Life's Options (ELOs) is a Coast Redwood High School community service program designed to offer
students real-world experiences. Coast Redwood HS encourages students to explore their interests in order to prepare them for their futures as active citizens. Students are required to complete a minimum of 15 hours of ELOs (Community Service) every year.
Be a Cabin Leader
The Santa Cruz County Outdoor Science School is seeking energetic and
responsible high school volunteers throughout the school year to serve
as Cabin Leaders to small groups of 5th and 6th grade students. Each
Cabin Leader is paired with a Naturalist who they assist on trail and
during field studies. Cabin Leaders help ensure the student safety
during daily activities and overnight in the cabins. All Cabin Leaders
participate in Training the first and second day of the program before
students arrive. Cabin Leaders arrive at 4pm the first day of the program week and are dismissed at 12:00pm on the final day program.
- Earn up to 60 Community Service hours in one week
- Earn 3 college credits by enrolling in ED80, an Education &
Service Learning class at Cabrillo College. The course is free for high
school students and can be taken in person or online.
- Gain skills in Leadership and Risk Management during Cabin Leader Training
- Have fun working with 5th and 6th grade students at the Outdoor Science School
Cabin Leader Application
If you are unable to download an application, or would like more information please send me your me your contact information, or contact me via email or phone.
How to Earn 3 College Credits from Cabrillo College
Students receive 2 college credits for EDUC 80, and 1 credit for EDUC 80L during which students volunteer for one week as a Cabin Leader.
EDUC 80 is a lecture course that provides a general introduction
to educational theory and practice. The course can be taken at Cabrillo
College in Aptos or online. The on-campus lecture is 2 hours a week, and
the online class is organized by modules. This class is worth 2 college units.
EDUC 80L is the Service Learning component to EDUC 80. High
school students satisfy the 56 volunteer hours during one week of
service as a Cabin Leader at the Santa Cruz County Outdoor Science
School. This class is worth 1 college unit.
High school students must enroll in EDUC 80 before their service week as a Cabin Leader, to receive credit. To apply, students need to complete a Concurrent Enrollment application and return it to Cabrillo College Admissions by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline to enroll is October 1st
and the course will begin mid-October. Questions regarding EDUC 80 can
be directed to the course instructor, Professor Mary Soltis by email at
email@example.com. The course is free for high school students, however students will pay a small registration fee. More information about EDUC 80 can be found here.
Cabin Leader Program Coordinator
Santa Cruz County Outdoor Science School
Koinonia Conference Grounds
1605 Eureka Canyon Rd.
Watsonville, CA 95076
Call or text: 831-291-3997
Ongoing Volunteer opportunities:
- American Red Cross-Searching
for ways to make a difference in your community, build your resume,
complete community service hours and build leadership skills? The
American Red Cross Santa Cruz County Chapter has some great volunteer
opportunities for you! They empower youth to respond to the community's
needs locally, nationally, and internationally through numerous
leadership, education, and community service opportunities.
- Read more about the American Red Cross and fill out a youth application.
- Bike Santa Cruz County-Bike Santa Cruz County promotes bicycling through advocacy, education and community building. Sign up and be a volunteer.
- Coast Redwood High School Garden- Teen empowerment program using food, through sustainable agriculture and health, as a vehicle for growing strong, healthy and inspired teens. Students support the garden project through planting, maintaining and harvesting, while studying alternative ways to sustain garden foods organically. See Melanie Burgess and Kay Mendoza for details
- Capitola Police Explorers-Being
a police Explorer offers an opportunity to educate and involve youth in
police operations. Through involvement, the Explorer program
establishes and awareness of the complexities of police service and law
enforcement functions. Besides gaining a working knowledge of police
work, participants have the opportunity to serve the community. Many law
enforcement agencies use the help of Explorers in areas such as crime
prevention, traffic control, telecommunications, and community policing
projects. Read more about the Police Explorer Program and for contact information.
- California Highway Patrol Explorer Program-The
California Highway Patrol's Explorer Program is designed for young men
and women, 15 to 21 years of age, allowing them to develop the skills
and knowledge needed to serve the people of California through
discipline and a commitment to serving their community. Explorers assist
the CHP both in office and out in the field. The experience they obtain
here will be directly applicable to a future in law enforcement, while
building relationships - with other Explorers, in the community they
serve, and within the CHP. Explorers receive physical fitness training,
medical training, organizational, and clerical training. As an Explorer,
you'll attend Community Service events, staff DUI Checkpoints,
participate in Ride-alongs in the field, and compete in Explorer
Competitions. 'Explore' your future in Law Enforcement as a CHP
Explorer. Read more about the program and for contact information
- Caroline's Non-Profit Thrift Shop- This
store celebrates Caroline, a child with special needs, who underwent
surgery and never recovered. She received services from Children’s
Hospice and Palliative Care, Hospice of Santa Cruz County, Jacob’s
Heart, & SPIN (Special Parents Information Network.) “It’s a way to
give back.” Caroline’s is staffed entirely by wonderful, dedicated volunteers. There are
many volunteer opportunities. Read more about the program and for contact information.
- Civil Air Patrol-The
CAP Cadet Program is a year-round program where Cadets fly, learn to
lead, hike, camp, get in shape, and push themselves to new limits. If
you’re dreaming about a career in aviation, space, or the military, CAP’s Cadet Program is for you. To
become a cadet, you must be be at least 12 years old and not yet 19
years old. Cadets meet 2 hours per week and one Saturday per month, on
average, and also have opportunities to attend leadership encampments,
career academies, and other activities during the summer. Read more about the program and to fill out an application.
- Food What-A
youth empowerment and food justice program using food, through
sustainable agriculture and health, as the vehicle for growing strong,
healthy, and inspired teens. They partner with low-income and struggling
youth to grow, cook, eat, and distribute healthy, sustainably raised
food and address food justice issues in our community. Recruitment
happens in the Spring semester. See Kay Mendoza for more information.
- Grey Bears-Grey Bears improves the health and wellbeing of seniors through volunteerism and community participation. Grey
Bears is big on reusing, repurposing, and upcycling donated items to
help preserve our environment and divert as much as possible from the
waste stream. Volunteer opportunities include repairing electronics,
working in the office, preparing meals and so much more. Read more about volunteering opportunities and to submit an application.
- Grind Out Hunger-Harnesses
the energy of the youth, and their concern for helping their peers, to
raise awareness, food, and funds to fight hunger. The goal is to
mobilize students to take action and become leaders around the issue of
childhood hunger. While youth are often overlooked as donors and
advocates for fighting childhood hunger, Grind Out Hunger unlocks their
potential to make a difference. Sign up to become a volunteer.
- Homeless Garden Project-Provides
job training, transitional employment and support services to people
who are homeless. HGP's vibrant education and volunteer program for the
broad community blends formal, experiential and
service-learning. The volunteer program is flexible to allow for varied
interests (farming, retail, special events, technology, etc.) and
schedules (daily, weekly, or just here and there). Read more about becoming a volunteer and to find contact information.
- Homeless Services Center-Homeless
Services Center has 3 main program areas designed to complement each
other and to result in permanent housing for the people it serves. The
programs include: Emergency and Transitional
Shelters, Permanent Housing Programs and Income and Employment
- Read more about becoming a volunteer and to submit an application.
- Jacob's Heart-Started in 1998, Jacob's Heart exists
to improve the quality of life for children with cancer and support
their families in the challenges they face. They rely on volunteers to
help with day-to-day operations, creatively support families, raise
funds, coordinate projects, and assist with all aspects of organizing
- Sign up to become a volunteer.
- Loaves and Fishes-A community
supported food pantry and kitchen located in the primarily agricultural
town of Watsonville. They feed, serve, and support the hungry people of
the community, including working poor families, migrant farm workers,
and elderly, disabled, and homeless individuals.
- Read more about becoming a volunteer and to submit an application.
- Mountain Resource Center-MRC is
located in Felton and provides high quality, integrated health and
human services that enrich the lives of their community. They have
rewarding opportunities for you whether you want to work weekly,
monthly, short-term projects, or for special events. Some examples
include working in the resale store, computer lab, early childhood
classroom, and the food pantry. Read more about becoming a volunteer and to submit an application.
- P.A.W.S. (Promoting Animal Welfare with Students)-The Santa Cruz SPCA has a youth volunteer program for students age 7 through 15. Orientations are on the first Monday of each month at 4pm at our shelter location, 2685 Chanticleer Ave, Santa Cruz. P.A.W.S. groups will meet for three week sessions. Students interested in P.A.W.S. must first fill out a P.A.W.S. volunteer application and sign up to attend a general volunteer orientation with a parent or guardian.
- Outdoor Science School-An
outdoor week-long camp for 5th and 6th graders where the program offers
opportunities for supervised leadership training and community service
to high school students who serve as cabin leaders. See Tara Roddy for more information and application. See your Supervising Teacher for an Application and directions.
- Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter-Young
people who need to complete community service hours for school may
volunteer for Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter in Watsonville. If
you are 13 –17 years old, you may work with the animals as long as you
partner with a parent or legal guardian AT ALL TIMES, including during
orientation and trainings. Read more about becoming a volunteer and filling out an application.
- Santa Cruz Police Department-The Department greatly
values their volunteers and recognize that what volunteers do has a
direct impact on the safety of our community. Our volunteer's commitment
to serving the department through various tasks, in turn improves the
quality of life in our community. By accomplishing these duties and
volunteering a minimum number of hours per month, each volunteer
provides an outstanding service to the community.
- Read more about becoming a volunteer at the Santa Cruz Police Department.
- Saturday Restoration Days-A chance
to work together and help bring back wildlife habitat in the
Watsonville wetlands. No experience is necessary, just a desire to help
restore wildlife habitat to these amazing wetlands. People of all ages
are encouraged, and community service credit is available.
- Read about volunteering and upcoming schedule.
- Save Our Shores-There
are numerous volunteer opportunities at Save Our Shores! Volunteers are
a dynamic team working to protect and preserve the Monterey Bay
National Marine Sanctuary. Volunteers have a whole lot of fun while
helping our ocean and marine environment thrive while giving back to
your community and spending quality time outdoors. Read about becoming a volunteer at Save Our Shores.
- Second Harvest Food Bank-Second
Harvest’s mission is to end hunger and malnutrition by educating and
involving the community. Through the network of more than 200 agencies
and programs and over 3,000 volunteers, they distribute over 8 million
pounds of food annually to working poor families, children, and
- Read about becoming a volunteer at Second Harvest Food Bank.
- Senior Tech Days-Volunteers
are needed every month to show participants how to use social media and
personal electronic devices or answer any other technology questions
seniors may have. All workshops are led by local teens with an adult
supervisor on hand to answer any advanced questions seniors may have.
- Read more about volunteering at a Senior Tech Day.
- Seymour Marine Discovery Center-Teens
who are 15 or older can become Exhibit Guides. Exhibit Guides are
volunteers who assist visitors at the touch pools and interpret the
aquarium and exhibit hall. Working alongside experienced docents, you
will learn about marine science, gain valuable public speaking skills,
and meet people from all walks of life and from all over the world. Read about becoming an Exhibit Guide.
- Teen Kitchen-The Teen
Kitchen Project is a nonprofit organization that brings young people
into the kitchen to learn to cook delicious and nourishing food. The
meals they prepare are delivered free of charge to individuals and
families who are in crisis due to a life-threatening illness like
cancer. The teens gain skills in cooking healthy food, learn about the
impact of their food choices, and are offered an opportunity to build
connections through community service.
- Read about becoming a volunteer at Teen Kitchen.
- Teen Peer Court-A program
run by teens for teens. The objective of the Teen Peer Court program is
to interrupt the developing pattern of criminal behavior in referred
juveniles by promoting self-esteem, motivation for self-improvement,
forming a healthy attitude toward authority, and increasing education.
- Read about how to participate in Teen Peer Court.
- UCSC Creative Writing Series-features contemporary
writers and artists who expose and explore the space between critical
discourse and the creative imagination. Through the work of making art and the play in
ideation, they mine issues of race, sexuality, gender, and class
through several genres and media, to include poetry, fiction, critical
prose, performance, sonic and visual art, memoir, as well as hybrid
forms. This event happens on
Thursdays from 6:00-7:45 at the Humanities
Lecture Hall, RM 206. Read more about upcoming authors.
- Watsonville Police Department Cadet Program-The
Watsonville Police Cadet Program, Explorers Post 501, operates under
the sponsorship of the Chief of Police and the Watsonville Police
Department, in cooperation with the Boy Scouts of America. The youth are
between fourteen and twenty years old. Two full-time Watsonville police
officers volunteer their services as advisers whose role is to mentor
the cadets. The program provides young people with the opportunity to
explore the law enforcement field as a possible career choice. Read more about the cadet program and submit an application.
- Youth Serve-Is
dedicated to connecting youth, ages 11-17, with rewarding community
service projects across the Santa Cruz County. Under the direction of
adult volunteer leaders, YouthSERVE volunteers contribute their talents
to making positive change in our community. Read about volunteering through Youth Serve opportunities.
Monthly Community Events:
- Science Sundays-Join the Seymour Center on the third Sunday of every month (except December), for a public lecture from a marine scientist, who presents current research and topics in an entertaining and easy-to-understand format, with up-to-date photos, video, and discussion. Science Sunday is for everyone interested in the world around them. Read about upcoming topics and schedule.