ABOUT THE PROGRAM
Youth Volunteer Corps (YVC) began in 1987 as a summer service program for Kansas City youth. Today, YVC is a network of affiliated organizations across the U.S. and Canada running that same program.
Mission: We engage youth in team-based service experiences that build life and work skills while inspiring a lifetime ethic of service.
Vision: Communities defined by compassion, selflessness, and respect for others.
Youth Central’s YVC program started in 1993, and has grown to be one of YVC’s largest affiliate. Youth Central collaborates with over 100 organizations in Calgary to create hundreds of youth-approved service opportunities year-round for youth volunteers. The focus of each volunteer opportunity is to create meaningful, educational and engaging projects that address a wide variety of community needs while providing thoughtful leadership opportunities.
Youth Central’s Volunteer Engagement and Expansion Initiative is funded in part by Canada Service Corps, a national movement that empowers youth aged 15–30 to gain experience and build important skills while giving back to their community. Learn more at Canada.ca/CanadaServiceCorps
HOW IT WORKS
YVC is open to any youth in Calgary between the ages of 12-18.
Once a month, Youth Central posts carefully reviewed volunteer opportunities on our project database. YVC registered volunteers can continuously view the database to search and sign up for opportunities that interest them. A Youth Central staff member (Team Leader) will connect with signed up youth volunteers approximately one week before the event to communicate important information. On the day of the volunteer opportunity, the Team Leader will run an ice-breaker activity, guide the youth in their volunteer role, and facilitate a reflection at the end. Your volunteer hours will also be recorded within 48 hours of your volunteer project on your account, so you’ll be able to keep track of your completed hours.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
By joining Youth Central’s YVC program, you’ll have access to our database of over 100 collaborating organizations and over 700 annual volunteer projects to choose from. You’ll be able to learn about your passions, discover new skills, and make new friends – all while giving back to the community!
To become a volunteer, you must be between the ages of 12 and 18.
Sure you can! But Youth Central works hard to connect with community agencies that will provide safe and meaningful volunteer projects for youth. Oftentimes, projects outside of Youth Central’s YVC program can have limitations like parental supervision or age restrictions. We remove the limitations and open doors to agencies and projects you may not have heard about. We also provide a paid team leader over the age of 18 to supervise each project. These team leaders have completed a police and intervention record check, and are first aid certified.
You will get to sign up for a variety of different projects depending on your interests. Projects may include: helping out at a senior home, working with children, preparing meals for the homeless or working booths and tables at special events and festivals.
We ensure that all of the tasks performed at volunteer projects are appropriate and meaningful for youth volunteers. The great thing about YVC is that each project is unique, and you may be asked to perform different tasks even if it’s with the same collaborating organization. And, if you didn’t enjoy a particular project you aren’t obligated to volunteer again! Some examples of tasks may be: assisting children at a day camp, preparing meals for the homeless, engaging with seniors, selling tickets and merchandise for festivals, or assisting in waste management at special events.
You’re free to volunteer for as many or as little projects as you’d like! However, once you sign up for a particular volunteer project you must commit to the entire project. Typically, projects run between 2-4 hours long.
The awesome thing about our program is that volunteers don’t need to do police checks or training beforehand. Our Team Leader (our part time staff aged 18+ with training, First Aid certification, child intervention check and a police check) will give onsite training prior to every volunteer project starting, which is usually just a very quick tutorial and understanding of the project. Our Team Leaders do orientations for our projects separately with agencies hosting volunteer projects, so they are able to pass along the information to our youth volunteers. Police checks are not a requirement at this time, as our Team Leader has undergone a police check and our collaborating organizations do not require youth police checks.
Absolutely! Once you’ve committed to 20 hours of volunteering, our staff would be more than happy to provide a reference letter for you, we just ask for two weeks notice to complete your reference letter.
Great! Now that you’ve completed the application please wait up to 3 business days to get approved by our YVC coordinator. When you’ve been approved you will receive an email. After that, you’ll be able to login to our database located in the right-hand corner of our website.
You may not be able to sign up for a project for a few reasons.
You’re not yet approved to be a Youth Central volunteer. This means you haven’t submitted a completed Parental/Guardian consent form OR you haven’t completed all of the necessary information on your profile (i.e. birthday, month, year, parent and emergency contact information or whether you are completing court-ordered mandatory service hours).
There are some projects where volunteers have to be 14 and older to sign-up for.
The project is full. If there is a locked symbol next to the project, you will be unable to sign up, but can add yourself to the backup list.
Congratulations! Once you’ve signed up for a project you will be assigned to the project by our YVC coordinator within 1 business day. Approximately one week before the project begins, you will receive an email from the Team Leader of the project who will provide additional details on what to bring, wear, how to get there etc.
Please click on the “Assignments” tab located on the main page of your volunteer account. Drag your mouse over the project name to see more information about the project including the address and Google map. Team Leaders are required to contact all volunteers via email/phone two to three days prior to the project.
In order to remove yourself from a volunteer project, either contact your Team Leader (if you know who he or she is) or contact the Youth Central office at 403-266-5448 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Keep in mind that any cancellations made 72 hours for less are considered a no-show and will be documented on your profile.
Volunteers that do not provide a minimum of 72 hours notice when canceling a project they have confirmed are considered a no-show and will be documented on a volunteer’s profile. Any amount of no-shows can lead to denied references in the future. For more information about no-shows and the Youth Central Volunteer Code:
Volunteer Code of Conduct June 2021.pdf
Youth Central has several opportunities for youth to step up as leaders and serve on different steering committees. These youth are the decision-makers; they are at the forefront of design, implementation of ideas and direction of Youth Central’s programs. Please see our other program pages for details on each program.