Types of Volunteer Opportunities
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
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
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.