Skip to main content

Volunteering and Internships

Apply to be an OYA VolunteerFor Current OYA Volunteers

How to Become a Volunteer

Start by filling out the online application at the top of this page. Volunteers at OYA must:
  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Go through a criminal history check
  • Go through a child abuse/neglect history check
    • Conviction of an offense will not necessarily exclude you from serving as a volunteer. If you refuse to disclose a conviction or submit to a criminal records check, however, you will be disqualified from consideration. 
After you submit the application, someone from OYA will reach out to you. If you haven't heard from anyone and want to check on the status of your application, email OYAVolunteers@oya.state.or.us.

Types of Volunteer Opportunities

Be a Mentor

Mentors offer teens and young men and women positive relationships with responsible adults.

Tutor a Youth

Academic progress correlates directly with lowered recidivism rates. Many OYA youth in facilities and in community settings can benefit from one-on-one help in basic academic subjects. 

Lead Religious Activities

Volunteers are OYA’s primary resource for providing a variety of spiritual and religious services and study groups for youth in close-custody facilities.

Coach Life Skills and Job Readiness

Volunteers can provide youth with practical advice and information that enhances their ability to successfully navigate life once they return to the community. 

Provide Post-Incarceration Job Opportunities

Volunteer businesses can provide a step up to OYA youth, offering internships or jobs for the short or long term. Maintaining employment significantly helps OYA youth lead productive, crime-free lives. 

Sponsor a Living Unit

Volunteer groups can sponsor living units of 25 youth by providing holiday celebrations and recognition of youth birthdays and special events such as graduations.

Assist with Work Experience Programs

Volunteers currently support many work experience programs at OYA facilities. These programs teach important job skills, good work habits, and responsibility.

Provide Cultural Programs

Volunteers lead or participate in many of the culture-specific events and programs in OYA facilities. Examples include Native American pow wows and beading groups, Latino leadership organizations, African American heritage events and mentoring, and LGBTQ+ Pride events. To learn more about cultural-related volunteer opportunities, OYA's Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Relations at Marisela.Gonzalez@oya.state.or.us or 503-378-4667.

Give a Speech or Presentation

If you are interested in giving a one-time presentation at an OYA facility:
  • Contact the facility directly. They will let you know the process for setting up a presentation.
  • Approval is required from facility administrators.

Internships and Practicums

OYA offers a limited number of practicum and internship opportunities for college students interested in the fields of psychology, sociology, criminal justice, youth treatment, youth reformation, or youth development. 

Interns and practicum students get the chance to gain practical experience in the areas of intercultural relations, mental health, addictions, academic support, and life enrichment groups. 

Please note: The number of internship or practicum opportunities at OYA is very small.

OYA practicum or internship candidates must:
  • Be currently enrolled in a college- or university-sanctioned program
  • Be eligible to earn college credit for their OYA activities
  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Complete the online volunteer application
  • Pass a criminal records check
  • Pass a check of the Oregon Child Abuse registry
  • Pass a national fingerprint check
  • Have excellent references
  • Attend volunteer orientation and trining
  • Follow OYA rules, policies, procedures, and staff directives

General Contact

For general questions about volunteering at OYA:
Sanya Kite, 503-373-2357

OYA Facilities Contacts

For questions about volunteering at a specific OYA facility, contact that facility's volunteer coordinator.

Camp Florence, Florence
Tom Schueneman, 541-997-2076

Camp Riverbend, La Grande
Kathleen VanGordon, 541‐663‐8801, Ext. 222

Camp Tillamook, Tillamook
Amy Braden, 503‐842‐4243, Ext. 321

Eastern Oregon Youth Correctional Facility, Burns
Crystal Hussey, 541-589-5815

MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility, Woodburn
Rev. Sean A. Page, 503‐982-4434

Oak Creek Youth Correctional Facility and Young Women’s Transition Program, Albany
Sanya Kite, 503-373-2357

Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility, Grants Pass
Fes Lellis, 541‐471‐2862, Ext. 391

Tillamook Youth Correctional Facility, Tillamook
Amy Braden, 503‐842‐2565

For volunteering with OYA youth in the community:
Debbi Martin, 503‐378‐3864

Contacts for Internships

Loren Calkins, Treatment Services in Facilities
Debbi Martin, Community Services

Your browser is out-of-date! It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites. Learn how

×