Challenge 1: Service Can't Wait

Challenge 1: Service Can’t Wait

Through March 31, 2017

Service years are a uniquely powerful tool that yield a triple bottom line: they offer a transformative opportunity to those who serve, connecting them to careers, higher education, and professional pursuits, and cultivating a generation of leaders. They bring unprecedented skills and willpower to partner with communities to find sustainable solutions to some of our nation’s greatest challenges. And they unite the nation by facilitating a culture of service and common experience open to Americans of all backgrounds.

Service years are among our best hopes of transforming the country and bringing people together. This is a moment we must seize. Service can’t wait.


Educate Your Campus

76% of young people don’t know service year opportunities exist. Take action to educate your campus community about the power of service years. The success of the action will be measured by the number of people who sign-up and join your effort and creativity demonstrated in your awareness-raising effort on campus.

Here are some suggested tactics to get you started:

  • Distribute Service Year Campus swag on campus (stickers, postcards, tattoos, etc.)

  • Table in well-trafficked areas on campus and at school events

  • Chalk “graffiti”/ art on campus that includes powerful facts about service years

  • A stunt that highlights the impact of service years on communities (for example: chairs on a quad representing the number of children tutored by service year programs in your state)

  • Posters and flags all over campus with service year facts and stories

  • Class raps on the personal, community, and national impact of service years

  • Organize a service year themed open mic/ coffee house night

  • Host a service day on campus (food drive, park clean-up, etc.) and use it as an opportunity to engage a broader audience on service years

Use Our Resources

Advocate on Campus

On a weekly basis, members of Congress and their staff remind the Service Year team in Washington that it’s critical to demonstrate a constituency for service. Use your voice to urge members of Congress to expand opportunities for young people to serve.

Key Resource:

Advocacy Toolkit. Includes instructions regarding how to call, write, meet and bird-dog your member of Congress, how to submit an LTE, talking points, and other best practices. 


Download the Toolkit

Key Tactics:

  • “A Greater Us” petition: work with your College Organizing Manager to get a unique link to promote on campus.

    • PRO TIP: Use the petition as a call to action at tabling events, class raps, and meetings on campus. Partner with other groups on campus and share with their lists.

  • Handwritten letters your member of Congress: work with your College Organizing Manager to get a stack of postcards to use for handwritten letters targeting key members of Congress.

    • PRO TIP: See the advocacy toolkit for tips on writing your representatives

  • National Call Day: March 1st is our first national call day of the year where we’ll mobilize supporters across the country to call their members of Congress. Work with your College Organizing Manager to get a unique link to promote the action.

    • PRO TIP: Organize call day pizza parties on campus in a well traveled area on campus. “Give a call, get a slice!”

  • Submit a letter to the editor/ op-ed to your campus paper

    • PRO TIP: See the advocacy toolkit for tips on submitting a letter to the editor.


Report Your Actions

If it’s not reported, it didn’t happen. All actions should be reported on the Service Year Campus website on a weekly basis.

Report Your Actions


Challenge 1: Service Can't Wait
Challenge 1: Service Can't Wait
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