Community Wellness Volunteer Program
The Community Wellness Volunteer program is a program offered by University of Idaho Extension designed for any community youth (12+ years) and adult who has an interest in public health and community service.
The program includes three stages (may vary slightly by community):
1) Complete the core Community Wellness Volunteer Training.
Community youth and adult community members participate in a training course designed to provide community-specific core competencies in public health, needs assessments, social determinants of health, health advocacy, health education and more (topics vary by community). The training’s purpose is for community members to increase understanding in public health concepts, increase awareness in the community’s health strengths and weaknesses, and increase individual self-confidence in ability to impact public health initiatives in their community. Community members who complete the core training receive a Community Wellness Volunteer Certificate of Completion and the title of “Community Wellness Volunteer” (CWV).
2) Serve the community and continue learning.
After completing the training, CWVs will complete at least 20 hours of community service by the end of the calendar year. CWVs will receive opportunities for continued education through scheduled professional development trainings throughout the calendar year.*
3) Opportunity to continue on as an Advanced Community Wellness Volunteer.
At the end of the calendar year, CWVs who complete their volunteer hour requirement will receive an opportunity to continue on in the program as an “Advanced” Community Wellness Volunteer in year two. Advanced CWVs do not need to complete the core Community Wellness Volunteer Training again the following year, but they must participate in a number of professional development trainings and complete the minimum hours of volunteer service in year two.*
*The number of expected volunteer hours and the professional development trainings participation requirement may vary by community.
Three communities are currently offering the Community Wellness Volunteer program in Idaho: Caldwell, Marsing and Preston. To learn more about this program in these communities, please select the appropriate community below.
Participating Idaho Communities
Community Wellness Volunteer Training
The Caldwell Community Wellness Volunteer core training is offered annually. The 2022 Caldwell core Community Wellness Volunteer training is delivered in a hybrid format, meaning the class has both live (in-person or virtual, depending on comfortability of each participant) classroom instruction and self-paced online modules. The class will meet in a live (in-person or virtual) classroom every Wednesday from 5:30-8 p.m. (MST) for six weeks, beginning on Wednesday, Feb. 23 and concluding on Wednesday, March 30, 2022. In addition to live instruction, participants will be completing online modules (self-paced) each week (Caldwell 2022 CWV Training Schedule [PDF])
The Caldwell CWV program provides community-specific core competencies within the Caldwell Health Coalition’s “Six Pillars of Health."
- All participants who complete the core Community Wellness Volunteer training receive a Community Wellness Volunteer Certificate of Completion and the title of “Community Wellness Volunteer” (CWV).
- CWVs are expected to complete (and report) 20 hours of volunteer service by the end of the 2022 calendar year. Volunteer opportunities are provided locally by University of Idaho Extension staff, and volunteers do get to choose what opportunities they would like to participate in. Volunteers can also develop their own opportunities.
*CWVs are expected to participate and/or support the Caldwell Health Coalition. Each CWVs contribution to the Caldwell Health Coalition is included in their volunteer hours.
- CWVs are expected to participate (in-person or virtually) in at least three CWV Professional Development trainings throughout the calendar year. A total of five Professional Development trainings are offered following completion of the core training.
$25 per participant
Jackie Amende MS, RDN, LD
Canyon County FCS Educator
Due to capacity, we are accepting up to 16 people in the 2022 cohort. It is required that adult (18+ years old) applicants complete and pass a background check prior to the start of the core training. Background checks will be sent via email to all adult registrants once registered. We also ask that all registrants (youth and adults) review the “Volunteer Expectations” above, and “agree” to these expectations when registering.
View the 2022 Community Wellness Volunteer Program Flyer (pdf)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
A Community Wellness Volunteer (CWV) is a community member (youth or adult) who has been trained in public health at the community level. A CWV has the education, support and confidence to improve and positively impact the health of the communities in which they serve. They play an essential role in building a culture of health in their communities by providing health education and advocacy, serving in community health coalitions and task forces, and performing various other roles (leadership and/or support roles) in community health projects and activities.
To become a Community Wellness Volunteer (CWV), please see the application and registration process, minimal program fee and corresponding training dates for one of the participating communities below. Please note that adults are required to complete a background check prior to their participation in the program to help keep our youth participants safe.
Community Wellness Volunteers gain invaluable access to:
- Evidence-based resources and information
- Peer-to-peer relationships and youth-and-adult partnerships
- Unique community opportunities
- Networking with local community organizations and partners
- Experience by developing and/or contributing to community health projects
- Extension educator mentorship throughout the duration of their training and volunteerism
For youth who see themselves in future public health careers, the experience and connections accumulated by participating as a Community Wellness Volunteer is critical, not only to individual development but also for resume building. For adults, the Community Wellness Volunteer program can offer deep connections with others, expansion of individual skills and knowledge, and positively impacts the community you live in.