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Meaningful relationships to adults are at the heart of the Just in Time for Foster Youth (JIT) mission. Every service and resource we provide is driven by the time, talent and passion of our amazing volunteers.
Volunteers fill what we have found to be the most critical gap in resources for foster youth – connection to consistent, caring adults. Through relationships forged at JIT, youth learn essential skills like paying bills, grocery shopping, and budgeting. They build vital social networks to help them succeed professionally and personally; and are supported emotionally as they take on new challenges like adjusting to their freshman year at college.
JIT volunteer opportunities are diverse and are compatible with a wide range of schedules, skills and interests. Volunteers can share knowledge by facilitating workshops or lend administrative support by helping out in the JIT office. Groups and organizations are welcome! Sign up for a New Volunteer Info Session and help provide empowering, life changing choices to a former foster youth, today!
New Volunteer Info Sessions are available on the third Thursday of every month via Zoom. When filling out the volunteer sign up form, you will be prompted to RSVP for the New Volunteer Info Session that fits your schedule.
Have questions? Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
A common commitment to empowering youth.
Facilitate / Present
Event / Admin Support
Just in Time coaches develop long-lasting and meaningful connections to one or more youth participants, ages (18-26).
If you enjoy building new relationships; are passionate about making a difference in individual lives; and possess strong relational qualities like kindness, patience and humility, you are a good candidate.
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?
How do I start volunteering?
First, sign up to attend a New Volunteer Info Session. During the info session, you will provide information that will help us match you with upcoming volunteer opportunities that suit your interests, expertise, and schedule.
We host Volunteer Info Sessions on the third Thursday of each month. Please visit our sign-up page to view upcoming New Volunteer Info Session dates and register to attend.
In addition to the New Volunteer Info Session, volunteers are required to attend one “Coach Approach to Mentoring” training session. These trainings focus on effective communication and active listening skills to facilitate happy, healthy and strong relationships between youth participants and volunteers. “Coach Approach” to Mentoring is explained in depth during the New Volunteer Info Session.
After I attend a New Volunteer Info Session, how soon can I begin volunteering?
Depending on the upcoming needs and opportunities, as well as your availability and interests, it can take 1-3 months to begin volunteering. During the Info Session, you’ll learn about current and upcoming volunteer opportunities. Within the following week, we ask you to submit a form detailing the JIT services you are interested in, along with the skills and experience you would like to leverage as a volunteer. Once this is submitted, we’ll get you signed up for a Coach Approach to Mentoring (CA2M) training, which is the next step to getting involved. After you have attended a CA2M, you’ll be invited to volunteer at the next opportunity that matches your interests, experience, and availability.
How much time can I expect to spend each month volunteering for JIT?
Volunteer roles vary and time investment depends on the specific volunteer role you sign up for. opportunities can range from year-long cohort programs with bi-weekly workshops and one-on-one meetups (as many as 9 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! Many of our volunteers take on multiple roles and/or engage with several JIT services.
Volunteers are valued members of our growing community. We welcome and appreciate your time, skill and ideas as we evolve to meet the needs of our youth.
Can all ages volunteer?
We love your desire to support our organization, but all our volunteer opportunities are for those 18 and older. Additionally, we ask that all our Coaches are at least 24 years old as our youth participants range from 18-26 years old.
Do you offer out-of-state volunteering? I don’t live in San Diego.
Thank you for your interest in volunteering with us! I wanted to let you know our volunteer opportunities are for San Diego County residents only. Do you plan to move to the area soon? I’m happy to send you additional information about volunteering but wanted to give you a heads up in advance, just in case.
Do you sign off on volunteer hours? (Internships, community service, student, or court-ordered)
Thanks for reaching out and thinking of us with volunteering! While you are more than welcome to sign up to volunteer with us, please note that we don’t sign off on any community, student, or court-ordered volunteer hours. This is because we can’t guarantee the required amount of volunteer hours will be met in the time limit given, and to ensure our volunteers are intending to stay connected for at least 6 months to a year, if not longer. Please let us know if you are still interested in volunteering. Of course, we completely understand if you need to consider alternative options. Thank you.
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.