Get answers to frequently asked questions about working on Summer Staff at YouthWorks.
Summer Staff FAQs
YouthWorks mission trips began in 1994 to provide quality, affordable, Christ-centered mission opportunities of teenagers. Since then, we’ve connected around 750,000 young people to service experiences in over 75 locations around the country.
We seek individuals with the qualities and traits found in our most successful summer staff. They have an active relationship with Christ and can engage well with people from diverse cultural, denominational, theological, or political backgrounds and perspectives. They take the initiative and figure things out if they don’t know something. They’re ready to use their gifts to serve others. They’re also adaptable and can maintain a positive attitude while working in a rigorous environment. We understand that many college students and young adults have yet to build extensive job resumes. So we look for those that exhibit certain character qualities more than job experience.
Summer staff are needed to serve at one of 15-20 communities located across the United States and Puerto Rico. The types of communities include: small town, small urban, and large urban. Check out the Community Sites to learn more about the unique personality of each community. The majority of staff will be placed in a community outside of their current or home state. YouthWorks intentionally places diverse staff together to bring a variety of skill sets and experiences to each team.
May 21st – August 7th, 2024
A typical site has one Site Director and at least two Site Coordinators. Site Coordinators include Community Service Coordinators and Work Projects Coordinators, and each site has a different combination of those roles. YouthWorks also hires people to fill the Utility Support Coordinator position. See Staff Positions for more details.
Each week a group of approximately 65 teenagers and their Adult Leaders come to sites to participate in service. These groups, coming from across the country and many denominational backgrounds, arrive on Sunday afternoons and depart on Friday mornings. Staff facilitate all aspects of the groups’ service and mission experience. From breakfast until lights out, staff serve, build community, organize service projects, lead meals, network within the community, facilitate programming elements, and spend time getting to know youth and Adult Leaders. Days are full, weeks have a lot going on, and great ministry happens within it all.
Most of our housing sites are local churches or schools where staff will be permitted to stay in a specific section of the building (such as a small classroom). Staff sleep in quarters separate from youth and Adult Leaders, but will share a sleeping room with staff of the same gender. Staff will need to purchase an air mattress or sleeping pad to sleep on during training and throughout the summer in their assigned community. Showers and laundry may be on-site or off-site, depending on the community.
The base stipend for new full-summer Site Coordinators is $3,000. Site Directors have a higher starting stipend. One of the bonuses is an added $150 for qualified guitar, piano, and ukulele players who help facilitate worship on site. Returning staff receive a pay increase from their last YouthWorks summer. In addition to your stipend, YouthWorks provides lodging, meals, and transportation.
Costs not covered include travel to Minneapolis, MN at the beginning of the summer and travel home from Minneapolis at the end of the summer, as well as any meals eaten off-site. Because of limited summer expenses, summer staff have found that they can make a comparable summer wage to that of a mainstream summer job.
We want to get to know you! Our application and hiring process is designed to learn more about your character, passions, and fit for a summer long Christian ministry position.
- Apply – Most people complete the application in about 20 minutes.
- Discovery Call – A 15–20-minute informal video chat or phone call to get to know you a bit more and answer some initial questions about YouthWorks Summer Staff positions.
- Interview – One-hour digital interview during the first two weeks of March. *Interviews for alumni staff and those who have been on YouthWorks mission trips will occur during the first two weeks of November.
- You’re Hired! – Those who are selected to join our 2024 Summer Staff Team will be notified of their offer and site placement on a rolling basis. Applicants who apply, interview, and accept their offers the earliest are more likely to be placed in one of their preferred communities.
The application deadline is February 29th. If openings are still available, we will extend the deadline. Those who apply the earliest will have will be more likely to receive the site preference.
Interviews will occur during the first 2 weeks of each month until positions are filled. The earlier an applicant applies, interviews, and is hired, the more likely they are to receive their preferred position or community interest.
During the application, you’ll be asked for your first, second, and third community preference. Each community only has 3 Summer Staff members. So while we cannot guarantee that you’ll be placed in your first community preference, the hiring team will take your preferences into consideration and communicate if that location is available and the best fit for you. The earlier that you apply, interview, and are hired, the more likely you are to receive your first preference.
Placement happens on a rolling basis after a staff accepts their offer. Applicants who are hired earlier will have higher probability of being placed in one of their preferred communities.
At a minimum, staff must be 18 years of age and one-year post-high school or equivalent. YouthWorks policy requires that staff be 19 years or older to be eligible to drive company vehicles. Non-driver staff positions exist, but are very limited. YouthWorks also requires that staff be able to conduct various physical and strenuous tasks safely. Tasks include, but are not limited to, lifting and carrying up to 60 pounds, directing participants in meal preparation, and safely operating YouthWorks vehicles. See Staff Positions for more details.
When hired, staff will have access to the YouthWorks Training Website that includes helpful information and summer prep tasks. All Summer Staff spend their first week together training in Minneapolis, MN. After training, staff teams travel (using YouthWorks vehicles) to their community to spend the next week preparing their site for participants. Programming typically begins the following week. A more experienced YouthWorks staff person will be present for the first week that participants are on site to provide additional leadership and training for the team.
Yes. You will need to be Infant, Child & Adult CPR certified and First Aid certified if hired. YouthWorks requires that staff take the skills portion of their CPR course in person. Certification must be completed before the start of summer training. YouthWorks will reimburse you for half the cost of the class(es) if you are hired and complete the summer as staff. We advise all hired staff to begin looking for a class as soon as possible. Visit www.redcross.org or cpr.heart.org for possible classes in your area. Many schools offer certification classes as well.
Site Director candidates must be a graduating college senior, post-college age or at least four years post-high school. A college degree is not required to be considered for a Site Director position, but substantial leadership, maturity, and management experience must be shown in post-high school settings.
*Alumni who meet all other qualifications other than college graduate or four years post-high school may be considered for a Site Director position.
We encourage all people, at least one year out of high school (equivalent to a first-year college student) or older, to apply at any point in the season. If you are under 19 years of age for the dates of our summer employment, due to our insurance requirements, you are considered a non-driver. There are a limited number of positions for non-drivers, which makes these positions very competitive. 19-year-old staff are allowed to drive compact rental cars, 20-year-old staff can also drive minivans and cargo vans, and anyone 21 and older can drive all rental vehicles. We begin hiring staff in the fall and will continue to accept applications until all positions have been filled.
International students are encouraged to apply for our summer positions if they meet our application requirements. We suggest that international students review the following steps before completing an application:
- Review CPT/OPT eligibility with your U.S. university or college. Your major or area of concentration will likely need to match what YouthWorks does in the summer.
- Please review our summer positions and job descriptions, as well as the information on this FAQ page, with your Designated School Official and discuss what it could look like for you to work off campus during the summer. (Note: Some positions require meeting our driving requirements.)
YouthWorks may be a great fit, depending on CPT/OPT/visa requirements. If you are interested in moving forward after talking with your DSO, please continue or complete the Summer Staff application.
If your application is chosen to move forward, we will follow our application process which may include a discovery call and interview(s). Please note that we may only offer a position once you have confirmed you connected with your DSO about YouthWorks. We don’t want you to waste your time in our process if it ultimately would not fit your requirements.
Priority is given to applicants who can work the entire duration of the summer (including both training and programming weeks). We understand that, from time to time, staff may have short date conflicts during the summer. When this is the case, applicants are encouraged to submit a Summer Staff application and to include specifics about the date conflict on the application.
Date conflicts that occur during the programming week while participants are on site or for multiple weeks of the summer may be difficult to approve. When this is the case, after an application has been submitted, applicants will have a conversation with a member of the Hiring Team about the feasibility of such a date conflict. If you would like to discuss the feasibility of a date conflict before applying, please email email@example.com.
If hired, a staff is responsible to cover the cost of their travel to and from their date conflict.
Hired summer staff can find answers to their parents’ questions on the Training Tab of their Dashboard. If answers cannot be found, questions can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org (with the subject “Summer Staff Parent Questions”), and someone will respond within 72 hours.