Verified Volunteers Partners with Youth Organization FIRST
Posted Thursday, September 4th, 2014 by Verified Volunteers Staff
I am thrilled to be able to announce exciting new partnerships on such a regular basis. In recent months we’ve formed strategic alliances with Catholic Charities USA and Meals On Wheels, and also become the volunteer screening partner for youth sports organization USA Taekwondo. Today, we’re happy to welcome another new partner into the Verified Volunteers family: FIRST.
FIRST stands for “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.” It’s a fantastic organization that works to promote a passion for science, math, technology and engineering among young people in grades K-12. Through this partnership, FIRST has expanded their volunteer screening program to make it easier for coaches and volunteers to complete a background check, helping to ensure a safe environment for the youth who participate in their programs.
FIRST was founded in 1989 to inspire young people in the fields of science and technology and to provide programs to help students develop skills in these areas. FIRST operates four major science and technology programs, divided by age group: Junior FIRST LEGO League, FIRST LEGO League, FIRST Tech Challenge, and FIRST Robotics Competition. In each of these programs, teams of students work under the guidance of volunteer mentors to develop a robot that can complete a defined challenge.
Students who participate in FIRST programs gain valuable hands-on experience in science, technology, math and engineering, while also building important life skills such as self-confidence and cooperation. Many colleges and universities offer scholarships to students who are involved in FIRST. According to FIRST’s website, more than 900 scholarship opportunities are available in 2014, with a total value of $20,000,000+.
The FIRST Robotics Competition held its world championship event in April in St. Louis, with more than 12,000 students from 38 countries competing. Click here to watch a highlight video from the event.
To learn more about FIRST or to find a FIRST team or event in your area, visit usfirst.org.
One Background Check, Multiple Organizations
More than 130,000 volunteers donate their time to FIRST in a variety of support roles. Coaches and mentors guide teams of students as they work to complete their assigned challenge, and event volunteers help run hundreds of regional events as well as major competitions.
Many of these volunteers serve with other organizations in addition to FIRST, or they coach multiple FIRST teams. With this new partnership, coaches and mentors only need to be screened once, even if they coach multiple teams and even if those teams participate in different FIRST programs. With Verified Volunteers’ Fast-Pass, FIRST volunteers can also share their background check with any other nonprofit organization in the Verified Volunteers community.
FIRST and their volunteers impact the lives of hundreds of thousands of students each year, and we’re so glad to be a part of that.Thank you for stopping by our blog. We’d love to connect with you on LinkedIn and Twitter, where we regularly share helpful tips, articles and resources for volunteer managers.