ServiceWorks: Bridging the Gap for Disadvantaged Youth

SW Report pic 3Volunteering has a variety of benefits, from connecting with your community to feeling good about giving back.  But did you know it can also increase the likelihood of employment? According to research by the Corporation for National and Community Service, those who volunteer while unemployed are 27% more likely to find employment.  For those without a high school degree, volunteering increases the likelihood of employment by 51%.

SW Report pic 2Building on this research, Points of Light partnered with Citi Foundation and the Corporation for National and Community Service to create ServiceWorks – a unique program connecting Opportunity Youth between the ages of 16-24 with a curriculum to engage with their community through service, and build skills for college and career.

Boston Cares partnered with ServiceWorks in 2015 to bring the program to Boston youth. Through partnerships with organizations like College Bound Dorchester, Sociedad Latina, Boston Green Academy and the Boston Public Health Commission, Boston Cares has engaged over 750 youth in the ServiceWorks program in the past two years, using our expertise in volunteering to connect local youth with ways they can give back to their own communities.

As the ServiceWorks program wraps its initial funding cycle this summer, Points of Light partnered with Peter Levine from Tufts University to assess the success of the program across the country.  Using a variety of data and research on the program, Levine concluded that “ServiceWorks is one of the largest and most robust efforts in the United States today to shift the basic way we treat disadvantaged youth.”  Check out the full report here.

With feedback like this, along with what we’ve seen firsthand through the implementation of the program, Boston Cares is committed to building a sustainable program model that continues to support the engagement of Boston Opportunity Youth in service projects within their own communities.

SW Report pic

Interested in getting involved?  Join us as a ServiceWorks AmeriCorps VISTA, or serve as a volunteer delivering curriculum directly to youth, or as a coach for youth participating in the program.  For more information, contact Elsa Freer at or 617.422.0910×220.

Interested in getting your company involved? Contact Sara Hamilton at or 617.422.0910 x203.