This information on GAP Year resources and volunteer opportunities is being provided by a third party and as an educational resource only. Not all programs listed are NATSAP members. We ask that our audience conduct due diligence as they look at the many opportunities available to them.

Friends, it’s summer in the northern hemisphere and all of us are wanting to support our clients (or our own teens/twenties who need to be occupied!) through COVID.  Gap programs, both non-therapeutic and “soft support” exist, and I wanted to share these updates.  These may be known to you; the weekly Gap Year Association zoom meetings have important Gap year and hybrid-Gap updates and generous sharing occurs, see below.  

  • Gap Year Association,, continues to provide updates and links for us on line, they have jumped from 69% increase in interest (as have Gap programs) to 82% increase in interest this past week. COVID uncertainty of course, but young people are getting informed and integrating this option into post-stabilization treatment as well as deferral from college for Fall 2020.  IT IS WORTH being a $25/year or $75/year member to participate in these weekly updates and access to information.  Go to website to see provider updates as well.
  • Summer volunteering WWOOF farming opportunities are increasing in the US:; I have been monitoring for weeks and young adults can do short term weekends or months-2 months engagements with room and board provided, no supervision but often living with a stable couple/family.  One post-therapeutic stable client just left for a 2 month gig after doing weekends as a first stage.  Therapy and coaching will continue virtually of course with you and some of your clients, as I do with mine.
  • GYA is working closely with Americorp and JobCorp to consolidate summer opportunities, dates and announcements to come, keep watching websites for the 4 and 6 week programs as they get full quickly.  In Colorado a 6 week internship for contact tracing work is being launched–again, keep checking the website as this is constantly developing.
  •, Eco-Institute:  several summer opportunities, some are waitlisted, and in the time of COVID they are watching and may add segments
  • Connects, a 28 day wilderness “light therapy” summer experience starting 7/1/20 for young adults 18-25 provided by New Visions Wilderness,
  • Borderlands, a Carpe Diem 8 week program,, for Fall 2020 and Spring 2020, if your client has interest apply now.
  • Pure Life in Costa Rica is relaunching 8/31:, contact Carrie Weatherhead,
  • Discovery Campus of Pacific Discovery,, has domestic offerings in several places starting 8/17, with guidance of “select your top three locations in US” as this will be interest-adapted with locations running if group capacity achieved.
  • Idaho Leadership/Internship available now,, with Randy Russell.  5 day week 9-5pm curriculum with weekends both managed and self-guided, room for 2-3 more young men or women.
  • Planned re-opening for Israel this summer, American Israel Gap Year Association,–sponsors.html, Phyllis Folb is updating us regularly.
  • Wisdom Ranch,, Montana internships/support program.
  • NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) is accepting for July in Rocky Mountains and Alaska:
  • Available now: Oregon/Scotland Fall Semester 9/2020: is collaborating with domestic internship providers combined with guided Cascades mountain and river excursions, culminating in November 2 week private transport to Scotland outer Hebrides with caravan transportation, for a COVID Fall semester in addition to their year round internships with residential support. Excursions starting July 1.
  • Irish Gap Year reports planned opening,, with optimism that their program will adjust to base operations in Ireland and “wait and see” for the European Explorations component.

Please note that this is not an exhaustive list and of course there is so much more–this summary is what I have from the “COVID phase 1-2 and loosening of restrictions” info that I’ve been tracking most recently through these useful Zoom meetings as a GYA attendee.  So many good international programs are on hold, waiting, others are contained/controlled as a group and will be “based” rather than itinerary composed.  Many domestic opportunities will hopefully yet exist and be announced. I want to recognize the good people of GYA, the Gap year guides and programs that have participated in these resourcing Zoom meetings and their generous sharing of information.

Sarah Persha


NATSAP Responds to #BLM

Dear NATSAP Members.

NATSAP stands with Black Lives Matters. We don’t want this to be a performative effort, we want action and movement towards bettering ourselves and our programs. We know some of the areas in which we fail, but we do not know them all. To that end, we will hold two roundtable discussions. One on race among program staff and one on race among our clients. We highly encourage all NATSAP members to attend both roundtables. This will be uncomfortable. At times, it will be painful, and our hearts will hurt. But it is necessary. The facilitators of these roundtables will be NATSAP Members who are People of Color. We will listen, we will hear, and we will do better.

Roundtable Discussions:

​These roundtables will be followed up with continued discussions and the creation of a NATSAP Diversity and Inclusion Committee. This Committee will be tasked with reviewing all aspects of NATSAP to see where we can do better. This might include adding a diversity track to our conferences, holding forums on tough topics, and reviewing best practices at our member programs and at NATSAP itself.

The roundtable discussions will be held on June 23rd and June 24th at 1 PM eastern. A follow up email with registration details will be sent to NATSAP members at a later date.

The below is from Shanita Smith, NATSAP’s Director of Membership, Member Services and Public Relations:

My hope for this message is not to anger or discourage anyone. Instead, I hope to get across that the entire African American/Black race is in need of EVERYONE’S support and not just the support of other black people. We (black people) as a race have strived for change for centuries and it is very apparent that we cannot do this alone.

Over the past week, I have struggled with what to say and do regarding the murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and other black lives that have been lost due to the color of their skin. My heart aches for the families that have been left behind by their love one due to a senseless act of violence and racism. The words “I can’t breathe” has become the last thing on my mind at night. Thoughts flood my mind as I picture the images of violence portrayed in the media towards one of my brothers or sisters. And some nights, I literally cannot breathe. The injustice that has occurred to black lives over the years is sickening and unsettling. I’ve been on daily calls with people of color trying to wrap their heads around how black lives are perceived and suffering. I’ve also been on calls where people who were not of color were just calling to check in on me to ensure that I was okay. I share this because it did not matter if they had practiced a speech before calling me or if they just wanted to listen to me air out my frustrations while they sat silent. What mattered to me the most was that I was on their mind enough that they took the second to call and listen.

Your words and actions, regardless of race, can be so very powerful right now. So, before you say “I cannot relate to being black” take a second and give it a try. Try imagining having to worry about your child not coming home one day. And not because the area you live in is unsafe, but because the world you live in is unsafe. There are so many people of color who are terrified to go for a walk, call the police or even say “hi” to a person who is not of color. If you are of color, the police are not your police, they belong to someone else and they are not here to protect you, if they even show up at all.

The best way to help the black community is to participate in it. That does not mean you have to donate money or protest. However, start with those close to you. Just in case you were wondering, your black friends, colleagues, employees, etc. ARE NOT OKAY. Pick up the phone and check on them. Let them vent a little if you have to. Sit in your discomfort a bit, as I guarantee, we’ve been uncomfortable in a lot more settings. Take a stand and say out loud, “I do not support racism and what is happening in the world is wrong.” Staying silent only makes us feel that you support the side of our oppressors.

I’ve talked to so many people affected by the tragedies occurring (some within the membership) who are struggling to keep it together at work and maintain professionalism. I urge everyone to call and check in on them. If you employ someone of color, find out how they could best use your help and see if it is doable. Before putting a statement out on behalf of your agency/organization, get a person of color’s feedback. You have to make those closer to you believe that you are in support of black lives before the world can believe it.

Yes, all life is precious, however, at this time the lives of Black people in America are in jeopardy. At the end of the day, there is only one race. The human race. Let’s please stand together.

Thank you for reading until the end. And please know that we are not angry with the entire world, just those who abuse their privilege to the extent that it costs a life.

With love in my heart,




Megan Stokes and the NATSAP Home Office.