Volunteer Opportunity

Money management for teens/Art/Special Activities- 1 hour per week – Juvenile Assessment Center (JAC)-Boulder

Application or Registration Deadline: 06/05/2024
Opportunity Type: Ongoing Volunteer Opportunity
Department: Community Services
Category: Criminal Justice and Public Safety
Time Commitment & Minimum Age: Must be 21 years old to apply. Approximately 1 hour per week for nine months.

Juvenile Assessment Center (JAC) at the Boulder County Justice Center, 1777 6th Street, Boulder, CO

Program Summary:

Young (10 to 18 year-old) clients in short-term detention at the Boulder County Justice Center need to be distracted and engaged while they wait for next steps in the justice process. They often aren’t there for more than a few hours or a couple of days before being released to parents or guardians.

If you have a passion for and expertise in relating to young people about money management or life skills, graphic arts, art, dog therapy (certified), music education (we have ukuleles) please contact us!

The commitment is only once a week for an hour, during a 6-9-month period. You’ll supply materials (although we have ukuleles and sheet music), design the curriculum and present the topics each week. Since this is a short-term detention facility, we never know how many kids will be in custody on any day, so flexibility is key for this position. There may be days when we have no kids to interact with, so you might be called off on those days.

Special Activities provide positive and pro-social opportunities for youth who are not generally exposed to the arts, live music, healthy recreational activities or life skills training. This is a way to increase knowledge and skills, to improve communication and sharing in small groups, and give juveniles new ideas and coping skills that they can apply in their lives.

Other volunteer projects have included AIDS education from BCAP, life skills from SAFEHOUSE, meditation, or music education and we are open to your ideas for developing other pro-social or educational/cultural classes. The number of youths in the JAC changes daily, but generally there may be 0-5. If there are no clients in the JAC on your volunteer day, we’ll reschedule with you for the next week.

Contact Mary for application instructions. jsvp@bouldercounty.gov.

Thank you!

Duties and Responsibilities:

Come up with an idea.

Design and facilitate the education of that idea in a one-hour capsule.

Bring your ideas and all necessary supplies once approved. (Except ukuleles – we have those! Did I mention that already?)

Art – Graphic novel creation – drawing – music – life skills – dog therapy (bring a well-trained and certified therapy dog to interact with kids)

The activity sessions need to be designed to specifically engage youth 11-17 years old in a small group (typically 1-7 people) setting in a one-hour time period. The goal is to provide exposure to a variety of creative and stimulating activities, and in the case of money management, a reality check for youth who think they can live on their own but may not understand the costs associated with independence. Activities help to distract them from their current situation for a short time while maybe teaching them something new.

Youth are temporarily held at the JAC (from just hours to a couple of days), so the program must be contained to 1 hour (not an ongoing program that builds on itself from week to week).

If you have another idea, contact us and we’ll discuss it!

Qualifications and Requirements:

Must be at least 21 years old. NO DWAI/DUI convictions within the past 5 years.

Have a serious desire to interact with (not judge) a diverse population of kids in the criminal justice system.

If you have personal history in the justice system, it can be a valuable tool, and we will assess your application on a case-by-case basis.

An ability to actively listen and easily engage with youth without judgment while understanding appropriate boundaries is required. Important personal qualities are having a passion for your project, strong communication skills, being non-judgmental, expressing creativity, patience and humor.

All volunteers must pass a criminal background check and fingerprinting. Again, lived experience in the justice system can be valuable, and each application is vetted on an individual basis for appropriate fit in the program.

Contact Mary at jsvp@bouldercounty.gov for more information and the application link.

Training Dates and Information:

Your schedule will be set during a discussion with the JAC staff once you’re approved.

Additional Information:

This type of programming helps kids get their minds off of why they’re in detention, among other things. Promoting pro-social behavior includes engaging youth in projects. A recent addition to our recruitment is the life skills and money management idea. Some older teens come in thinking they want to live on their own, but don’t fully understand what it it means to pay rent, buy groceries, deal with healthcare, and all the other “adulting” that happens on your own.

We also recently had a young couple coming in to do dog interaction/therapy, but they got pregnant and had to stop. We’d love to have another trained therapy dog come in. In the past we have had Boulder County AIDS Project (BCAP) and Safehouse anti-abuse staff present to our clients. If you have an idea for a project, please design the one-hour curriculum, think about your supplies (if needed), and contact us!


Mary Eldred at JSVP@bouldercounty.gov or call her at 303.441.3718 (leave a message with your email address).

Application Process:

Please email Mary Eldred, program coordinator at: JSVP@bouldercounty.gov to express interest and to receive online application instructions and link.

Submit application, with 3 references and resume. In submitting the application, you agree to be background checked and fingerprinted.

Pass a background check. References are requested and received. Documents are sent to the volunteer supervisor in the JAC. They decide whether to interview you. After approval, you are fingerprinted, given an orientation and scheduled to come in.

There’s a position for each type of project and they’re open until filled. If you have a unique idea of programming, let’s talk. Engaging these young people in daily activities helps distract them from their situation and open their eyes to new possibilities.