SILVER SPRING, MD – The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA)’s global volunteer program ADRA Connections is launching a new service scholarship that will allow thousands of young people in the U.S. to be more active through volunteerism and become agents of change to contribute to the development of communities abroad.
“We want to challenge the new generation of young people to be more involved in service, so they have a greater understanding of the needs of communities around the world, experience new ways to help others, and become changemakers,” says Adam Wamack, ADRA Connections manager.
ADRA Connections expects to provide 350 to 400 scholarships each year from 2019 to 2023 in order to help cover some of the costs related to volunteer service overseas. Scholarships will range from approximately $500 to $1,200 depending on the type of project and the country where the project takes place.
ADRA, which oversees ADRA Connections and the scholarship program, is a global non-profit organization and the humanitarian arm of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It carries out projects around the world, ensuring that initiatives are sustainable and include community support and participation.
Scholarship eligibility requirements and deadline
In order to qualify for a one-time scholarship, applicants must meet each of the following criteria:
- Be enrolled at a university or high school in any of the 50 states in the U.S.
- Be 25-years-old or younger
- Submit a short application and describe why they are interested in volunteering
Watch a short video about the scholarships.
Leaders of young adult groups from churches, high schools/academies, outdoor and sporting groups who fit the requirements listed above are also invited to apply, but must include information about their group. An ADRA Connections representative will follow-up directly with the group leader.
Service through ADRA connections
ADRA Connections volunteers carry out projects that help children have better access to education and improve living conditions for families through various projects, such as building schools, improving home kitchens, installing solar panels in communities without electricity, helping farmers improve productivity, and other activities. Volunteers are a key part of any project, as they help raise the funds needed to carry out the projects and then travel on location to assist with the work. Volunteers also learn about development challenges, community needs, and solutions.
ADRA Connections coordinates 10 to 15 trips each year and includes a mega build project called ADRA Connections Extreme during the summer season, which brings together hundreds of students from across the United States. Watch the video.
Volunteerism among young adults on the decline
The ADRA Connections scholarship program aims to counter an ongoing decline in volunteerism among young adults. According to a recent study by University of Maryland’s Do Good Institute, volunteering rates among individuals 25 and under continues to decline despite the fact that this age group expresses the most interest in volunteering of any group in the last 50 years. The report also highlights that high school and university-aged students have the lowest rate of volunteerism and that volunteerism by this group has been in decline and remained stagnant since 2000. Volunteer rates have been the lowest among 20- to 24-year-olds, with women volunteering at higher rates than men, according to the U.S. Bureau for Labor Statistics report on volunteering in the nation.
“Given the current decline in volunteerism, we want to re-energize young people and focus their interest in service. This will not only impact the lives of the people they will service, but will also transform the way they see the world around them,” says Wamack.
Online press release about ADRA Connections http://bit.ly/2DhmtDS