Service Year Alliance is committed to supporting local communities in their efforts to build and/or scale service year positions. Alongside local leaders, Service Year Alliance wants to help build the infrastructure necessary to host and support service years at unprecedented levels and uplift leaders and innovator at the local level.
“I'm calling for a few cities across the country to step up and lead...What if, upon graduating from high school, every young person in these cities is given an opportunity to complete a service year with other young people? Creating model towns and cities of service across America could provide powerful local examples that capture our collective imagination and create ripple effects for more service opportunities.”
— Stan McChrystal: A million young people to empower America in CNN, February 4, 2015
Because of the nature of the initiative, activities are likely to be carried out by a variety of organizations and organization types. Eligible applicants for the Service Year Impact Community initiative are: units of local government, nonprofit organizations, or a community foundation. The applicant will be responsible to Service Year Alliance for fulfilling the responsibilities of a Service Year Impact Community.
Service Year Impact Communities commit to:
Develop and implement a comprehensive Service Year plan to dramatically increase the scale (1 position per 300 residents) and quality of service year programs in their community.
Set or reaffirm a target to expand by at least an additional 100 positions but are encouraged to set a more aggressive near term goal (1 position per 300 residents) by 2019. Communities are also encouraged to set a longer term goal that demonstrates their long term commitment to serving as a Service Year Impact Community.
Document and elevate best practices and lessons learned and enhance the potential for replication in other communities.
Utilize the Service Year Exchange for recruitment by actively working to get all service year programs in a community registered with Service Year.
Be an active part of a network of communities working to realize service years at scale by participating in peer learning and networking.
Recognition and national visibility.
Access to a unique peer network and community of practice consisting of other communities identified through this initiative.
Invitations to Service Year Alliance meetings and events.
Guidance and support such as feedback on service year growth strategies.
Connections to learning opportunities and promising practices. Web-based training opportunities and online tools and resources.
Customized recruitment page on the Service Year Exchange at a discounted rate.
Recruitment resources such as promotional packets and graphic design support for regional recruitment campaigns.
Successful applicants will have:
Demonstrated interest, ambition, and capacity to scale service years and make a year of service a common expectation and opportunity for young adults in the identified community.
Exhibited commitment from community stakeholders and leaders to the Service Year Impact Community effort.
Presence of an existing base of service year programs committed to this effort.
Soundness of the partnership structure. Ideally partners should include the following: a local leader or organization with convening power; managing partner(s) willing to staff the effort; a lead funder willing to contribute and engage other funders; existing service year programs; employment partners; and other key stakeholders.
Strong existing relationships with the community and local leaders.
Your participation in this initiative will last 24 months. During this time Service Year Impact Communities will be eligible for Service Year Alliance assistance. Communities may still refer to themselves as a Service Year Impact Community beyond the formal designation period noted above.
Please email Mayo Sonko, email@example.com, to receive application instructions of if you have additional questions. See the program overview and FAQ for further details and timelines.