Youth Recreation Leader Scholarship Program is a win-win

January 22, 2024

Bend Park and Recreation District is the largest childcare provider for school-age kids in Central Oregon, with over 900 children registered in the Kids Inc. program. Providing these families with high-quality afterschool and no school day care takes almost 100 staff members and finding those caring, enthusiastic employees is an on-going challenge.

To address the need for youth recreation leaders, BPRD has teamed up with education partners to offer area students the opportunity for a scholarship along with a paid job in youth recreation. Students can receive up to $5,250 to apply to their education program and gain real-world experience to use toward career and life goals and earn a competitive wage at the same time.

Alex Pinkerton is studying botany as a dual-enrolled student at COCC and OSU-Cascades and worked as a youth recreation leader with the Kids Inc. program for the 2022/23 school year. Alex shared that the scholarship money was his motivation for applying for the job, but he got more out of the experience than he expected.

“I was able to pay for the majority of my prerequisite classes with the funds provided by the scholarship – that was really helpful,” said Pinkerton. “I ended up really liking the job and enjoyed working with the kids. I liked the creativity and leading the games and crafts that a younger me would have enjoyed.”

To date, almost 30 students enrolled at COCC and/or OSU-Cascades have participated in the scholarship program, providing a valuable pool of youth recreation leaders for BPRD, and at the same time, supporting their own education path forward.

Scholarship opportunities are available for the current school year.

Learn more about youth recreation job opportunities.


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