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One important feature of all our programming is our volunteers who provide not only friendship but also support during times of overwhelm. Mostly high school or college students, aged 13+, volunteers must complete in-house training on disabilities before working with our participants. For camp, we pair each participant with a volunteer; for our fall and spring classes, each class has at least one volunteer who serves as a teaching assistant (usually as the peer model so participants know what is expected of them) or as a one-on-one aide for any participant requiring extra support. They help our participants succeed by providing encouragement and, where indicated, individualized accommodations.


For example, at a recent camp, one volunteer noticed that her “buddy” had difficulty following verbal instructions so she used basic American Sign Language to help him understand instructions better. Another volunteer became adept at noticing signs of overwhelm in her camper and knew when to give him some down time in the camp’s sensory break room and when to challenge her camper to rise to the occasion.


Many of our long-time volunteers continue on to college or graduate programs, pursuing careers in the disabilities field because of their work with STEP VA. As our community’s future workforce, our volunteers will enter the job market as advocates for inclusion.

STEP VA relies on its volunteers! We are so happy you have expressed an interest in serving with us.  Please fill out the interest survey below so we can find the best fit for your time talents.

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