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Youth Development


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“Recognizing the high rate of teenage pregnancy, I formed an after-school girls group where they could openly discuss self-esteem, good communication, and personal values. Topics were combined with crafts, cooking classes, and field trips. With their newly acquired skills and self-respect, these students are now better equipped to stand up to peer pressure and avoid risky behavior.”

Kristen CummingsVolunteer in Peru

Volunteers work with at-risk youth ages 10 to 25, helping communities develop programs to assist young people.

Depending on your specific assignment, you might:

  • Support the development of life skills through healthy lifestyles training, including HIV/AIDS awareness, reproductive health, and nutrition
  • Prepare youth for the world of work through financial literacy, employability skills, and career planning
  • Engage youth as active citizens through service learning and civic involvement
  • Work with parents, teachers, and community organizations to support youth development

How do I qualify?


Applicants must have an associate degree and one year of full-time counseling experience with at-risk youth;
OR five years of relevant full-time work experience;
OR a bachelor's degree in any discipline with six consecutive months of full-time experience;
OR a master's of social work;
OR be a licensed social worker with youth experience. All experience must be relevant, as described in the next column.


Applicants must have at least six months of full-time work experience teaching or counseling in at-risk youth programs. Other qualifying experience includes full-time work in one or more of the following categories: youth; conflict resolution or mediation skills; HIV/ AIDS counseling or awareness training; coaching or working with physically or mentally disabled youth; or with national and community service programs.

How will this advance my career?

Through serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer, you can gain fluency in a foreign language, international experience, and cross-cultural understanding, attributes that are highly sought-after assets in today's global economy. Experience as a Peace Corps Volunteer working with at-risk youth is valued by numerous organizations, including the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and many private companies and nongovernmental organizations seeking individuals with unique skills. Find out how returned Peace Corps Volunteers receive advantages in federal employment.

Also See: Volunteer Benefits

Last updated Jan 30 2014