Family of Five with child holding


Civic Engagement is composed of individual and collective actions to identify and address issues of public concern. Civic engagement can take many forms, from individual volunteerism to organizational involvement to electoral participation. It can include efforts to directly address an issue, work with others in a community to solve a problem or interact with the institutions of representative democracy. Civic engagement encompasses a range of specific activities such as working in a soup kitchen, serving on a neighborhood association, writing a letter to an elected official, or voting. Indeed, an underlying principle is that an engaged citizen should have the ability, agency, and opportunity to move comfortably among these various types of civic acts.

Source: Michael Delli Carpini, Director, Public Policy, The Pew Charitable Trusts (


Mentor Man with Boy on Stairs Smiling


Mentoring is a consistent and stable relationship between youth and a caring role model(s) that involves regular, ideally face-to-face contact and is focused on building the character, capabilities, and confidence of the mentee(s). Mentoring can be formal in the form of one-to-one, group, peer, community, school, faith-based, or mentoring that happens informally daily. Mentoring is one way for individuals to give youth another person who cares about them, who assures them they are not alone in dealing with day-to-day challenges, and someone who makes them feel like they matter.

Source: MentorKansas


Three AmeriCorps Members Women Laughing and Smiling


America was founded on a promise of opportunity. When we build stronger communities, we help make this promise a reality for everyone to succeed. Especially in times of adversity, we find the courage to unite and overcome. We are supporting our communities, helping them prosper, head-on and together. It is what AmeriCorps is built for: bringing all Americans together—working alongside each other to improve every community—ensuring that everyone gets the help they need and the opportunities they deserve. AmeriCorps is your chance to be a part of something bigger.




Woman in Pond picking up trash


People the world over engage in volunteerism for a great variety of reasons: to help to eliminate poverty and to improve essential health and education, to tackle environmental issues, to reduce the risk of disasters, or to combat social exclusion and violent conflict. In all these fields, volunteerism makes a specific contribution by generating well-being for people and their communities. Volunteers are motivated by values like justice, equality, and freedom. A society that supports and encourages different forms of volunteering is likely to be one that also promotes its citizens' well-being.




Three Kansas employers have been announced winners of the Give Back Kansas Challenge.

Businesses participating in this year’s challenge were placed into three categories based upon the number of employees they had – small, medium, and large. This year’s winners are:

  • Small organization: United Way of Greater Topeka, Topeka.
  • Medium organization: TGC Group, Wichita.
  • Large organization: Moundridge Manor Inc., Moundridge.

Ten Kansas employers participated in the second annual Give Back Kansas Challenge, hosted by the Kansas Volunteer Commission and Volunteer Kansas.

The challenge ran from April 18-June 10, 2022, to engage Kansans in employer-supported volunteering. Nearly 2,956 volunteer hours were completed at various organizations across Kansas by 790 employees, for an average of 3.74 volunteer hours per employee participant.

“Volunteer Kansas’ goal for the challenge was to have at least ten businesses participate, giving back to their communities in service,” said Nola Brown, executive director of Volunteer Kansas. “We are pleased that the goal was met and look forward to increasing participation next year. The challenge is a quadruple win. The employees who participate reaped the personal reward of helping others. The businesses are better known in their communities for corporate caring. Multiple organizations benefitted from the helping hands of volunteers, and three charities will receive grants to help them achieve their missions.”

Each of the organizations designated a charity to receive a $1,000 grant - on their behalf - from Volunteer Kansas. The United Way of Greater Topeka and Moundridge Manor Inc. will accept the donation as nonprofit organizations and plan to utilize it within their respective service areas. TGC Group has selected Sunlight Children’s Services as its charity of choice.

“Although the Challenge has concluded, the Commission encourages participating employers to maintain their high commitment to volunteerism,” said Jessica Dorsey, executive director of the Kansas Volunteer Commission. “Research of employer volunteer programs has shown a positive impact on employee engagement, organizational commitment, job satisfaction, and retention.”

(Pictured left to right: Nola Brown, Executive Director of Volunteer Kansas; Jessica Lehnherr, CEO, United Way of Greater Topeka; Angel Romero, VP Resource Development, United Way of Greater Topeka; Jessica Dorsey, Executive Director, Kansas Volunteer Commission)




AmeriCorps Kansas Bright Blue Logo

The Kansas Volunteer Commission congratulates the following programs for being selected as the 2022-2023 AmeriCorps Kansas Subgrantees.

Operational Subgrantees are as follows:

  • Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence
  • Harvesters the Community Food Network
  • International Rescue Committee, Inc.
  • Kansas City Teacher Residency
  • Kansas Department of Wildlife & Parks
  • Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas
  • United Way of Douglas County
  • USD 260 Derby
  • Wichita State University

Planning Subgrantees are as follows: 

  • Emporia State University,
  • Kansas Association for Conservation and Environmental Education
  • Center for Supportive Communities

For a total amount of $2,747,460. 











Contact Us:

900 SW Jackson St Ste 653

Topeka, KS 66612-1212

Phone: (785) 368-7436


The Kansas State Department of Education does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age in its programs and activities and provides equal access to any group officially affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America and other designated youth groups.

Copyright by Kansas State Department of Education