Who are WILL youth? WILL works with 9th – 11th graders from DC public and charter schools.

What is the Cost? WILL is free for WILL youth.

Is there a Commitment to being in WILL? Yes. WILL is a 12-month program. The WILL year runs from October through the following September. We are together approximately 335 hours during the year.

How does a youth apply to be in WILL? You can apply to become a WILL youth by attending a WILL information session at your school or communicating with Steve (See Contact Us) to arrange a meeting, and by completing the Application and Release forms provided by WILL and returning the forms to us. You will be informed if you are accepted to the program for the year. Apply here.

How often does WILL meet? Generally twice a month – Saturdays or week day school holidays such as Presidents’ Day, 3 days over spring break, and a 7 day backpacking expedition on the Appalachian Trail over the summer. No WILL activities interfere with the youths’ regular school schedules.

Where does WILL meet? Meeting locations are in and around DC and vary according to the activity; typically everyone meets at a central location, then we travel as a group to the event. Sometimes we meet at the program site.

What are some of the things WILL does? We provide an incredible fun year of learning while doing and experiencing diverse and challenging activities to enhance leadership, self-empowerment, life skills, environmental stewardship, and respect of others. For more detail, go to Programs Page.

Is attendance at WILL programs important? Yes. We are the sum of our parts and every day is a learning opportunity – we are all learning from each other. If you are not with us, we cannot be at our best that day; everyone in WILL is losing the opportunity to learn from you, you are missing the opportunity to learn from everyone and are missing the lessons that day. You, as a leader, also have given your word to be with us. Commitment and accountability to one’s word are important.

What do I do if I can’t make a WILL program? Communicate. You may have a good reason not to be with us, but, except in an emergency, you have no reason not to communicate that you will not be with us.

How do WILL youth get to program locations? Generally, we have 2 meet-up locations – In front of Bell Multicultural High School and at the Minnesota Avenue Metro Stop. From these locations, sometimes we take Metro and sometimes WILL uses a transportation service to drive us to the program location. If program locations are near Metro stations, WILL youth either take metro and walk a short distance to the program location or get a ride there.

Does WILL watch out for harassment or bullying among its members? Yes. WILL provides its services, activities, and programs in a respectful and positive environment. Acts of bullying, harassment, and intimidation are contrary to WILL’s values and are prohibited. See WILL’s Anti-Bullying Policy.

Are meals provided? Yes. We provide morning and afternoon snacks and a freshly made lunch each time we are together, and breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks on the overnight programs.

Can you earn community service hours in WILL? Yes. If you graduate from WILL and participate in the Service Project (s), you will receive 25 hours of community service towards the 100 community service hours DC students need to graduate from high school.

As a parent/guardian how can I participate in WILL? 
Parents/guardians are an integral and important part of the WILL family and help ensure their child’s participation in WILL events and activities. That said, other than the Holiday Party, College Admissions Forum & Expedition Orientation, and Graduation, parents/guardians do not participate in WILL activities. We want WILL youth to have the benefit of the growth and learning opportunities provided without parental influence.


What Teens and Parents say about WILL

“The WILL program was God-sent. It was much more than I ever expected and I see the maturity level in my daughter changing because of the program.”—Tyna, WILL Parent

“The program has instilled values and morals in my daughter, has built her self confidence, has enriched her culturally, and has exposed her to avenues in life that she did not know existed. More importantly, the vision of WILL is unique and the opportunities for our youth are boundless. The program supports the foundation of education and instills in our youth the confidence that success awaits them at the end of the road.”—Karen, WILL Parent

“I will say to a friend that WILL is unforgettable… you will never do anything like this in your life.”–Sarah, WILL Graduate

“WILL’ is really a word saying ‘yes you can’ instead of giving up.”– Domonique, WILL Graduate

“My life goal is to be somebody that the community looks up to. I set my goal based on what I have learned from the WILL program; it has impacted so many lives in positive ways. I now take the challenges that come up, dissect them, and work through them because I now know, thanks to the WILL program, that I can overcome anything.”– Labrina, WILL Graduate

 “He (Steve) actually cares about young people in DC or he would never have created this program. Because of him I am now trying to become a better, stronger leader in my community, my school, and my home.”
– Arthur, WILL Graduate