Apply for New Youth Service Zone Grants to Increase Youth Volunteer Rates

Youth Service America believes that youth, communities, and our democracy thrive when we all work together for the common good. Even though youth participation rates (volunteering, voting, and joining) are at or near record-high levels, they’ve stagnated for the last decade, and we’re leaving 3 of every 4 young people out of actively participating in our democracy. Participation rates are even lower among youth from low-income and minority communities.

YSA is working to change that. Starting in 2020, we’re focusing our work on increasing these rates to 50% by America’s 250th birthday on July 4, 2026, on the way to 100% a decade later so that no one is left behind. The Youth Service Zone program is one of our strategies to achieve this goal. Funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service, YSA’s Youth Service Zone grants offer organizations and schools an opportunity to work collaboratively to increase the youth volunteer rates in their community.

Collaboratives of 3 organizations leading efforts in communities, regions, or states with at least 100,000 residents are eligible to apply. Each zone will receive a grant of $15,000 ($5,000 to each of the 3 collaborative leaders) to support program activities. Applicants may work locally (city, county, school district), regionally, or statewide, and must be based in the United States. One representative of each of the three collaborative leaders will also be required to participate in a training (tentatively scheduled for June 8-10 in Washington, DC). Travel expenses (flight, lodging, meals) will be covered by YSA.

Each collaborative applying will be required to have 3 organizations committed to leading this initiative and will set a shared goal of increasing the youth volunteer rate in their community or state. Grantees will develop a year-long timeline for their activities, including 9/11 Day of Service (September 11, 2020), MLK Day of Service (January 18, 2021), and Global Youth Service Day (April 2021). Collaboratives will be required to engage a minimum of 250 youth and community leaders in kick-off and capacity-building activities on 9/11 Day of Service 2

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