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What is the purpose of this study, and what are the youth fields?

The American Institutes for Research developed a survey to learn more about youth-serving professionals and volunteers in the youth fields. These are adults who work with young people in any capacity outside of the regular school day. Examples include summer camp counselors, sports coaches, music teachers, museum educators, youth librarians, and afterschool program staff. The resulting data from this survey can be used to inform policy, practice, and research to support the youth fields workforce.

Who is funding this?

The Wallace Foundation is funding this study. The mission of the Wallace Foundation is to foster equity and improvements in learning and enrichment for young people, and in the arts for everyone.

Why are you asking me to participate?

As a youth-serving professional or volunteer, you are part of the youth fields workforce. Your participation is invaluable to informing future policy, practice and research. We are also interested in hearing from professionals and volunteers who have left the youth fields in the last five years.

What does the survey ask about?

The survey includes the following topics:
– Current/most recent job/volunteer position in the youth fields
– Number of years in the youth fields
– Reason for leaving the youth fields
– Current employment status
– Plans to return to the youth fields
– First job in the youth fields
– Number of jobs in the youth fields
– Career trajectory
– Professional learning opportunities
– Benefits
– Perceptions of experiences on the job
– Professional values and needs
– Professional certifications and associations
– Plans to transition to paid staff
– Demographics

I am a volunteer. I don’t work in the youth fields. Can I still participate?

Yes! We want to hear from both volunteers and paid staff. Volunteers are an essential part of the youth fields workforce, and we want to hear about your experiences as a volunteer.

I used to work or volunteer in the youth fields—should I take the survey?

If you worked or volunteered in the youth fields in the last five years, you should take the survey.

I don’t identify as being part of the youth fields workforce. Do you still want me to participate?

If you work with youth in any capacity outside of the regular school day, we want to hear from you. Our goal is to hear from as many different types of people that work with youth as possible. Your participation is encouraged and the information you provide will be invaluable.

How long will the survey take?

The survey will take about 10 minutes to complete if you are a former youth-serving staff, former volunteer, or current volunteer. If you are current youth-serving staff, it will take up to 20 minutes to complete.

Do I need to complete the survey in one sitting or will my progress be saved?

You need to complete the survey in one sitting because we cannot guarantee that your browser will save your responses.

What are the benefits to participating?

By participating in this survey, you are helping elevate and acknowledge the critical work you and your colleagues do for young people. Participation is easy and does not take much time. In addition, the more people who participate, the more information practitioners, policymakers, and researchers will have to inform supports for the workforce.

I heard about a drawing for gift cards—can you tell me about that?

Every month we will randomly select 10 participants who will receive a $100 Amazon gift code. The earlier you complete the survey, the more chances you have to win.

Is this survey anonymous?

You are able to complete this survey completely anonymously if you choose. You have the option to share your email address to enter into a monthly drawing for a $100 Amazon gift code. You also have the option to share your contact information if you are willing to participate in future interviews or surveys about the workforce. We will only use contact information to remove duplicate surveys (i.e., surveys completed by the same person), contact participants for future interviews/surveys, and enter people into drawings.

Who will know that I participated?

Your responses will remain completely confidential and only members of the study team at AIR will know you participated. Your responses will never be associated with your individual identity, and all data that is reported will be either de-identified or aggregated.

How can my organization get involved with the Power of Us Survey campaign?

Please email the team at to learn more!

Who do I contact with questions about this study?

Please email the study team at or call us at 1-844-849-5247.

Who do I contact with questions about my rights as a research participant?

Please contact AIR’s Institutional Review Board (IRB), which is responsible for the protection of survey participants, at, toll-free at 1-800-634-0797, or c/o IRB, American Institutes for Research, 1400 Crystal Drive, 10th Floor, Arlington, VA 22202.