YSA Fellowship FAQs

YSA Fellowship FAQs

Who is eligible to apply? Students who attend public or private high schools in Fairfield County are eligible to apply. Applicants must have some previous volunteer experience. Outstanding 8th graders may also apply, but they must provide a reference.

What is the expected time commitment of YSA Fellows? YSA Fellows are required to attend meetings every Tuesday from 5:30-6:30PM throughout the duration of the program. The 2014-15 fellowship will run from September 16-May 11. Students will NOT meet during public and private school breaks during Thanksgiving and the weeks of December 20-January 4, February 6-16, March 13-30, April 13-18. Fellows will also be expected to complete regular assignments at home and work independently on their team and personal service initiatives. Independent work may take between 1-10 hours per week depending on the scope and schedule of the fellows’ service project.

Where does the program meet? The YSA Fellowship is held at the YWCA in Greenwich. The building is conveniently located at 259 E Putnam Avenue and there is ample parking.

What sort of issues areas can I address as a fellow? YSA Fellows are encouraged to pursue any cause they are passionate about. Are you interested in promoting health and wellness among senior citizens? Looking for a way to combat hunger and homelessness through educational initiatives? Want to use your love of art to raise awareness of mental health disorders? As a YSA Fellow, you will learn how to creatively use your passions and skills to create a personally significant independent project.

If you’re not sure yet what cause you would like to focus on, fear not! The first module of the fellowship involves exploring and researching various issue areas to help you discover what cause you truly care about.

How do I apply? The 2014 application for the YSA Fellowship is currently closed. Check back in the summer of 2015 for the 2015-2016 application. Applicants are required to donate $50 to Volunteers On Call through our PayPal page to help cover program costs associated with the YSA Fellowship.

Volunteers on Call offers two rounds of applications so as not to exclude students who may be traveling or do not have access to a computer during parts of the summer. Round 1 applicants must apply before July 31st. Round 2 applicants must apply before August 31st. The two rounds will be reviewed with equal weight, but applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, so get you application in early before the program fills up!

Can I nominate a teen to apply for the program? Yes, please do! If you know of an exceptional student in Fairfield County who is interested in getting more involved with service, e-mail VOC’s Executive Director Juliana Collamer at jscollamer@gmail.com with the student’s name, e-mail address, and a brief statement about why they deserve to become a YSA Fellow.

When will I know if I am accepted into the YSA Fellowship? Students who apply before the Round 1 deadline (July 31, 2014) will be informed of their acceptance status on or before August 10th. Students who apply in Round 2 (August 1st – 31st) will receive a final decision on or before September 10th. A maximum of twelve fellowships are granted each year.

Why do I need to pay a fee to apply? The $50 non-refundable fee helps Volunteers On Call to cover program costs associated with the YSA Fellowship. The fee also lets us know that you are serious about applying and are willing to invest in your service initiative. Please contact Juliana Collamer at jscollamer@gmail.com or by phone at 203-536-5398 if you need financial assistance to cover the cost of the application fee. The fee should be paid through through VOC’s PayPal donation page and students should indicate in the memo section that it is for their YSA Application.

I am not eligible to apply or was not accepted to the fellowship, but I still want to get involved with service. What should I do? First, congratulations on taking the first step towards giving back to your community! If you are interested in getting involved with service, contact our Executive Director at jscollamer@gmail.com to set up a meeting or phone call to discuss how you can become part of a personally meaningful opportunity. To receive regular updates on service initiatives throughout Fairfield County, check out our blog and sign up to receive our monthly newsletter.