YASC. Young Adult Service Communities. Rolls right off the tongue, doesn’t it? If I were still living in Tennessee and I heard someone say YASC I’d likely have to respond, “did I ask what?” But I digress.
YASC is a fantastic program that the UCC offers each and every year for young adults age 21-30. The program places participants in one-year long assignments where they live in intentional community with several other young adults, and engage in direct service and/or justice advocacy work. Here in southern California a group of four people are hosted by the fine people of Carlsbad Pilgrim UCC, north of San Diego. In addition to being oh-so-close to the ocean, these YASC participants gain valuable experience in community organizing, advocating for food security issues and more, while also working alongside the people of Pilgrim UCC.
Other locations for YASC projects include Bethesda, MD and Phoenix, AZ, and in the 2012-2013 academic year there will be additional communities in Seattle, WA, Chapel Hill, NC, China Grove, NC (45 minutes NE of Charlotte) and Saginaw, MI (2 hours NNW of Detroit). Opportunities include interfaith work, advocacy and service for immigrant communities, early childhood education, work with Habitat For Humanity and others.
When accepted into the YASC program, housing, a food stipend and health insurance are provided. Participants can also qualify for an AmeriCorps Education Grant. At a time when so many people are getting shut out of jobs due to lack of experience (“so how do I get any experience?”), the YASC program is a great way to do just that. So right now, click on something in this post and check it out!