Engaging youth in meaningful and measurable community service efforts is often an elusive and difficult exercise. Providing youth, particularly those in the inner city, with dynamic and viable opportunities that promote citizenship and deepen democratic sensibilities can be challenging.
For these reasons programmatic approaches are needed to engage and deepen the civic capacity of young people through practical community service activities. This proposal seeks to create a first-in-the-nation program that meaningfully engages high school and college-age youth, community activists and career professionals in a comprehensive public service effort. Through Votecorps youth engage communities as non-partisan democracy volunteers on election day. In the process they serve, learn and make connections that promote civic growth and individual leadership. As an election day ambassador youth develop their commitment to the idea of democracy through practical action and service.
High School & College-age youth benefit from their Votecorps experience because they:
- Meaningfully engage in community activities that serve low-income and historically disenfranchised neighborhoods
- Are provided opportunities civic mentoring by community and professional leaders
- Put their idealism to work through volunteer, non-partisan voter justice and education efforts on the grassroots and neighborhood levels
- Mutually design small-scale neighborhood projects based upon group experiences and dialogue.