Welcome to the Team!
We’re excited that you’ve shown interest in volunteering with Life Long Dreams. For the Last 10 years Life Long Dreams has been working with individuals in the community to develop their individual strengths and reach their goals. By volunteering, you’ll provide support and advocacy to ensure each student can reach their individual dreams. Thank you in advance for helping us to increase the quality and effectiveness of our programs. We look forward to working closely with you as we unite to serve our students.
Our mission is to enrich the quality of life for children and young adults with special needs and intellectual developmental disabilities, including autism, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, mental health and similar conditions by fostering individual growth, creativity and community involvement through innovative strategies and artistic expression.
To facilitate our mission, we provide a comprehensive range of individualized, high quality services to enable children and young adults to gain the life skills necessary to enjoy a fuller life and bring their independent goals and dreams to fruition.
“Special Needs”- is a term used in clinical diagnostic to describe an individual who requires assistance for disabilities that may be physical, medical, or psychological. Physical- limitations on an individual’s physical functioning, mobility or stamina which limit various
aspects of daily living.Medical- chronic illnesses, immune system disorders, diabetes, visual impairments, hearing loss and seizures
*Parents please share medical concerns with Life Long Dreams staff. Including medications that may need to be administered, seizures and food allergies.
Psychological- refers to a spectrum of mental disorders that influence our emotions, cognition and behaviors. Examples include depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, autism, ADHD Sensory sensitivities- Individuals with sensory processing issues can be sensitive to sounds, lighting,
physical touch, smells and food textures. Be aware of how our students are reacting to the environment. Such sensitivities can result in the individual becoming upset and or agitated. Limitations/ Varying abilities- Students of Life Long Dreams have varying degrees of abilities and
limitations. Offer assistance if needed but make it a goal to promote independence and personal growth.
As a volunteer you have the responsibility to:
Participate in training and attend monthly meetings as required by Life Long Dreams
Ask for support when you need it
Be courteous to students, staff and other volunteers
Raise any issues/concerns you have with the director and not degrade the organization to student, staff or other volunteers
Value and support other team members
Follow all policies and guidelines and engage in appropriate behavior at all times
Participate in the feedback process by letting the director know how you feel about your volunteer experience and giving constructive suggestions for improvement
Be reliable and committed to the organization
Positively represent Life Long Dreams whenever you volunteer: in the office, in the community and/or at events
While volunteering with Life Long Dreams
Inclusion- It is the goal of Life Long Dreams to offer activities and skills to every student. Remember everything can be done with assistance or modification.
Modeling- You are representing Life Long Dreams and expected to lead by example. All interactions with students, staff and parents shall be done so in a friendly and positive manner at all times.
Encourage participation- However, do not pressure the students to participate if they are unwilling to do so. The activities are not a requirement, a student may want to observe prior to participation allow this occur. Positively encourage participation if the student appears comfortable.
Understanding behaviors- Behaviors typically result from one of four reasons
1- The desire to have power or control
2- Attention seeking
3- Feelings of inadequacy
*If a behavioral episode (crying, yelling, throwing objects, threating, physical aggression) occurs. It is the staff’s primary goal to de-escalate the behavior through the use of coping/calming skills and or redirection. If possible get assistance form one other staff member/volunteer to aid in de-escalation. Use of coping/calming skills- Examples include deep breathing, counting to 10, resort to a quiet space, take a walk outside, talk about what’s bothering the individual.
Redirection- Offer choices, change the environment (step outside, go to another location), change the topic or give the individual a specific task to complete.
Safety- It is each individual’s responsibility to maintain the well being of all students at Life Long Dreams.
Verbal prompts should be in the form of reminders, positive reinforcement, encouragement and praise.
Physical prompts may include hand over hand assistance, physical guidance, and modeling.
*Request permission from the student prior to the use of physical prompting. Any form of physical prompting should be limited, pay attention to how the individual reacts to physical prompts.
Each of our students have past experiences and may not be prepared to handle physical touch/prompting, please be mindful of how the student reacts.
Respect- All interactions shall be done so in a respectful way at all times. Whether you are speaking with a student, parent, community member or another volunteer respect is a requirement. Failure to show respect will result in removal form the program.
Do not be overly harsh or critical – Be mindful of your tone of voice, your tone can easily trigger a student’s anger and other emotions. Allow students to make their own decisions and allow the natural reward or consequence occur.
Avoid repeating yourself – If a student fails to respond to a direction or prompt allow time for the individual to process the command, and if a misunderstanding occurs answer and address the responses of the individual without repeating yourself. If necessary find another way to express your command. Allow the student an opportunity to share thoughts, feelings and ideas without interruption.
Do not monopolize the conversation- Demonstrate cooperation and team work and avoid controlling conversations, allow other to share ideas and input.
Use effective listening/open responses- Use active listening skills such as head nodding and eye contact. Remove any barriers between yourself and the individual, and ask open ended questions to promote the expression of thoughts, feelings and ideas.
Demonstrate patience and be nonjudgmental- Allow time for the student to process information or direction given and understand what is expected. Do not share personal opinions and judgement with students, parents and staff. Each individual will have a fair opportunity to participate without judgement or biased opinions.
Expectations while at Life Long Dreams
Confidentiality- Do not discuss student’s diagnosis or behaviors with individuals other than the
Dress and conduct policies-
Dress comfortably but professionally. Avoid provocative or revealing attire while representing
Life Long Dreams.
Act appropriately and lawfully in all situations. Remember we are modeling appropriate
behavior for our students at all times.
Do not remove any documents, materials or equipment from Life Long Dreams facility.
Notify the team ASAP of any changes to your schedule or availability.
Questions and concerns should be immediately brought to the director’s attention.
Refrain from the use of personal communication or social media while volunteering and give
you full attention to the students.
Monthly Volunteer Meetings – A monthly meeting will be held prior to Saturday classes to discuss
expectations, address concerns and answer any questions. Dates to be determined.
VOLUNTEER JOB DESCRIPTIONS
WEEKLY CLASS JOB DESCRIPTIONS
• Teach children to draw and paint while allowing freedom of expression.
• Are knowledgeable in various traditional and digital mediums.
• Be able to create a comfortable and friendly atmosphere that puts students at ease.
• Help and encourage students.
DANCE INSTRUCTOR / MENTOR
• Must love to dance and teach children
• Are knowledgeable in various genres of dance
• Teach students dance steps for live stage performances
• Understand students vary in levels of skill and capacity and often require more time to learn and
master dance moves
• Must be able to create a comfortable and friendly atmosphere that puts students at ease
• Help and encourage students
VOCAL COACH / MENTOR
• Assist vocal coach and mentor students as needed
• Interested in working with special needs children and young adults age 12 – 28
• Teach voice control, structure and the dynamics of singing and stage presence
• Prepare students to perform live on stage at recitals and concerts.
• Knowledgeable in various musical genre
• Creative, patient and caring
PHOTOGRAPHY INSTRUCTOR / MENTOR
• Retired / Semi Retired / Advanced Amateur Photographer.
• Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom image editing Experience and classroom or workshop instruction
VIDEO PRODUCTION INSTRUCTOR / MENTOR
• Retired / Semi Retired / Advanced Amateur Videographer with video production experience.
• Experience with Adobe Premiere and After Effects instruction in a classroom or workshop setting.
GRAPHIC DESIGN INSTRUCTOR / MENTOR
• Retired / Semi Retired / Advanced Amature Graphic Designer or Graphic Artist
• Experience in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop and InDesign in a classroom or workshop setting.
SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING INSTRUCTOR / MENTOR
• Retired / semi retired social media guru
• Experience with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Vine, Youtube, Classy, Vimeo, Tumbler etc. Constant
Contact on the job or in a classroom or workshop setting.
SOUND ENGINEER INSTRUCTOR / MENTOR
• Retired / Semi Retired / Advanced Amateur Sound Engineer.
• Experience with Adobe Audition, Adobe Media Encoder and sound equipment hardware. on the job
EVENT JOB DESCRIPTIONS
EVENT SECURITY TEAM
• Have keen observational skills and the ability to assess and manage difficult situations with tact.
• Security training is required.
EVENT / PERFORMANCE SUPPORT TEAM
• Responsible for manning booth at different events in the community.
• Prior experience in working events is preferred but not required.
• Dependability and a positive attitude are essential.
CAST PERFORMANCE SUPPORT TEAM
• Makeup artist, hair stylist, or costume designer to prepare students for live stage or concert
• Retired and/or advanced high school and or college students welcome.
• Work our events and performances to assist in the case of a medical emergency
• Must be trained doctor, nurse, CNA, EMT
EVENT AUDIO VISUAL SPECIALIST
• Professional techie, photographer, videographer, or set designer to help with live performances
• Advanced high school and college students are welcome.
FUNDING AND COMMUNICATIONS JOB DESCRIPTIONS
FUNDRAISING TEAM LEADER/MEMBERS
• Help Life Long Dreams reach its financial goals
• Create and execute a sustainable fundraising campaign.
• Expand our programs so that more special needs children and young adults can be served.
• Experience in crowd funding is a plus.
PUBLIC RELATIONS COORDINATOR
• Oversee all forms of social media and communication to build, maintain and manage the reputation
of Life Long Dreams.
• Communicating key messages, using third party endorsements, to defined target audiences in order to establish and maintain goodwill and understanding between Life Long Dreams and the community it serves.
• Monitor publicity and conduct research via social media to find out the concerns and expectations of the community in which Life Long Dreams operates and report and explain the findings to its
management and staff.
• Familiar with not-for-profit organizations.
• Tasks will involve:
1. Planning, developing and implementing PR strategies;
2. Liaising with colleagues and key spokespeople;
3. Liaising with and answering inquiries from media, individuals and other organizations, often via telephone and email;
4. Researching, writing and distributing press releases to targeted media;
5. Collating and analyzing media coverage;
6. Writing and editing in-house magazines, case studies, speeches, articles and annual reports;
7. Preparing and supervising the production of publicity brochures, handouts, direct mail
leaflets, promotional videos, photographs, films and multimedia programmed;
8. Devising and coordinating photo opportunities;
• Organizing events including press conferences, exhibitions, open days and press tours;
• Maintaining and updating information on the organization’s website;
• Sourcing and managing speaking and sponsorship opportunities;
• Commissioning market research;
• Fostering community relations through events such as open days and through involvement in community initiatives;
Acknowledgment Of Commitment
I acknowledge with my signature, that I have read and fully understand my responsibilities, obligations and commitment as a volunteer for Life Long Dreams. I will abide by the rules as stated.
• I will not discuss student’s diagnosis or behaviors with individuals other than the students’ parents.
• I will dress comfortably but professionally. Avoid provocative or revealing attire while representing Life Long Dreams.
• I will act appropriately and lawfully in all situations.
• I will remember we are modeling appropriate behavior for our students at all times.
• I will not remove any documents, materials or equipment from Life Long Dreams facility.
• I will notify the team ASAP of any changes to my schedule or availability.
• I will address any questions and concerns immediately to the director.
• I will refrain from the use of personal communication or social media while volunteering and give you full attention to the students.