Community Volunteerism
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SHRM-Atlanta is dedicated to assuring strong and active relationships between our organization and the Atlanta community through partnership with programs and organizations that share our vision to build a better Atlanta.

We offer skills-based volunteering opportunities in a variety of areas:

  • Youth Programs
  • Veterans Employment Team Initiative (VETs)
  • Community Volunteer Requests

Youth Programs

We have selected four outstanding youth programs: Mayor’s Youth Program, 21st Century Leaders, Culture Connect and the Gwinnett County Youth Program. Our members volunteer their time as well as HR and Business expertise to provide workforce readiness training to youth as they matriculate through high school and make the transition into the workforce and/or secondary education. The students in these programs are truly a picture of the Greater Atlanta area; they are urban and rural, minority and majority, male and female. 

Mayor's Youth Program

The Mayor's Youth Program is a program that will help students with hands-on assistance in planning for life after high school, whether college, technical school, the military or the workforce, we want to help them with their decisions. It’s an internship program that assists students in attaining job experience and income to assist with their college expenses.  The City of Atlanta has reached out to business and community leaders to get the resources to help students reach their goals. Atlanta public school graduates are helped with tuition, laptops and other assistance through the Mayor's Youth Program. Services provided include job readiness training, academic enrichment, counseling, mentoring, work experience, and ACT/SAT/GED prep and basic academic skills training.

The workshops sponsored by SHRM Atlanta and facilitated by SHRM Atlanta Volunteers serve as prerequisites and requirements for students who are requesting summer internships. Students choose one Saturday morning to attend the workshops being held at Atlanta Workforce Development Agency. Each workshop is 50 minutes long covering the following topics: Time Management, Workforce Readiness, Mock-Interviews, Communications, Ethics, Car-Town, an interactive game to teach students the importance of ethics in everyday life experiences. We’ve had over 300 volunteers and we’ve assisted over 2500 students since 2005. 

SHRM-Atlanta Chair contact information:

Charlean Parks (

Patricia Norman (

21st Century Leaders

The mission of the 21st Century Leaders is to be a collaboration of business and professional leaders inspiring high school students to take on leadership positions, seek out opportunities, and give back to their communities by connecting them with a diverse group of enthusiastic peers, passionate professionals and powerful ideas, transforming their skills, attitudes, and abilities through training and hands-on experiences.

What is 21st Century Leaders and what do they do? 

The program begins in the summer of sophomore year and continues during high school.  21st Century Leaders hail from over 130 high schools across the state of Georgia. They are truly a picture of Georgia; they are urban and rural, minority and majority, male and female. They come from differing economic circumstances and family backgrounds.

Since 1991, over 10,000 students have participated in 21st Century Leaders; 97% enter college and 72% report taking on formal leadership roles in their colleges and communities after high school. These students lead community service projects, take on high profile summer internships, and are hired as summer program leaders. Our students lead faith-based groups and mentor younger students; they are truly making a difference in their communities!

SHRM-Atlanta Chair(s) contact information:

Katrina Jackson (

Patrick Lynch (

Culture Connect

  SHRM-Atlanta is embarking in a volunteer relationship with Culture Connect; a non-profit organization with a mission is to develop cultural fluency between immigrants and the greater community. One of Culture Connect's programs focuses on making this immigrant population, whom they refer to as “Go-Betweeners" since they go between their home culture and American culture, successful and contributing members of our society. Currently Culture Connect has a very long waiting list of youth in need of suitable mentors to help.

SHRM-Atlanta volunteers are matched with (youth, usually middle-school aged) mentees. Each volunteer would go through a thorough application process that includes a criminal background check and personal interview with Culture Connect to ensure a fit for the youth need. 

Culture Connect matches 1st or 2nd generation school-aged youth with mentors who:

  • Speak the same home language
  • Share a similar culture
  • Share the Go-Betweener® experience

Time commitment:  A half day mentor orientation and training class is scheduled after the interview and selection process.  Volunteers are asked to commit to a youth for one year (12 months) - which is usually four hours per month on a mutually agreed schedule with the mentee. 

Mentors also attend quarterly workshops to enhance and build mentoring skills in the following areas:

  • Develop self-esteem and goal-setting skills
  • Encourage pride in one's home culture along with comfort in American culture
  • Navigate successfully between the two cultures

SHRM-Atlanta Chair contact information: 
Casey Messina (

Gwinnett County Youth Project

The Gwinnett County Youth Project (GCYP) is funded by the Workforce Investment Act and provides services based on strengths and challenges experienced by area youth and matching with local labor market needs.  These services are not one-time, short-term interventions for youth; GCYP is a systematic approach that offers youth a comprehensive set of service strategies and a close link to the labor market.


GCYP has partnered with the local Goodwill Career Center and SHRM-Atlanta to develop an annual job readiness training event coupled with a job fair. This event, typically held in early April, equips local youth with the knowledge and skills they need throughout a successful job search – and then connects them with local employers, where they can immediately apply their training. SHRM-Atlanta volunteers provide participants with training on resume writing, dressing for success, job fair etiquette, and interview preparation.

SHRM-Atlanta Chair contact information: 
Lee Hendrickson (


Veterans Employment Team Initiative (VETs)


SHRM-Atlanta is proud to sponsor VETs – Veterans Employment Team initiative. SHRM-Atlanta's VETs goal is to assist veterans in returning to civilian employment.  

The VETS initiative offers several signature programs and resources to help veterans and SHRM-Atlanta HR professionals:


Our marquee program matches a SHRM-Atlanta HR professional with a career-seeking veteran protégé. Mentors provide the assistance, coaching and support that veterans need during transition.  Our desire is that mentors and protégés establish a long-term professional and personal relationship that is mutually beneficial and rewarding. Mentors are trained and supported by SHRM-Atlanta volunteers using SHRM-Atlanta and SHRM National resources. This mentor training and the veterans’ reemployment resources will help SHRM-Atlanta members become an even more valuable resource in their organization.  



This initiative has one objective: to provide real career opportunities for veterans.  We will measure our efforts by the number of veterans who we assist in successfully making the transition into a civilian career.  The SHRM-Atlanta Board of Directors is asking every members’ organization or company to hire at least one veteran during.  Throughout the year, we will track and recognize those member organizations who have demonstrated their commitment by hiring a veteran. 

The Next Deployment Veterans Panel  

A professionally-produced video highlighting the SHRM-Atlanta panel on veterans that was featured at the 22nd Annual SHRM-Atlanta HR Conference. This panel gives valuable information and insight to everyone interested in learning more about veterans’ reemployment and veterans issues. 


SHRM-Atlanta Chair(s) contact information: 
Ryan Constant (

Bessie Reed (

Community Volunteer Requests

Volunteer Opportunities Coming Soon!

1. SHRM-Atlanta is seeking a chapter member to chair our relationship with 21st Century Leaders


21st Century Leaders is a collaboration of business and professional leaders inspiring high school students to take on leadership positions, explore career opportunities, and give back to their communities by connecting them with passionate professionals and powerful ideas, transforming their skills, attitudes, and abilities through training and hands-on experiences.

The 21st Century Leaders Program Chair will be the primary point of contact for SHRM-Atlanta with 21st Century Leaders staff. The Chair will coordinate event dates with 21CL staff and identify volunteers. The time commitment can generally be anywhere from 2-4 hours per month during the school year and less than 2 hours a month during the summer months; the Chair’s presence is preferred at events whenever possible.   

If you are interested in increasing your volunteer involvement with SHRM-Atlanta and you are enthused by youth development programs, this would be a great opportunity for you. Please contact Jeanette Matern by email at if you have any questions or would like additional information on this worthwhile program.