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RespectabilityUSA & DCJCC Announce Inclusive Community Service Opportunities for Middle and High Schoolers With and Without Disabilities

Washington, D.C. – The Washington DCJCC, with more than 25 years of proven leadership in providing safe, outstanding volunteer service opportunities, and RespectAbilityUSA, a non-profit organization working to empower people with disabilities to achieve the American dream, are thrilled to announce the second summer of community service opportunities for Washington-area middle and high school students open to students with all abilities.

The non-sectarian program will be staffed by experienced CPR-certified professionals. Staff members include para-educators and special education teachers from the Montgomery County Public School (MCPS) programs for children with Asperger’s along and with DCJCC staff.

The program will offer three one-week sessions, two for high school students and one for middle school students where they can earn between 20-25 Student Service Learning credit hours. Each session will have two counselors and teachers/para-educators as needed for the students with disabilities. Students will have the opportunity to earn community service hours in a safe, fun, fully integrated and enriching environment.

Space is limited and will only be able to serve approximately 12 students each session. Volunteer projects could include:

  • Preparing food for the homeless
  • Weeding and gardening at a park or community garden
  • Serving a meal at a shelter
  • Volunteering at the Capital Area Food Bank
  • Putting together care packages for families in need

“We are thrilled to continue what we started last summer and to build this year’s community service camp’s inclusion program. It’s wonderful to be able to provide an opportunity for teens of all abilities to gain their Student Service Learning hours while also helping the vulnerable population throughout DC. It’s a win-win for everyone.” said Erica Steen, Director of Community Engagement at the DCJCC who will supervise the camp program.

“This is the second year of this model program. We hope others around the country will replicate it. For far too long people have looked at people with disabilities (PwDs) as objects of pity when the fact is that they have a tremendous amount to offer and are ready and willing to serve others.” Said Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, President of RespectAbility.

The inclusive community service opportunities are offered to students entering grades 9-12:

  • July 6-10
  • August 3-7

For students entering grades 7-8:

  • June 29-July 2

Register at or call Erica Steen at 202-777-3255

For more than 25 years, the Washington DCJCC’s Morris Cafritz Center for Community Service (MCCCS) has been a leader in providing community service opportunities in the Washington-area. Anchored by four Days of Service, including the area’s largest Christmas Day volunteer effort involving more than 1000 participants annually, the DCJCC provides high-impact volunteer projects yearound to address unmet needs of the most vulnerable in our city. All volunteer opportunities are open to all. MCCCS provides support to the DC community in need regardless of age, race, gender, disability, or religion.

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