Serving and finding passions

In a time of high youth unemployment, YVC projects have become a valuable place for youth to build job skills and explore potential careers–all while having a great time serving their community. We always love hearing about youth who have pursued careers as a result of their experience with YVC, so we were thrilled to receive this story from Deb Curtis, Program Director of YVC of Corvallis.

We do a variety of projects every week in our summer YVC program. What we’ve found, in the 12 years that I’ve been doing this, is that youth often think they don’t like doing something and would never consider volunteering for that type of project, but afterwards they realize that they really did like it.

The first or second year I was a YVC Program Director, a young woman came up to me after orientation with her weekly schedule. She told me that she really didn’t want to work at the assisted living facility that was on her schedule. She said that she didn’t like old people and really wouldn’t be comfortable with that project. I asked her if she would be willing to try it once and see how it went. She agreed to try it.

In the post-surveys we did, her post survey mentioned how she reluctantly came to YVC the day we were going to the facility, but by the end of the day really enjoyed herself.

That was great in itself, but about four years later I ran into her mom on the street and asked her how her daughter was and what she was doing. She told me that her daughter was in college studying gerontology and hoping to work with elders to make their last years a positive, wonderful experience.

I, personally, believe that the experience this young woman had at YVC made a big difference in her life and gave her an experience she wouldn’t have chosen for herself as well as led to her career.

Do you have a story on how YVC helped you explore career options? Email Lacey at to share your story.