Learn to Give Back–CAREcorps


Dig deep. Rise up. Branch out. Serve.

​CAREcorps connects entering 9th, 10th, and 11th graders with peers and older students representing Salem-Keizer high schools. Together they form service teams and train with local nonprofits during the summer to give back to the community.

CAREcorps seeks to break negative teen stereotypes by providing a space for cultural, educational, and leadership growth empowering youth to make positive changes in the community.

CAREcorps philosophy and goals

The program is based on national service learning and job skills development best practices, the Search Institutes’ 40 Developmental Assets for youth, and  the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) philosophy which prepares students for academic success and personal success in life.

CAREcorps is not solely for AVID students but open to all high school youth living in the Salem Keizer area. If you're willing to develop into a young community leader while giving back to Salem through service, then join us! Find more information about AVID on their website.

CAREcorps goals include:

  • Reinforce key AVID components for all members.
  • Network teens across school campuses and fosters friendships across socio-economic and racial lines.
  • Create a bridge for incoming 9th graders to positively connect with upperclassmen from shared high schools.
  • Provide “real world” skill development activities to improve college & workforce readiness.
  • Develop leadership attributes in participants
  • Provide upperclassmen leaders and 2nd year members a City of Salem Letter of Recommendation for college portfolios and resumes upon request.
  • Provide a half (.5) community service elective credit after completing two years of camp; the equivalent of one semester of class.
  • Link members to activities, to camp staff and to resources throughout the upcoming school year and beyond.

How camp works

To participate in the CAREcorps summer leadership camp:

  1. Application: Entering 9th-11th grade students in the Salem Keizer School District apply for camp through their school’s AVID Program or by downloading required documents on the City of Salem website and submitting them as directed on the form before the school year ends.
  2. Training: In June, CAREcorps provides an interview day followed by a training week for paid and volunteer leadership positions for 11th and 12th graders.
  3. Project selection: Teen Leaders select service projects with local nonprofits after meeting representatives and hearing presentations on potential projects and needs.
  4. Leadership: In June and July, teens lead 9th-12th grader service teams in projects benefitting Salem-area groups.
  5. Service: Service teams are trained throughout camp at Salem Keizer Education Foundation and in the field during service projects.
  6. Recognition: CAREcorps celebrates student efforts by inviting the community to service team presentations the last day of camp. Members receive a certificate of achievement at the event and are eligible for Letters of Recommendation.
30+ teens in front of the Oregon State Capitol Building.

Contact us

Laurie Shaw CasarezYouth Outreach and Education Coordinator
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