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Volunteers are an integral part of the Oregon Youth Authority. OYA volunteers support positive youth development in close-custody facilities and in community settings throughout Oregon. Volunteers are valued by OYA for the significant work they do in supporting youths' pro-social, educational, emotional, and spiritual growth.

Volunteers must consent to a criminal history check and be age 21 or older, with certain exceptions for students in accredited internship programs.

Along with a background check, fingerprints, and references; there is volunteer training that is required. We will contact you to set up a mutually convenient time to do this training. In the meantime if you would like a tour of our facility we would be happy to provide one, just let us know. Otherwise we could show you around when we do the training. 

how can i Volunteer?

Be a Mentor
Mentors offer young men positive relationships with adults who are not a part of their history or problems.

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 the Project Pooch program at MacLaren YCF and the PAWS program at Rogue Valley YCF – programs that teach youth good work habits and responsibility as they train and care for shelter animals. There are many more work experience program opportunities in all facilities that lack state funding and rely on volunteer support.

Become a Practicum Student or Intern
OYA partners with colleges and universities to offer practicum experiences to undergraduates and internships to graduate students seeking experience in the juvenile justice and juvenile mental health fields. 
Practicum and Internship Opportunities Brochure

How Do I apply?

Complete and submit an online volunteer application. Note: You cannot save and return to a partially completed application - you must complete it in one session.

Please have the following information available while applying: names, email addresses, and phone numbers of three references (not relatives) as well as your emergency contact.

If you have questions, contact the volunteer coordinator in your area. If you haven't heard from anyone after applying and want to check on the status of your application, email