Step 2 - Explore

Determining the Needs of Our Community

This is a time for the students to discuss what they see happening in their school, among friends, community, and city.  Explore local, national, and global social issues taking place. 

Regardless, if your program will be entering the process with a THEME for the year or you will empower your students to select their social cause of interest; we ENCOURAGE you to allow this conversation to be part of your process!  This may be the first time the students are being ask ‘What do you care about?’ – may be the first time the students FEEL someone cares what they think!  Don’t bypass this opportunity!

What do your students care about? 
What do they want to see improve in their community?
What concerns do you they have about our world?
How would they address these concerns?

Need help getting the conversation started?  Utilize the chart below to give the students ideas.

Non-profit agencies will identify themselves with a social cause(s) or population they support.

You will notice not ALL social issues are listed such as Veterans, Suicide Prevention, or Mental Health just to name a few.  Agencies will select the categories above which best fits their cause and population; for example, Mental Health which may identify with (B) Children & Youth, (K) Health, (L) Homelessness & Housing, (Q) Men’s Issues, (T) Recover/Addiction & Abuse or (X) Women’s Issue

ARE YOU FORMING GROUPS?  If yes, this may help

During the process of identifying the social cause your students are passionate about, forming groups is the next step. 

  • Will you allow your students to select their partners?
  • Will you partner based upon group dynamic?
  • Will you partner based upon the social cause they have identified with specifically?
  • How many students per group?
  • Will you assign specific tasks to the group members:  Leader, Recorder, Spokesperson etc.
Great Resources for Step 2
Please report any typos, errors or broken links to Director of Programs Alison Kaufman (