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handson tomorrow

HandsOn TomorrowTM  Frequently Asked Questions 


How will you select participants for the program?

Once an application is received, HandsOn Bay Area staff will review and accept based on the quality of the essay question answers and eligibility for the program (rising high-school freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors). In reviewing applications, HandsOn Bay Area staff will also be taking team dynamics into consideration. Space is limited for this program, so be sure to enroll at your earliest convenience.

My child is starting high school in the fall - can they participate as a rising 9th grader? 

Yes! We have had plenty of rising ninth graders participate in the program, providing an awesome opportunity to work and socialize with their new peer group!

How will you select for the scholarships?

With direct thanks to our sponsors, scholarships are available for HandsOn Tomorrow. Scholarship applications will be reviewed and awarded on a needs-basis. While scholarships are limited, we do want to ensure this program is accessible for young people of all backgrounds. It takes only a few minutes of your time, so if this is required for you to participate in the program, please complete the application as early as possible.

Scholarships are awarded on a needs-basis and are meant to help enroll candidates for whom the fee is prohibitive. Receipt of a full HandsOn Tomorrow scholarship will allow you to enroll in the program for a one time payment of $75.00 and partial scholarships will be considered on a case-by-case basis (funds permitting).

Where are all of the projects located?

Many of our projects will be available virtually this year as we consider the health and safety of our community. There will also be a few optional in-person opportunities available with our vetted nonprofit partners. These opportunities will be available only in alignment with current physical distancing mandates.

When does the project for friends and family take place?

The friends and family project will take place on July 31st.

What will I need to participate?

This year, you will need a computer or tablet with video and audio capabilities to engage in the curriculum. You will also need access to WiFi. If either of these presents a barrier to your participation, please let us know in the Technology section of the application. We will work with you to ensure your ability to fully participate.

How will I earn my service hours?

To limit screen time while maintaining a commitment to providing up to 50 hours of community service, our program is structured over the course of five weeks with a maximum of 2 hours of screen time each day. Hours will be earned through a variety of virtual and at-home volunteer projects, friends and family project planning, service-learning curriculum, and optional in-person volunteer projects with our community partners (pending approval with physical distancing protocols).

Is my enrollment fee tax-deductible?

While HandsOn Bay Area is a charitable non-profit (EIN: 77-0195144), participating youth do receive goods and services for the fee. For this reason, you can deduct 20% of the full priced enrollment fee from your taxes as charitable contributions. If awarded a scholarship, none of the $75 enrollment fee is tax-deductible.

How will youth leaders engage with nonprofits?

In order to give a well-rounded look into a diverse set of social sector nonprofit organizations, each week will start with a conversation and presentation from a representative from one of our nonprofit partners. Organizations will include those whose mission statements address the following social issues: Homelessness, Environment, Health & Wellness, Hunger, and more. Youth participants will have opportunities to discover what it looks like to be a part of community work and engagement from a nonprofit’s perspective.

Can I still participate if I have health/physical limitations?

Accessibility to all aspects of this program is a crucial goal for HandsOn Bay Area. To ensure that this goal is met, accessibility for participants with health/physical limitations will be a priority as we confirm hosting nonprofit partners for the program. Our virtual learning setting now lends itself to even more accessibility for people of all abilities.

Can I participate in just one week of the program?

It is required that each participant attend the full five-week program. Each day, HandsOn Tomorrow participants will be taken through our service-learning curriculum, and it is essential that each person is present and attentive to receive the full benefits of the experience.

What is the refund policy?

Upon receipt of the welcome packet for the program, we request a non-refundable deposit of $300 to hold your spot. Once the full $1,190 has been submitted, you can request a refund for $890 by contacting Angel Villadarez at

Will there be a wait list?

Yes, once we are at capacity, we will continue to accept applicants for the wait list. If there is enough demand, HandsOn Tomorrow will add an additional cohort to accommodate interest. Otherwise, as spots open up for the program, applicants will be admitted to the program based on the order their application was received.

Will you offer the program at any other time?

As of 2021, this program is only offered through HandsOn Bay Area as a five-week summer program. We will officially announce if there are any changes to that as the program evolves. That said, our Community Project Calendar has project listings all year. Take a look and start volunteering today!

What if I have to miss a couple of days? Can I still participate?

Each day of the program contains a unique aspect of our service-learning curriculum, and it would be a detriment to the participant to miss out on any aspect of the program. That said, people do get sick and have obligations that can sometimes get in the way. If you have a specific conflict that you have in mind, please bring it up with us in your application, so we can determine whether or not that would affect your eligibility to participate.

Can I get high school/college credit for this?

This varies based on what school you attend, so please ask your school guidance counselor about this. HandsOn Bay Area regularly provides documentation of volunteer hours served.

Will all of the time count towards my hours needed for high school graduation or will only the afternoon count?

Yes. All of the time that you commit to the program will count toward your volunteer requirements for high school graduation.

Will the friends & family service project be open to everyone?

Yes, the project will be open to all friends & family of each participant. Registration will be open for the project through our Community Project Calendar on our website. That said, registration numbers will have to be capped based on the capacity of the nonprofit partner, especially with the need to provide social distancing.

How can I continue to stay involved in volunteering after participating in HandsOn Tomorrow?

Upon enrollment, all participants will be granted a lifelong membership to HandsOn Bay Area’s Community Project Calendar. This will allow them to continue volunteering around their busy schedules.

Additionally, participants who complete the curriculum and hours for HandsOn Tomorrow will have the opportunity to apply for a seat on HandsOn Bay Area’s Youth Volunteer Council. Youth leaders on the council continue planning volunteer projects and engaging their community in service throughout the year.

How do we register volunteer hours for participants?

At the end of the program, HandsOn Bay Area will provide a letter or any other required documentation.