMCA, Greenfield Community Youth Center, Greenfield Recreation Department, Greenfield School District, Hampshire Educational Collaborative, Montague Catholic social Ministries, Northampton Mayor’s Youth Commission, Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity, Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School, Tapestry Health Systems, Upward Bound, the Young Entrepreneurs’ Society, Ralph C. Mahar Regional School, Amherst Regional High School, and the United Arc.
Click here for a list of sample member position descriptions.
How Members Benefit:
In return for 1700 hours of service (which is normally completed in 10 months), members receive:
- A lliving stipend of up to $12,100 for a complete term of service
- 20 personal days during the course of the term
- Financial assistance for childcare if eligible
- Student-loan forbearance during service
- An Education Award of $5,500 that can be used for student loans or future educational expenses, paid at the term’s end.
- Training in youth development theory and practice
- Civic action skills training
- Excellent networking and professional development opportunities. Many YouthServe Members become full-time staff members at not-for-profit agencies after they complete their service.
- For more information about Member benefits, click here
The Commitment Members Make:
The 2013-2014 service term began August 22, 2013 and ends June 22, 2014.
Members commit to serving a total of 1700 hours during that time, normally at a rate of approximately 40 hours per week.
Feel free to contact the YouthServe Director via email or phone (see below) at any time!
Member and Site Partner Resources:
Here is a Resource Page for current and prospective Members that contains information you’ll need before the term begins and the forms you’ll need during the term.
Here is a Resource Page for current and prospective Site Partners that contains Site Partner forms and important dates.
For more information contact Matt Ashby at 413- 774 -7054 ext. 106 or email@example.com