By: Jackie Moynihan
The 2020-2021 Service Year might look a little different to our Youthlinc veterans. Here’s a quick rundown of some important changes to be aware of and the reasoning behind them.
- “Application” to “registration.” For the first time ever, individuals will register for the Youthlinc Service Year rather than apply. Over the past several years, our application has moved more and more toward a registration so we decided it was time to make an official name change. The Service Year is open to any interested individual and we want to make sure that is reflected in our terminology.
- Rolling team placements. The Service Year registration is open August 1-October 14. In the past, individuals who applied had to wait until the end of October to hear about their team placements. This year, team placements will be made on a first come first serve basis. After an individual registers for the Service Year, they will be informed about their team placement within 48 hours. Individuals can check team availability on the Youthlinc website before registering.
- “Students” to “humanitarians.” Youthlinc Service Year participants have always been grouped into four categories: 1) Team Leaders, 2) Mentors, 3) Alum Leaders, and 4) Students. In an effort to eliminate confusion of who fits into the “Student” category, we will begin referring to this group of participants as “Humanitarians.” Any high school or college-aged individual is eligible to participate as a humanitarian, not just students. “Students” also caused confusion because many Alum Leaders are students in the traditional sense.
- 2020-2021 Service Year teams may include 2019-2020 Service Year participants. All of the summer 2020 international trips were postponed because of COVID-19. Any 2019-2020 Service Year participants who elected to travel with us next summer will be continuing on to the 2020-2021 Service Year. Many 2020-2021 teams will have a mixture of new and returning participants.
- Local service hour requirement at 50 hours. One thing that sets Youthlinc apart from other organizations completing international humanitarian service is our commitment to local service. Youthlinc humanitarians complete hands-on service in their own communities for 8 months in preparation for their international capstone trips. With the outbreak of COVID-19, many community organizations closed their doors to volunteers. In anticipation of a potentially difficult environment to find volunteer opportunities, we made the decision to lower our local service hour requirement to 50 hours, 30 of which must be completed at a Main Service Site.
Five Important Changes to the Youthlinc Service Year