Started in 2010, TeenImpact is HandsOn Greater Richmond’s summer service learning program for youth. TeenImpact is a unique opportunity for youth to begin to understand issues facing our region and how they have the power to make positive change for a better community. Youth from all over the Richmond area will be engaged in learning about the issues facing our community and volunteer to address those issues. Each week has a designated theme, and each day during that week, youth visit with a different nonprofit partner along that theme. Approximately half of the day is spent learning about the organization and the issue they address, and the other half is engaged in a service project that benefits that organization.

Service learning is a teaching approach that brings together formal instruction with a related service project in the local or global community. Using this method enables formal learning to support the work of local agencies that effect positive change in the community. TeenImpact allows youth to serve on a deeper level. Each day, youth learn more about an issue and a specific organization and start to make those connections needed for addressing complex community issues. Youth who have integrated service into their own lives, are more likely to become service-minded and civically engaged adults.

In 2014, we offered 5 weeks of TeenImpact--5 different weeks to learn and serve! Back by popular demand is our Farm to Table program, where youth will learn about urban agriculture, food justice, healthy eating and hunger issues, and Home Sweet Home which focuses on housing and homelessness. New this year is RVAhyrdro-dedicated to learning about significant environmental issues in our area. Below are the dates for this year’s program.

July 14-18, 2014- Home Sweet Home
July 21-25, 2014- Farm to Table
July 28- August 1, 2014- RVAhydro
August 4-8, 2014- Farm to Table
August 18-22, 2014- Home Sweet Home

Sample Daily Schedule:
• 8:45AM- youth arrive at centralized meeting location
• 9-9:30AM (depending on location)- youth are transported to a local nonprofit partner
• 9:30AM-12PM- youth engage in learning and serving
• 12-1PM- lunch
• 1-3:30PM- youth engage in learning and serving
• 3:30PM- youth leave for centralized meeting location
• 4PM- youth are picked up by parents or designated adult

Who is eligible?
Area youth aged 12-15, are invited to apply. Candidates will be chosen by a selection committee comprised of HandsOn staff and youth advisors.

What are the transportation arrangements for TeenImpact?
TeenImpact participants will meet each morning at a designated meeting location (TBD, but it will be a centralized location in the Richmond area and on a GRTC bus line). Program staff will transport youth in a passenger van to each location each day of the program. TeenImpact participants need to guarantee they have reliable transportation to and from the meeting location for each day of the program.

Is there a cost associated with TeenImpact?
There is a program fee of $50 for one week. This fee may be waived if financial hardship is demonstrated.

How can I sign up?

The application process for 2014 is closed

Please take the time to thoughtfully answer the online application questions. Applications must be received by 5pm on Sunday, May 25, 2014, in order to be considered. Follow up will occur on an as-needed basis and occur via email or phone call.

View a PDF of the application to familiarize yourself before you get started.

Questions can be directed to Erin Osiol, Program Manager at eosiol@handsonrva.org  or 804-330-7027.


Feedback from past TeenImpact programs:

"My child came home excited every day with detailed descriptions of what he'd accomplished and experienced. He accomplished things that he was proud of, and he was treated like a young adult instead of a child, which made him feel important and valued.

He would like to continue volunteering with Meals on Wheels. This program got him to try foods that he wouldn't even look at before. The teachers were phenomenal. Hats off to you all for creating this wonderful program."


"We are looking forward to participating more with HandsOn's opportunities to volunteer. Thank you for your hard work, time and organizing this opportunity.  I am very proud that my son was selected out of so many applicants."