The Youth Partnership Program (YPP) encourages high school students to serve as community volunteers with the purpose of increasing their awareness of the needs of the community and the lifelong value of volunteerism. It also provides the opportunity for students to become knowledgeable about their rights and responsibilities as a community volunteer. In 2018-2019, 2,161 student volunteers from 10 high schools participated in the program and they completed 295,960 service hours.
A YPP volunteer gives their time and talent by choice, without receiving payment or curriculum credit, to help others in their community or at their school. In the act of volunteering students gain personnel satisfaction, explore careers, develop leadership skills, make new friends, and possibly obtain future job experience. Documented and approved volunteer hours are recorded by the high school and will appear on the student's high school transcript. Volunteer experience can be an important asset on job and college applications.
Youth Partnership Program Guidelines and Training
- Students may count volunteer work AFTER the completion of the school-based training workshop offered by the high school.
- Students cannot be paid for services rendered.
- Students cannot receive academic credit for volunteer work.
- Students may use this program to meet the requirements of the Distinguished Scholar Diploma, Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program, and the International Baccalaureate Program.
All students must attend a training session with their high school's YPP Coordinator PRIOR to starting their community service. The training provides general guidelines on volunteering, tips to find a volunteer placement, and the necessary paperwork to document his/her service hours for the school. These trainings are held periodically throughout the school year at each high school and it is the responsibility of the student to attend. The documentation obtained at the training includes:
- the Youth Partnership Program Agreement, to be completed by the student, parent, and agency PRIOR to the volunteer service. Complete the Youth Partnership Program Agreement form for each volunteer site. Make a copy of the completed form for your records, then submit the completed form to your school.
- the Youth Partnership Program Sign-In Sheet is used to record all the volunteer activities. Total the hours and ask the volunteer site designee's supervisor to verify and provide a signature confirming the attendance of the student.
- the Youth Partnership Program Student Handbook, which explains the program's purpose, requirements, objectives, and student responsibilities. The YPP Student Handbook also provides additional suggestions for becoming a responsible and effective volunteer. It also contains a YPP Sign-in Sheet and the YPP Volunteer Experience form for seniors.
- the Volunteer Experience Form, which is completed only once by exiting seniors to provide an opportunity for the student to evaluate and reflect on their volunteer service experience.
Students may also receive additional training/orientation from the recipient volunteer agency or organization. It is important the student understands his/her job role and asks questions for clarification. If a student is asked to do anything which makes him/her feel uncomfortable, he/she should report this to his/her parent/guardian, school YPP coordinator, or another trusted adult.
Where to Volunteer and Acceptable Volunteer Hours
It is the responsibility of the student to arrange for his/her volunteer experience. Many special interest clubs at schools participate in learning service projects, such as community clean-up, earth day projects, or tutoring in after-school programs, help Habitat for Humanity, and Special Olympics. Acceptable volunteer hours include:
- Community service for public, non-profit agency or organisation
- Business or government internship
- Activity on behalf of candidate for public office
NOTE: Be sure to have your YPP Agreement Form completed and approved by your YPP Coordinator prior to commencing your volunteer service.