Make a Difference in Your Community
Impact Year gives high school students an opportunity to take part in a transformational group learning experience. Over the course of eight months, teens are encouraged to think about themselves, their futures, and their place in the world through a Jewish values-based lens. As they explore their own identities, teens are presented with the challenge to consider how they want to put their values into action and make an impact in their local communities.
By working together in small teams, participants create their own opportunities for service and advocacy to support a unique population group in need.
YouthFirst program alumni are encouraged to apply for our Teen Leadership Council. This impressive group of teens supports YouthFirst staff in program implementation throughout the year.
Apply Now for the 2017 – 2018 Impact Year
Impact Year: What do teens do?
Learn: Interactive workshops teach professional and personal skills like time management, resume building, and public speaking.
Serve: A major focus of the program is on taking part in service learning events where Jewish values like tikkun olam (repairing the world) and tzedakah (an obligation to give back to your community) are put into action.
Grow: Participants meet with JFCS experts to get the support to succeed and work on personal growth. Stress management, conflict resolution, anxiety reduction, and effective communication are just some of the topics covered.
Lead: Teens create and execute original projects that match their defined team goal to help a specific group in need.
Build Community: Teens build strong bonds with each other and become skilled community advocates in order to share what they have learned throughout the year with others.
- An eight-month (Oct. – May) commitment allows for great depth of learning and group cohesion
- Small teams (4 – 6 teens) are established and help to build a supportive and creative environment
- Each team focuses on a particular population group in need, and generates its own plan on how to serve this group and advocate on their behalf
- Teams have the support of and easy access to human services, community/business leaders, and clinical and Jewish professionals
- A key component is the volunteer work, which allows participants to experience hands-on learning about JFCS’ role in addressing our communities’ needs