Support Youth to Explore Career Interests

Activity/project background

Partner: Bratslav Sports Lyceum (Government)

The Bratslav Sports Lyceum is a boarding school in Ukraine that welcomes students from Vinnytsia region to get a secondary education and to develop sports skills at the same time. There are 327 students including 27 internally displaced Ukrainian students and 17 orphans. The students study and live on the premises of the Lyceum. The teachers make an extra effort to encourage students to explore their passions, discover their potential, make informed decisions about their future, and pursue meaningful and rewarding careers.

Bratslav Sports Lyceum requests a Virtual Service Pilot Participant (VSPP) to co-facilitate an afterschool club, where students will have an opportunity to explore different modern professions and to develop competencies needed to be competitive in the job market. By collaborating with the VSPP, students will learn how to assess their interests and values to help them identify potential career paths. The club will cover practical skills, such as resume writing, interviewing, and networking, which will help students prepare for internships or other work-based learning experiences.

The VSPP will support students to engage in self-reflection and goal-setting exercises to help them identify their strengths and areas of growth. Through discussions and interactive activities, students will also develop soft skills, such as communication, decision making, time management and more, which will support them to balance their academic, personal, and career goals.

The Bratslav Sports Lyceum has previously worked with three Peace Corps Volunteers. They understand that the role of a VSPP is very different than a two-year Volunteer.

Virtual service engagement and tasks

The VSPP will engage in the following tasks, in collaboration with their Host Country Partners:

• Co-assess student current knowledge and skill level to establish priority areas for focus in club sessions
• Co-design or co-adapt a resource pack of at least 12 session plans on topics related to professional growth and career achievement
• Co-facilitate a 1-1.5-hour online club sessions per week for the group of students (the average number of students is 15)
• Guide club participants in preparing for at least one peer-to-peer session with other students in the lyceum to disseminate information and share knowledge in the areas of professional growth and career planning

Attend a weekly meeting with the Ukrainian counterpart for feedback and discussion This engagement is expected to be approximately 15 weeks. VSPPs are expected to engage on the tasks listed above for an estimated 5-15 hours per week.

Meetings between VSPPs and Host Country Counterparts will take place during normal office hours, 3:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Kyiv time. Specific times will be determined during orientation.

The Host Country Counterpart will have access to Zoom, Google Meet, and WhatsApp for regular communication and collaboration.

Per the Child Protection Code of Conduct, when engaging online with minors (0-18), two adults must be present.

Optional additional activities

The Peace Corps mission is to promote world peace and friendship by fulfilling three goals:

  1. To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.
  2. To help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
  3. To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.

Goal 1 will be achieved through the VSPP's engagement and completion of the above tasks. The counterpart and VSPP may also choose to identify an activity that aligns with Goal 2. Additionally, the VSPP may identify a Goal 3 activity to implement during their engagement. See recommendations and tools for Goal 3 activities.

Essential qualifications

Education: Bachelor’s degree in any field

Experience: 1 year of experience in teaching, tutoring, or mentoring youth (in any educational institutions, youth clubs, etc.)

Intercultural skills and motivation: Flexible, strong cross-cultural agility, high tolerance for ambiguity, able to work independently, resourceful, creative, and genuinely motivated and capable to serve virtually

Desired qualifications

Technical Skills:
• Familiarity with virtual engagement and communication
• Skilled at connecting with students and creating a safe and supportive learning environment
• Experience in career consulting
• Skilled in adapting to different learning styles and backgrounds: Ukrainian youth are living in war conditions

• Experience teaching or facilitating group discussions
• Experience designing session plans and engaging activities for students
• Experience in coaching, guiding and/or mentoring youth on career planning

Terms and conditions of engagement

VSPPs will be engaging with the host country partner, in coordination with Peace Corps post staff, remotely from the US. They should have access to a computer, internet, and telephone in order to enable direct engagement with the Peace Corps overseas office and the Host Country Counterpart assigned by the host country partner.

Orientation with the host country partner will be provided, within the designated virtual service hours, during the first week of virtual service via an online presentation and discussion. The host country partner will provide an overview of its organization, the local context, and how they envision collaborating with the VSPP.

The VSPP will have regular check-ins with their counterpart and bi-weekly check-ins with Peace Corps staff. Spending unstructured time with counterparts can be critical to relationship-building and is encouraged through activities such as coffee chats and informal calls within the weekly 5-15 hours.

Engagement-specific safety and security

The VSPP will receive an orientation on Peace Corps’ Child Protection Policy and how it relates to online engagement along with IT security best practices. The VSPP will be expected to follow safety and security guidelines for online engagement to ensure their safety and that of the Host Country Partner and their counterpart, and any beneficiaries of the engagement.

Supervision requirements

The VSPP will report to a designated Peace Corps staff member. The VSPP will be expected to abide by the Virtual Service Pilot Participant and Donation Agreement and Participant Principles of Engagement. The VSPP will also be expected to check in with the designated host country counterpart as assigned by the host county partner.

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