Volunteering your time to change the lives of adults with developmental disabilities.
Sprout is a non-profit organization based in New York City focused on providing innovative programs for adults with developmental disabilities.With our network of resources and dedicated volunteers, which we call leaders, Sprout opens up fascinating new worlds to people with disabilities.
Sprout's Overnight Vacations Program is looking for individuals who have the energy, motivation and desire to work with adults with developmental disabilities.
What do Sprout leaders do?
Sprout leaders' primary goal is to give adults with developmental disabilities the opportunity to experience and enjoy recreational, educational and leisure activities through overnight vacations. Leaders are responsible for the overall safety and enjoyment of their group, 24 hours a day, while on a Sprout trip. Duties include safety monitoring, personal hygiene assistance, providing physical and emotional support, activity planning, budgeting, logistics, and enhancing fun. The work is hard yet immensely rewarding as you develop leadership skills and gain insight into your own abilities.
What type of training is provided?
Leaders must complete a pre-service training, which provides the necessary procedures and tools to run a successful and enjoyable vacation. Leaders who are drivers receive extra training on how to safely drive our 15-passenger vans. In addition, all leaders receive a copy of Sprout's Leadership Handbook to help with policies and guidelines.
What is the time commitment?
Sprout vacations last 3 - 7 days depending on the time of year and destination of the trip. When a leader is selected for an overnight vacation, Sprout asks that the leader dedicate themselves to stay with their group throughout the entire duration of the vacation. Some leaders only choose to lead one trip a year while others spend several months with us leading up to 8 trips or more. Sprout strives to make our program flexible for our leaders based on the amount of time leaders can give.
Do leaders have any free or personal time while on a trip?
Sprout trips are working vacations for the leaders who choose to participate. Because Sprout leaders are responsible for their group 24 hours a day, there is no free or personal time allotted. In order to give our participants the opportunity to experience and enjoy a vacation, Sprout leaders must be available at all times to provide the support any one participant may need.
What type of trips can Sprout leaders expect to join?
A majority of Sprout trips take place within a day's drive of New York City. Destinations include Atlantic City, Amish Country, Boston, Lake George, Cleveland, Maine and Virginia Beach. Exotic trips like cruises, Hawaii, and Europe are presented to leaders who have demonstrated high levels of commitment, service hours and have gained positive feedback from participants and Sprout office staff.
Are there any special skills or requirements?
No special background or education is required to become a Sprout leader. We encourage people from all cultures and professions, and of all ethnic and educational backgrounds. Once accepted into the program, you will receive the necessary tools to sign up for outings and how to assist our participants.
-21+ years old
-Participate in training session
-Willingness to complete necessary background checks
Sprout is dedicated to helping people with developmental disabilities grow through challenging, creative and fun experiences that enhance socialization, self-confidence and inclusion. Our mission is to bring joy to people with developmental disabilities through travel and recreation.
Sprout is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to helping individuals with developmental disabilities and mental retardation grow through challenging and safe travel experiences. Based in New York City, our programs are available to people with MR/DD and the agencies that serve them throughout the United States. Founded in 1979, Sprout is an exciting and innovative organization that serves over 1800 people with special needs each year. Our participants have the opportunity to experience age-appropriate, recreational and leisure activities in a small group setting. By offering these experiences, we hope to enhance the mobility, self-confidence and socialization of our participants. And through community-based activities, Sprout strives to break down some of the barriers that exist between participants and the general public. The majority of the people who participate in our vacations are adults with developmental disabilities, with the most common disability being mental retardation. Our participants fall in the range of moderate to high functioning levels, with some individuals requiring a fair amount of assistance with basic living skills, while others are quite independent. All of our participants can travel within the typical group size of 10 participants and 3 leaders.