ServiceWorks, a new program developed by AmeriCorps, Points of Light, and Citi
Foundation in partnership with the United Way of Greater St. Louis, will help students aged 16-
24 in St. Louis develop professional skills and find success in their education while engaging
them in community service. ServiceWorks has four primary components: a 10-module
curriculum that will train the participants in professional skills like networking and communicating
across difference, three service projects supplemented by a capstone project organized by the
participating students, one-on-one and small-group mentoring sessions with Success Coaches,
and workshop sessions led by volunteer Module Facilitators.
Service scholars are opportunity youth aged 16-24 who have few on-ramps to the
support they need to achieve stability and long-term economic success. These scholars may
come from, or lead, low-income families, and may have not progressed through post-secondary
education or secured an attachment to the labor market. Participants commit to coming to the
modules once a week, participating in three service projects, and completing a capstone
project, in which they create and lead a service project.
The 10-module curriculum is designed to build professional development skills required
for successful entry into the workforce. They begin by exploring notions of leadership, then
expand to understanding the community around them and how they can begin to address the
needs of their community. Building on these concepts, participants discuss networking and
interpersonal skills, such as effective communication, conflict resolution, and communicating
across differences. The ServiceWorks curriculum culminates with two reflective sessions, in
which participants will look back and reflect on their experiences and what they have gained
from involvement with the program.
Scholars participate in three guided service projects planned and implemented by the
AmeriCorps VISTAs facilitating ServiceWorks. These projects reinforce the program’s emphasis
on service-learning while requiring the scholars to implement skills discussed in the modules.
These projects also serve as a networking opportunity for participants, connecting them with
agencies and community members interested in making a positive impact. We hope these
projects will lead participants towards future engagement in service.
There are two main categories of volunteers for ServiceWorks: success coaches and
module facilitators. Success coaches commit to a 3-4 month term with ServiceWorks,
volunteering four hours a month. They serve as personal and professional resources for the
service scholars, helping them work towards their short and long-term career and academic
goals. Module facilitators lead the curriculum delivered to the Service Scholars, with a flexible
time commitment for this position; they may volunteer to lead as many sessions as they like,
understanding that each session will be a 2 hour time commitment.