Post-Graduation Service Opportunities

Interested in volunteer service for one or more years as an alternative to entering the workforce or graduate school? Read through the things to consider, learn about opportunities both in the U.S. and abroad, and check out some other helpful resources!

Questions to Consider:

Why do I want to volunteer?
A simple exercise is to create a list of reasons WHY you are thinking of doing volunteer service after graduation. Make sure you really want to VOLUNTEER.

What type of program do I want?
There are many types of programs. You will need to begin narrowing down those that interest you. Do some research into the varieties and begin to eliminate programs that do not interest you.

  • Domestic vs. International
  • Secular vs. Religiously-based
  • Individual-oriented vs. Community-oriented
  • Structured program vs. Self-initiated travel/work
  • One year (or shorter) vs. Two years (or longer)

How will this affect my future career plans and goals?
Think about what you hope to gain from a volunteer experience and how it might fit in to your future career plans. What would be some benefits and losses of a volunteer experience on my future graduate school and/or career plans?  Also consider whether you can financially afford to do service instead of working.

How will this affect my relationships?
Parents, families, significant others, and friends are all people that may be affected by your decision. Make sure to talk it over with the important people in your life.

Are there other questions or issues I need to consider?
If you have any physical or emotional health questions or factors that may affect your ability to perform certain types of volunteer work, make sure to discuss those with the program coordinators. Think about other factors or issues unique to you or your situation.

Are there other options I should consider?
Internships, summer programs, short-term opportunities, non-profit work, human service work, and religious life are all positive experiences related to volunteering. If you want more information on these options talk to the
 Community Service Learning Center or the Career Services Office.

Information adapted from http://www.bc.edu/offices/service/post_graduate.html


Alumni Testimony
Many Grand Valley alumni have participated in service after graduation. We will soon post some of their stories!

Recruiting at GVSU
Occasionally, service organizations will visit Grand Valley and host informational sessions to share information and recruit students. For more information on what organizations will be visiting campus, and when, check the list upcoming events on the Community Service Learning Center website or the campus calendar on the Grand Valley home page.

 

Domestic Opportunities International Opportunities Other Resources

AmeriCorps

CitizenCorps

City Year

Green Corps

Habitat for Humanity

Health Corps

LSA Family in Mission

Public Allies

Public Health Service

Teach for America

United Way of America

White House Fellowship Program

EarthWatch Institute

Global Service Corps

Global Volunteers

Global Volunteer Network

Globe Aware

InterExchange

Peace Corps

Peacework Development Fund

Projects Abroad

Service Civil International

United Nations Volunteers

Voluntary Service Overseas

Volunteers for Peace

Community Service Learning Center

Career Services

Padnos International Center

UM International Center

 


AmeriCorps
AmeriCorps State and National, AmeriCorps*VISTA, AmeriCorps*NCCC (for information on the differences in each program, see the website). Commit to national service by partnering with community-based organizations (both faith-based and secular), state and local agencies and other non-profit organizations that allow you to serve individually or on a team anywhere in the country through thousands of programs nationwide.

Back to Top


CitizenCorps
Citizen Corps encourages citizens to engage in a number of activities to help prepare themselves and their communities:

  • Personal Preparedness: Developing a household preparedness plan and disaster supplies kits, observing home health and safety practices, implementing disaster mitigation measures, and participating in crime prevention and reporting.
  • Training: Taking classes in emergency preparedness, response capabilities, first aid, CPR, fire suppression, and search and rescue procedures.
  • Volunteer Service: Engaging individuals in volunteer activities that support first responders, disaster relief groups, and community safety organizations.

Back to Top


City Year
City Year’s primary goal is to build democracy through citizen service, civic engagement, leadership development, and social entrepreneurship. The program offers 17- to 24-year-olds the opportunity to engage in 10 months of full-time community service. Volunteers tutor and mentor school children, reclaim public spaces, and organize after-school programs, school vacation camps, and youth corps such as the Starfish Corps, Young Heroes, and City Heroes. City Year envisions the day when the most commonly asked question of a young adult will be, "Where are you going to do your service year?”

Back to Top


Green Corps
Green Corps is the Field School for Environmental Organizing. Green Corps runs a one-year, full-time, paid Environmental Leadership Training Program that gives instruction and experience to recent college graduates interested in launching an organizing and advocacy career. The program includes intensive classroom training, hands-on field experience running urgent environmental and public health campaigns, and career placement in permanent leadership positions with leading environmental groups.

Back to Top


Habitat for Humanity
Devoted to building "simple, decent, and affordable" housing. Homes are built using volunteer labor and are sold at no profit. They seek to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world and to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action. Habitat for Humanity is committed to environmentally sustainable building and living practices, and works to encourage sustainability in the communities it is active in.

Back to Top


Health Corps
HealthCorps®’ vision is to lead a nationwide movement toward a new generation of healthy young people. We were founded by heart surgeon and two-time Daytime Emmy Award-winning talk show host Dr. Mehmet Oz and his wife Lisa, to combat the childhood obesity crisis. HealthCorps Coordinators carry out unique in school and community programming targeting high-need populations. Using peer mentoring to deliver a progressive curriculum in nutrition, fitness and mental strength, HealthCorps Coordinators give teens purpose, help develop human character and inspire an interest in health and culinary arts careers.
 


                                                                  

LSA Family in Mission, Inc.
Little Sisters of the Assumption Family in Mission is a non-profit organization inspired and established for the purpose of continuing the spirit and mission of the Little Sisters of the Assumption.  We develop partnerships with and provide volunteer services to organizations committed to underprivileged communities. We promote social justice and encourage participation in human service programs to better serve the needs of families. Building on our experience of creating family we are connected by a desire to unite and transform our world beginning in our local communities. 

Back to top


Public Allies
Public Allies mission is to advance new leadership to strengthen communities, nonprofits and civic participation. We are changing the face and practice of leadership in communities across the country by demonstrating our conviction that everyone can lead, and that lasting social change results when citizens of all backgrounds step up, take responsibility, and work together.

Back to Top


Public Health Service
The U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps is an elite team of more than 6,000 full-time, well-trained, highly qualified public health professionals dedicated to delivering the Nation's public health promotion and disease prevention programs and advancing public health science. Driven by a passion for public service, these men and women serve on the frontlines in the Nation's fight against disease and poor health conditions.

Back to Top


Teach for America
Our mission is to build the movement to eliminate educational inequity by enlisting our nation's most promising future leaders in the effort.
We recruit outstanding recent college graduates from all backgrounds and career interests to commit to teach for two years in urban and rural public schools. We provide the training and ongoing support necessary to ensure their success as teachers in low-income communities.

Back to Top


United Way of America
United Way is a worldwide network in 45 countries and territories, including nearly 1,300 local organizations in the U.S. It advances the common good, creating opportunities for a better life for all, by focusing on the three key building blocks of education, income and health. The United Way movement creates long lasting community change by addressing the underlying causes of problems that prevent progress in these areas. LIVE UNITED is a call to action for everyone to become a part of the change.

Back to Top


White House Fellowship Program
The White House Fellows program is one of America's most prestigious programs for leadership and public service. White House Fellowships offer exceptional young men and women first-hand experience working at the highest levels of the federal government. Selected individuals typically spend a year working as a full-time, paid Fellow to senior White House Staff, Cabinet Secretaries and other top-ranking government officials. Fellows also participate in an education program consisting of roundtable discussions with renowned leaders from the private and public sectors, and trips to study U.S. policy in action both domestically and internationally.

Back to Top


EarthWatch Institute
Earthwatch Institute engages people worldwide in scientific field research and education to promote the understanding and action necessary for a sustainable environment.
We believe that teaching and promoting scientific literacy is the best way to systematically approach and solve the many complex environmental and social issues facing society today.

Back to Top


Global Service Corps
Global Service Corps’ mission is to design and implement volunteer vacation and service-learning community development programs that benefit the volunteers and positively impact the communities they serve.
Global Service Corps provides a variety of programs from short-term volunteer vacations, to two-week through six-month service-learning programs, to one-year fellowship programs. Whether you are brand new to the international volunteer experience, have decided to participate in a cultural immersion, service-learning program, or want to further develop your career in international development, there is a GSC program to meet your needs. 

Back to Top


Global Volunteers
Join volunteers in our non-profit network providing long-term, ethical service on a volunteer vacation abroad or a USA volunteer program. Live and work with local people on life-affirming service programs for one to three weeks. Extended-term service option for six to 24 weeks. We support service partnerships year-around through short-term volunteer teams, direct project funding, classroom support, child sponsorships and student scholarships. No specialized skills are needed to contribute genuine, long-term development assistance.

Back to Top


Global Volunteer Network
The Global Volunteer Network offers service opportunities around the world. They currently provide volunteer programs through partner organizations in 21 countries throughout South America, Africa and Asia. The network continues to expand with new programs currently being researched and assessed.

Their vision is to support the work of local community organizations in developing countries through the placement of international volunteers.

Back to Top


Globe Aware
Globe Aware focuses on short term, one week volunteer vacations. These are specially formatted for working people with limited vacation time who want to volunteer abroad.

Back to Top


InterExchange
InterExchange is a nonprofit organization devoted to promoting cross-cultural awareness through work and volunteer exchange programs. For more than 40 years, InterExchange has been connecting young people from all over the world with life-changing international cultural exchange opportunities. In turn, we provide a unique answer for businesses, organizations, summer camps, and families in need of staff, interns, volunteers, camp counselors and au pairs.

Back to Top


Peace Corps
While the need has remained for volunteers to work in agriculture, education, forestry, health, engineering, and skilled trades, countries are increasingly requesting help in new areas: business, the environment, urban planning, youth development, and the teaching of English for commerce and technology. Volunteers serve in over 90 countries in Africa, Asia, the Pacific, Central and South America, the Caribbean, Central and Eastern Europe, and the former Soviet Union.


*Recruiters typically come to GVSU's campuses in October and February.

Back to Top


Peacework Development Fund
Peacework strives to alleviate poverty and economic disparity in our world through innovative partnerships of higher education, corporations, and communities. They provide opportunities for superior undergraduate or graduate level students seeking an intensive individual placement for a minimum of 4 weeks. These placements are self-funded by the participant and require prior international experience or study.

Back to Top


Projects Abroad
Projects Abroad is a leading volunteer abroad organization. They offer a diverse range of international service projects, plus the opportunity to become part of one of our volunteer communities abroad. Their continuous presence overseas and unparalleled in-country support from international staff ensures that your experience will be far more worthwhile and genuine than those of the average tourist.

Back to Top


Service Civil International
Provides short term volunteer experiences of 2-3 weeks in work camps in the United States and around the world, as well as long term volunteer opportunities. Volunteers pay a small fee ($80 in the United States, $195 for overseas work camps) and their travel costs, and are provided with meals and a place to stay.

Note: the word "work camp" is used as a synonym for community service project

Back to Top


United Nations Volunteers
The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) program contributes to peace and development through volunteerism worldwide.
UNV contributes to peace and development by advocating for recognition of volunteers, working with partners to integrate volunteerism into development programming, and mobilizing an increasing number and diversity of volunteers, including experienced UNV volunteers, throughout the world. UNV embraces volunteerism as universal and inclusive, and recognizes volunteerism in its diversity as well as the values that sustain it: free will, commitment, engagement and solidarity. Based in Bonn, Germany, UNV is active in 140 countries.

Back to Top


Voluntary Service Overseas
A British service organization that offers 1-2 year volunteer placements for experienced professionals age 20-75, in over 30 developing countries primarily in Africa and Asia. Volunteers are provided with a living allowance, accommodation, insurance and flights.

Back to Top


Volunteers for Peace
Similar program to Service Civil International. VFP organizes over 3400 2-3 week work camps in over 100 countries worldwide. There are many types of work available because projects arise from grassroots local community needs. A $250 registration fee covers most projects except those taking place in developing countries. A VFP membership fee of $30 is also required for placement. The registration fee covers food, accommodations and work materials for the duration of the project. Volunteers arrange and pay for their own transportation to and from each project.

Back to Top


 

Page last modified June 10, 2014