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Who can join YouthWork?

YouthWork participants are young adults, ages 17-26, from Michigan. Limited positions may be available for 14-16 year olds. Crew Leaders may be any age, but have experience and are ready to supervise and support crew members.

YouthWork participants come from all walks of life. Some have experience in conservation or construction and just want to learn new skills or give back to their community. Others have never had a job or worked outdoors and want to gain experience. No matter where you’re starting, we want you to succeed and will provide the training and support necessary to help you reach your goals.

All are welcome at YouthWork and all of us benefit from YouthWork activities. At the heart of YouthWork is an inclusive culture where our vulnerable, diverse members are met with respect and kindness. YouthWork proudly accepts and deliberately recruits members from varying backgrounds, with varying talents and capabilities.



As an AmeriCorps member, you will receive a living stipend (paycheck) via direct deposit every two weeks. For summer 2024, AmeriCorps members will earn $550-$700 per week (pre-tax) depending on the term length and the total number of hours served.

If you complete your term successfully, AmeriCorps members will also receive a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award of $1,550 - $1,950 that can be used for qualifying expenses for college or higher education or to repay qualified student loans. 

While serving with YouthWork, you will also gain lifelong skills that will help you get a good job, finish school, and be more prepared to tackle life’s challenges. You will meet other youth members from around the state and will work with adult Crew Leaders and other YouthWork staff who will teach and support you along the way.


YouthWork wants you to succeed. Ensuring that our members have a positive, beneficial experience is our number one goal. Our staff are here to help you reach your education and employment goals and connect you with resources to be successful with YouthWork and beyond.

YouthWork has three cohorts that mirror school semesters – fall, spring, and summer. Participants typically serve a total of 300 or 450 hours over a period of 8 to18 weeks, depending on the season and participant's availability.


During the school year (fall and spring), students still in school average 20 hours per week, either serving two full, ten-hour days with YouthWork and attending school the other three days, or serving five half-days and attending school the other half of the day.


In the summer months or for those who are not in school, participants serve four-five days per week (Monday through Thursday/Friday) for ten hours each day, averaging 40 hours per week.


Summer terms are typically 9 to 12 weeks starting in May/June and ending in August/September. Summer term lengths are based upon participant's availability and school schedule, crew type (ie. camping crew or local only crew), and the program's needs.


If you’re successful with YouthWork, you may serve additional terms or longer term lengths. AmeriCorps members may serve up to four terms.

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YouthWork participants are organized into crews of 2-5 other young adults (crew sizes may be limited during COVID-19) supervised by a qualified, adult Crew Leader. Throughout your term, you will serve with the same crew as you go out into your local community and complete projects for partners such as the Department of Natural Resources, the National Park Service, the US Forest Service, local parks & recreation departments, regional/local land conservancies and conservation districts, local nonprofits, and more. Projects might include building or improving trails or boardwalks, removing invasive species, planting trees, historic preservation, light construction, supporting a local nonprofit, and more.

In addition to basic tool use, Leave No Trace Techniques, and workplace safety, participants are trained in punctuality, communication, professionalism, and independent living skills. Members may also have the opportunity to receive a variety of additional training and certifications including: CPR and First Aid; Scaffold and Harness Safety; Light Construction; Lead Awareness certification; OSHA certifications of various lengths/proficiencies; Wilderness First Responder certification; and other recognized credentials.

Crews serve throughout Michigan with most projects completed within 50 miles of participant's home communities. Crews may travel overnight outside their hometown to serve in some of Michigan's most beautiful, environmentally sensitive places, often for the first time in their lives. At these overnight spike camps, members complete service projects in remote and serene destinations like Grand Island, accessible only by boat, Pictured Rocks, or the Hiawatha National Forest. Teambuilding occurs as crews prepare meals together, bond over shared experiences, and enjoy camping in the places they are improving.



If you would like to learn more about YouthWork or want to apply, please use the buttons below or get in touch with us today!

  • Diana Scott / AmeriCorps Program Coordinator /
    (231) 622-3185

  • Lana Skubick / Upper Peninsula Regional Specialist /
    (231) 220-6347

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