Community Impact Year Course

The Community Impact Year Course gives participating teens an opportunity to take part in a transformational group learning experience through a Jewish lens by working through obstacles and solving problems. During this nine-month program, small groups of teens form working teams to explore identity and perform mission-driven acts of service and advocacy. Year Course is available in two programs–one for middle school and one for high school.

Apply Now for the 2016-2017 Community Impact Year Course!

San Francisco Application >

Marin County Application >

San Mateo High School Application >

San Mateo Middle School Application >

Each Year Course team will be challenged to define their own unique mission statement, set ambitious goals, take healthy risks to find solutions to obstacles, and strive to create authentic change in their own lives and those they impact in their communities.

With the support and guidance of multi-disciplined educators, the teams will satisfy their required hours within five core Year Course elements.  Each element will teach a skill, provide knowledge and insight, or create a direct opportunity for you and your team to take a step closer to achieving the goal of your mission.

Year Course Curriculum Areas:

Learning: Teams identify key professional and personal skills they wish to acquire through their Year Course and work closely with JFCS educators to secure opportunities and to acquire skills, such as interviewing, resume building, and public speaking.

Service: Each team chooses how to best serve a specific client base and schedules volunteer and service hours in order to reach the clients defined in their mission statement. A few examples may include: visiting homebound seniors or connecting with isolated people with disabilities.

Growth: Teams meet with JFCS clinical and rabbinical professionals to work on personal growth. Topics include: stress management, conflict resolution, anxiety reduction, coping with expectations of excellence, effective communication, and more.

Leadership: Teams create and execute original programming fulfilling their specific team mission. For example: creating a service program for seniors or facilitating a homework club.

Community: Teams become teen advocates in their community and they share what they have learned throughout the year at school service fares, clubs, and beyond.

Program Details

  • A nine-month (Oct. – June) commitment allows for great depth of learning and group cohesion
  • Throughout the year, students will take part in academic counseling, tutoring, career exploration, internships, job shadowing, career nights, leadership training, decision making, philanthropy, Jewish service learning projects within the community, and counseling related to health and emotional well-being
  •  Small teams (4-6 teens) are designed for a supportive, creative environment
  • Required hours in five Year Course elements will assure a well rounded experience
  • Each team generates their own mission statement, and sets priorities and measurable goals
  • Teams have easy access to human services, community/business leaders, and clinical and Jewish professionals
  • Volunteer work is required to experience hands-on learning about JFCS’ role in addressing our communities needs


Frequently Asked Questions

How do we organize and schedule our time throughout the year?
Community Impact Year Course is a teen driven program and you and your peers work together to organize and schedule regular weekly and monthly meetings. Additionally, JFCS educators will coach you to create a workable schedule for your team in order to maintain work/life/school balance.

How much time will this Year Course take each week?
Year Course is a flexible program that was created to fit into the busy schedules of high achieving students. Throughout the 9-month program the hours per week will fluctuate. The time commitment will range between 1-5 hours per week.

What happens at the end of the program?
The program culminates in a presentation and final ceremony where all participants present their findings to their peers, parents, community members, and mentors.

Can I do a second Community Impact Year Course year?
Yes! Students who “re-up” for Year Course for a second time have a variety of unique opportunities, including (but not limited to):
•    Mentoring first year participants
•    Creating a new program for their peers
•    Continuing to expand and fulfill a mission from the previous year

What are the program dates?
Year Course runs from October through June. Specific dates will be announced soon.

What is the cost?
The enrollment fee for Year Course is $70.00, which covers program supplies.

Can I use this program to fulfill service hour requirements that I have with my school?
Yes! Year Course is designed to fulfill your required service hours. Students gain much more from a program designed to specifically focus your efforts on one project, rather than patchworking together differing service hours and placements throughout the year.

What ages/grades are eligible?
Year Course is available in two programs a Middle School Year Course for grades 6 – 8, and a High School Year Course for grades 9 – 12.

Do you have to be Jewish to join?
No, you do not have to be Jewish to join. Year Course is an inclusive program with educational values framed through a Jewish lens.

How will the program help me get into college?
Colleges and universities are looking for exemplary students who participate in extracurricular pursuits that foster leadership, civic engagement, personal and professional development that enhance analytical and problem solving skills.

Year Course is an encompassing experiential program geared specifically towards pushing you to the next level in all of the above categories.

What are examples of the experts and leaders who will be interacting with us?
JFCS is known for its innovative and exemplary human service programs. Year Course participants will have access to a rich network of professionals that work with the populations that team’s will be engaged with.

The Year Course Process

1.    Apply, interview and join the Community Impact Year Course
2.    Participate in the orientation and get organized with your team
3.    Create a mission statement with your team and define your goals
4.    Make sure your mission fulfills all five core elements
5.    Action – Begin locating the expertise needed to succeed in your mission
6.    At the end of the program celebrate successes and discuss obstacles and learning
7.    Evaluate your experience in the Year Course, assess, and give feedback

Middle School Year Course

The Middle School Year Course is for b’nai mitzvah pre-teens and teens (6th, 7th, and 8th graders).

Over the course of an academic year, the students take part in the same Year Course as our high schoolers—with the guiding philosophy that participants learn best when empowered to create their own mission and direct the impact of their work. Teams are made up of same aged peers. With our middle-schoolers, there  is an increased focus on hands-on mitzvah projects while learning about our community’s needs, and there is more parental involvement, with families sometimes working together in the community.

Contact Us

  • San Francisco
  • Ilan Persing
  • North Peninsula
  • Pauline Shulman
  • South Peninsula
  • Naama Lugasi
  • Marin County
  • Alli Darrow
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