Last week gap year providers, advisors, and higher education leaders gathered in Denver for the annual International Gap Year conference. The conference was hosted by the American Gap Association (AGA), Service Year Alliance’s gap year partner.
The conference explored barriers to students completing a gap year including funding, parental support, lack of awareness, and concern that these experiences might lengthen time to graduation or dissuade students from attending college at all.
Service Year Alliance partnered with AGA to encourage participants to consider service years as a paid gap year experience either before, during, or after college. Service years solve for some of the challenges faced by students across the country wishing to take a gap year — specifically, service years help address the cost barrier for doing a gap year. During a service year, participants receive a modest living stipend and have the opportunity to work in communities close to home, across the country, or internationally. The modest pay affords young people of all backgrounds an opportunity to take a gap year and gain real-world experience while serving a community.
Some gap year providers can also take advantage of the ServiceYear.org, a platform that connects young people seeking service year opportunities positions with programs looking for talent to serve with their organizations.
For more information on service years as paid gap year opportunities, please visit ServiceYear.org. To learn about certification requirements for gap year providers, please visit Hosting a Service Year.
Feel free to download our one-pager, “Service Year as a Paid Gap Year” for more information as well.