Service Learning Resource

Service Matters

The Y is pleased to provide a suite of resources that can guide adults in helping youth identify their interests, and connecting those interests to volunteer and service-learning projects in their community. The Guide to Service Learning helps young people figure out what excites them, and what skills and passions they can share as part of the larger world.

More than volunteering, service-learning is a deliberate process through which young people establish learning objectives based on a volunteer activity (ex: learn more about a neighborhood, interview a resident), perform a meaningful community service and reflect upon the experience (writing in a journal, submitting a letter to the editor, videotaping and sharing what they learned).

These resources seek to help match young people to service-learning opportunities that fit their interests and passions in which they will be motivated to learn and build skills while addressing important community needs.

The Y's service learning resources include a guide for adults, a survey for teens and a YouTube channel for youth to share experiences and reflections.

Get started today connecting the energy and talents of young people with the communities they’ll lead tomorrow!


The guide provides youth-serving adults of any size organization an overview to use the survey with individual teens or teen groups. Step-by-step instructions and toolkit handouts to get started quickly include: administering the survey, proven service-learning techniques and activities, community partnerships and more.

Engaging Teens With Their Community: A Service Learning Resource


Explore this survey to see how asking teens about their personality, talents and interests as captured on their profile can jumpstart conversation and provide relevant information for adults to help teens find fitting, rewarding service opportunities.


Developmental Assets

What do young people need to succeed? Research by Minneapolis-based Search Institute has found 40 critical factors for young people's successful growth and development. When drawn together, the assets offer a set of benchmarks for positive child and adolescent development. The assets clearly show important roles that families, schools, congregations, neighborhoods, youth organizations and others in communities play in shaping young people's lives. They provide a powerful framework and lense for how YMCAs engage with children, youth, families and communities.

Learn more at your Y or visit

Share Your Story of Service

E-mail us at with your message or a link to your video, or upload your video to youtube with YMCA tag and we'll load to our Y YouTube channel.

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The YMCA is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.