THE POWER OF
A VOLUNTEER-DRIVEN ORGANIZATION
Just in Time for Foster Youth is a volunteer-driven organization, meaning that everything we do is supported by an incredible community of volunteers that makes it possible for us to serve nearly 800 youth a year.
Most importantly, our volunteers fill what we have found to be the most critical gap for foster youth, and the most essential resource needed to help guarantee the future success for our participants: connections to consistent, caring adults.
JIT offers volunteer roles to fit any schedule, from short-term event support to months-long mentorship opportunities. We also welcome groups and organizations looking to give back to the community. Volunteers are also encouraged to engage in our Coach Approach to Mentoring training, where they can take mentorship to the next level with our youth participants.
Thank you for your interest in volunteering with us. As we adjust to the dynamic changes brought on by COVID-19, we have shifted our volunteer opportunities to be on an “as-needed” basis. If you’d like to be reached out to by a member of our Volunteer Services team when an opportunity that matches your interest, skill set, and availability becomes available, please complete the form below. Please note it may take anywhere from one to three months for an opportunity to become available.
In the meantime, please feel free to explore our volunteer roles below and reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
ROLES OF OUR VOLUNTEERS
Whatever your strengths, you will play an important role in our community and make an impact.
As a Just in Time Coach, you want to develop a long-lasting relationship with one or more youth participants. You enjoy building new relationships and have a desire to make a difference in the life of a Just in Time youth. You naturally possess relational qualities like kindness, patience, and humility.
Some examples of activities may include supporting a youth participant with:
- Attending JIT workshops
- One-on-one meetings
- Emotional support
- Career exploration
- Resume writing
- Financial literacy
- Studying for a driver’s permit
As a Just in Time Advocacy Volunteer, you want to support youth participants through advocacy.
Some examples of your activities may include:
- Researching college financial aid options
- Assisting with credit repair
- Providing pro bono legal support
- Helping a youth participant move into their home or dorm
- Extending your network or services to youth participants
As a Just in Time Facilitator, you want to share your area(s) of expertise with youth participants through workshop facilitation. You’re a dynamic facilitator who uses a variety of interactive methods and exercises to keep participants engaged in your topic and feeling connected. You may already have content or curriculum to share or you may be willing to collaborate on the creation of the content.
We are open to hearing about what you have to offer, but some of the topics we cover in workshops include:
- Financial literacy
- Career exploration
- Car maintenance
- Health and wellness
- Managing healthy relationships
- Social media presence and professionalism
- Resume and cover letter writing
As a Just in Time Support Volunteer, you’ll be helping with administrative support, event preparation, or event day assistance.
Event Day Support
- Assembling gift bags
- Hand addressing envelopes
Spotlight: Jim Mcllhon
After I retired a couple years ago, I was looking for volunteer opportunities across a broad spectrum as I wanted to engage in different ways with various ages and communities.
I come from a big, tightly knit, and affectionate family that was led by a generous and caring couple, my parents, who wove lessons in love and care for self and others into the fabric of our daily lives. I am so thankful for that gift but know that many young people exiting foster care have missed out on some basic skills, knowledge, and coping mechanisms so important in the transition to adult life responsibilities and challenges. Just in Time provides many ways to help these young adults, and I was attracted to the breadth and quality of their support services, and the investment they make in their volunteers. They provide not just an info session as an overview of their services, but train us on how to have rewarding and empowering conversations with the participants, which starts with the realization that they are each creative, resourceful, and whole.
My Best Day:
I love the College Bound program JIT runs each summer in June. Over a couple Saturdays, the coaches and participants interact through games, meals, discussions, and icebreakers. Then you’re paired up with a College Bound student. My cohort, CeCe, and I had a blast shopping for items at Walmart to ship up to UC Berkeley where she’s now in her second year of pre-law studies. It was a wonderful start to a rewarding relationship that continues today.
My Biggest Challenge
As a parent of twenty-somethings and a former people manager at a large corporation, I found it easy for me to fall into the trap of using my knowledge and experience, beliefs and goals to guide my discussions with the participants. I’ve had to learn to set my agenda aside and let the youth self-discover their path forward and not approach each session as an opportunity to fix or rescue this person.
Who Should Volunteer with JIT?
Someone who believes fervently in the potential of all young people, no matter how difficult a past they may have had, to become the person they envision. You must be an empathetic and active listener as well as being accessible and accountable. The great thing about JIT is you can pick from so many programs, whether that’s helping move someone into a new space, teaching a youth to drive, or showing them how to create and manage a budget. You decide how you want to make an impact on their lives.
You have questions. We have answers.
Who do I contact with questions about volunteering?
Can I start volunteering right away?
We ask that you first sign up to attend a New Volunteer Info Session to learn more about our organization. During the info session, you will also fill out a form that will help us match you with upcoming volunteer opportunities that suit your interests, expertise, and schedule. We hold one orientation each month, usually on a Thursday evening from 7:00pm – 8:30pm at our main office in Mission Valley. Please visit our sign-up page to view upcoming orientation dates and register to attend.
In addition, we host two Coach Approach to Mentoring training sessions for you which are required, and we will tell you all about our “Coach Approach” during the New Volunteer Info Session.
The Volunteer Services team also hosts volunteer orientations throughout the year that are role-specific (for Event Day Volunteers, Career Horizons Coaches, etc.). It is required that you attend the general New Volunteer Info Session prior to attending any role-specific orientations.
How much time can I expect to spend each month volunteering for JIT?
As little or as much time as you want! Each volunteer role requires a unique investment of time and energy. From year-long cohort services with bi-weekly workshops and one-on-one meetups (as many as 10 hours per month), to event day registration (as little as 2 hours on a single day of the year). At our New Volunteer Info Session, you’ll learn about the various volunteer roles, the time of year they are offered, and the time commitment required.
Can I be involved in more than one volunteer role at a time?
Absolutely! We are dedicated to creating a community of engaged volunteers who have the opportunity to contribute as much of themselves and their talents as they’d like to the youth they feel so inspired to support. Many of our volunteers take on multiple roles, participate in various JIT services, and even propose new ones! When you become a JIT volunteer, you become a member of our community; a community that continues to grow and change in response to our participants’ evolving needs as well as the diverse talents and passions of the volunteers themselves.
Where are the new volunteer info session held?
Our new volunteer info session are held at the main JIT office at 4560 Alvarado Canyon Rd, Ste 2G, San Diego, CA 92120. Free parking is available in front of the building and overflow parking is available next door at the Grantville trolley station.
Is Just in Time certified as a Service Enterprise?
Yes. In 2014, Points of Light certified JIT as a Service Enterprise, defined as an “organization that fundamentally leverages volunteers and their skills across all levels of the organization to successfully deliver on its social mission.” This means we count on volunteers to provide the resources, relationships, and expertise that deliver our much-needed services to transition age foster youth while building organizational capacity.