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handson tomorrow

HandsOn TomorrowTM  Frequently Asked Questions 


How will you select participants for the program?

Applications will be live mid-February. HandsOn Bay Area staff will review applications and accept participants on a rolling basis. Acceptance is based on the quality of essay responses and eligibility for the program (rising high school freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors). 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 requires only a limited amount of your time, so if you must complete the application to be a part of the program, it is in your best interest to do so 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).

Will there be a waitlist?

Yes, once we are at capacity, we will continue to accept applicants for the wait list. If spots open up for the program, applicants will be admitted to the program based on the order their application was received.

Where are all of the projects located?

All of our projects take place from M-F (9am-3pm) at various community partner sites across the Bay Area. Partner sites will be in proximity to general cohort locations. We are currently vetting possible nonprofit partners to serve as host sites; once finalized, a schedule of the specific locations will be shared.

When does the project for friends and family take place?

Depending on cohort placement, our friends and family projects will take place on the following dates:

  • East Bay Saturday June 15th
  • San Jose Saturday June 29th
  • Palo Alto Saturday, Saturday July 20th
  • San Francisco Saturday, Saturday August 30th

As these dates approach, registration will be open for the project through our CommUNITY Project Calendar on our website. Registration numbers will be capped based on the capacity of the nonprofit partner.


What will I need to participate?

This year, for the applicant interviews you will need a computer, tablet, or any device with video and audio capabilities to participate. During the program, if electronic devices are needed at any point it will be discussed prior to the date. If either of these presents a barrier to your participation, please let us know in the Technology section of this application. We will work with you to ensure your ability to fully participate.

How will I earn my service hours?

Students will be able to receive 55 or more hours of community service. Our program structure is divided into three cohorts, each lasting two weeks over a span of six weeks. Each cohort meets five days a week from 9am to 3pm. Hours will be earned through a variety of volunteer projects, friends and family project planning, service-learning curriculum, and 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.

Can I participate in just one week of the program?

It is required that each participant attend their cohort’s full two-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 $349.75 to hold your spot. Once the full $1399 has been submitted, you can request a refund for $1049.25 by contacting Cameron Kinslow at

Will you offer the program at any other time?

As of now, program cohorts are only offered through HandsOn Bay Area as a summer program from June to August. 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.