SDYS strives to involve the San Diego Community in our services and mission. We believe our community members such as students, new graduates, professionals, retired folks, parents, clinical interns, and others, all have unique skills and abilities that will provide invaluable resources and support for the youth in our programs.

Our goal is to provide our volunteers with valuable experience and relevant training through our strength-centered placements. The community’s participation benefits and is greatly valued by SDYS and our service partners.

Volunteer Spotlight:

Volunteer with us:

Thank you for your interest in serving San Diego's youth! We are currently accepting new classroom assistant volunteers. Please also feel free to complete our volunteer application and we will be in touch when other opportunities are available.

Program: TAY Works!
Location: SVECC- 3845 Spring Drive Spring Valley, CA 91977

Position Title: Adult Mentor 
Hours/ Schedule: 6+ hours per week (minimum 3 hours per day).
Description of Duties: Provide one-on-one supportive services for youth participants and help facilitate TAY Works! Decision Making curriculum. 

Position Title: Workforce Workshop Volunteer
Hours/ Schedule: 3 hours per week - Wednesdays 3:30pm to 6:30pm.
Description of Duties: Provide support setting up workshop space, checking in participants, and support youth throughout workshop. Opportunity to co-facilitate workshops.

Position Title: Administrative Volunteer
Hours/ Schedule: 4 hours per week minimum. 
Description of Duties: Support with organizing documents, filing, and helping complete youth intake tasks (additional tasks to be discussed).

Position Title: Coffee Shop Volunteer
Hours/ Schedule: Wednesdays 8:30am to 12:30pm (eventually M, W, F).
Description of Duties: Provide support for Employment Specialist with supervising youth coffee shop staff. Also support coffee shop functions such as helping customers, mentoring youth, and modeling professionalism. 

Number of volunteers wanted: 1-2
Position Title: Youth Support Partner
Location: The Achievement Center - 8376 Hercules St. La Mesa, CA 91942
Hours/ Schedule: Ongoing, flexible hours. (Monday/Wednesday/Friday: 2-5pm or 3:30- 6pm)
Description of Duties: Provide comprehensive trauma-informed care services as part of the Achievement Center mission. Assist with day-to-day activities which can include setting up and cleaning up classrooms. Support case managers with facilitating group and recreational activities, including help brainstorm activity topics that will promote greater youth participation. Assist in supervising youth while at the Achievement Center and/or with outings the youth may take. See attached position description for more details!

HERE Now Classroom Assistant
Hours: Monday-Wednesday, 7 a.m.-2:30 p.m., regular schedule preferred.
Location: Varies weekly, Central and East San Diego schools. Must be willing to drive.

Provide general assistance to program staff in school-based suicide prevention presentations (grades 7-12). Assist in facilitating the Signs of Suicide® curriculum. Assist with any additional needs of the team while in the schools, passing out classroom materials, etc.  Comfortable in an environment discussing suicide prevention, depression, and other mental health topics.

Learn more

Milieu Worker (multiple positions available)
Hours: Monday - Sunday 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.-11p.m. Prefer 200 hours or 6-month commitment
Location: Balboa Park Area

Description of duties: Youth engagement, oversight, light cleaning/cooking and Residential Counselor Support

Program Administration Volunteer (1-2 positions available)
Hours: Monday - Friday (4-6hr shifts, specific times are flexible). Prefer 200 hours or 6-month commitment
Location: Balboa Park Area

Description of duties: Administration support to include reviewing/organizing files, scanning files, organization of donations, and more.

Interested in volunteering your time and skills but can only do so from time to time?

Are you an instructor, stylist, painter, photographer or have other skills that you would like to offer in helping our youth? Do you have a group of friends interested in assembling furniture or painting one of our centers?

We may have the perfect opportunity for you!

One-time Volunteer Event Proposal

Service Learning Project and Internships

Our volunteer opportunities can be tailored to fit a specific Service Learning Project and Internships. Contact for more information

Clinical Trainees and Interns

Clinical Traineeships and Internships are geared toward individuals who are looking to fulfill practicum or internship hours. Learn more!

AOD Internships

We do not currently offer Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Certification internships.

Contact Our Volunteer Team

Contact our volunteer team for more information about volunteering and our volunteer orientation!

What is the process of becoming a volunteer?

The process of becoming a volunteer starts with our volunteer application. After submitting the application, our volunteer coordinators will reach out to you with information about our upcoming volunteer orientation. Attending our volunteer orientation is mandatory for all incoming volunteers and provides interested volunteers with information about our organization, programs, philosophy and skills such as trauma-informed care, crisis intervention, abuse reporting and confidentiality.

After orientation, our volunteer coordinators will connect you with a program for you to find a placement you’re comfortable with and that fits with your availability and the program’s needs. After finding a good fit, volunteers are asked to complete clearances before beginning their volunteer service.

What if I’m not able to attend a volunteer orientation?

If a prospective volunteer is unable to attend our monthly volunteer orientations, appointments can be arranged according to the availability of our volunteer coordinators. Please note that this option may delay the volunteer process.

What clearances are required?

Clearances include a background check (regular or CCL), drug screening, Tuberculosis screening, reference checks and driving clearances, if required by program of interest. Clearances are to be paid up front by volunteers and volunteers are eligible for reimbursement. San Diego Youth Services also requires that volunteers commit to a six-month service with us.

When are clearances not required?

One-time volunteers are not required to complete clearances.