CAREcorps connects incoming 9th and rising 10th graders with peers and older students representing Salem-Keizer high schools. Together they form service teams and work with local nonprofits during the summer to give back to 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.
AVID targets students in the academic middle - B, C, and even D students - who have the desire to go to college and the willingness to work hard. Typically, they will be the first in their families to attend college, and many are from low-income or minority families. AVID pulls these students out of their unchallenging courses and puts them on the college track.
Program goals include:
- Reinforces key AVID components for all members.
- Networks teens across school campuses and fosters friendships across socio-economic and racial lines.
- Creates a bridge for incoming 9th graders to positively connect with upperclassmen from shared high schools.
- Provides “real world” skill development activities to improve college & workforce readiness.
- Provides upperclassmen leaders and 2nd year members a City of Salem Letter of Recommendation for college portfolios and resumes upon request.
- Provides a half (.5) community service elective credit after completing two years of camp; the equivalent of one semester of class.
- Links 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:
- Application: 8th & 9th grade students in the Salem Keizer School District apply for camp through their school’s AVID Program before the school year ends.
- Training: In June, CAREcorps provides an interview day followed by a training week for paid and volunteer leadership positions for 11th and 12th graders.
- Project selection: High School Leaders select service projects with local nonprofits after meeting representatives and hearing presentations on potential projects and needs.
- Leadership: In July, youth lead volunteer teams of incoming freshmen & sophomores plus returning members in projects benefitting Salem-area groups.
- Service: Service teams are trained throughout the week before working on location every Thursday.
- 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.
Read the annual summaries below to learn more about the program.