Thank you for your interest in being a volunteer staff member with the 2023 Harold M. Marsh Senior Connections Institute! This year, Connections will be held at Smith Mountain Lake from August 7-11, 2023. If selected, volunteers are required to arrive on-site the morning of Sunday, August 6 to participate in staff training.
The Connections experience begins with a five-day residential program that allows student delegates to break barriers, deal with biased behavior, and develop an action plan to reduce prejudice in their own schools or communities. In addition, the delegates gain insight into their own lives and values. Volunteer staff members will lead small group discussions and serve as role models and mentors. conversations so the student participants can explore personal experiences with discrimination and develop conflict resolution skills. Students will leave the program with tools to work toward school and community environments that are free from the distractions of prejudice, stereotypes, and bigotry.
Volunteers must commit to attending the full program , including staff training that begins on August 6. Lodging and meals are provided throughout the week.
Volunteer application forms are due March 31, 2023.
Note that section four of this application asks that applicants share the names and contact information of three references as well as answers to the following short-answer questions:
- Why do you wish to be a part of the Connections experience? What do you expect to gain/share as a result of being a volunteer?
- What specific qualifications, strengths, or insights would you bring to the Connections experience? Particularly for those applicants who have not seen the Connections / Project Inclusion program firsthand, what training or experience will be of assistance in assuming your position at the retreat?
- After the Connections session, in what ways would you actively support the delegates becoming change agents in their schools, communities, houses of worship, and families? How have you supported other groups/non-profits/youth and youth-serving organizations in the past?
- For those who have attended prior VCIC programs: Often, it is challenging for volunteer staff members to be comfortable with being role models to their peers. Accepting this challenge can begin by accepting the idea that the purpose of going back to a VCIC retreat program is not to attempt to repeat the delegate experience but to facilitate the best possible experience for others. How will you focus on that priority?
If your application is accepted, you may be invited to take part in a virtual interview in April of 2023.
If you have any questions, please contact VCIC’s Vice President of Programs at jhawthorne@inclusiveVA.org.