Varsity Letter in Community Service

What is Varsity Letter in Community Service?

Through the Varsity Letter in Community Service (VLCS) program, United Way of Olmsted County partners with Olmsted County high schools to recognize and reward students for their volunteer efforts in the community. High school students who volunteer 100 hours in one year can earn their school varsity letter, the same as those earned in academics, arts, athletics, etc. With 52 weeks in a year, that is equivalent to about 2 hours per week.


Congratulations to our past Varsity Letter in Community Service Recipients! 

In 2019, we showcased our high school leaders through a 3.5 minute recognition video!

In 2020, our high school leaders participated on an interview panel via Instagram Live!

Stewartville HS Spring Pepfest VLCS Certificate Award Recognition 2021


  1. Print or download the current application. Applications will start to be accepted after October 1, 2023. Thank you!
  2. If you're new to VLCS, email Grace so she knows you're interested!
  3. Each time you volunteer, either take a photo OR get your volunteer supervisor to sign a piece of organization letterhead.
  4. For each volunteer site, verify hours and complete reflection questions.
  5. Application Deadline: Turn in application to United Way of Olmsted County by March 1, 2024.

Application Materials

All supplemental materials including Requirements & Guidelines, Service Log Sheets, Checklists and Verification Forms are included in application form. 

Important Dates 2023-24

  • Hours are for eligible volunteer work from March 1, 2023 - February 29, 2024.
  • Application deadline is on or before March 1, 2024.
  • You may email, mail, or hand deliver your application to our office at: United Way of Olmsted County, 903 West Center Street, Suite 100, Rochester, MN 55902, Attn: Vangie Castro.

What to Expect After You Apply

  • United Way of Olmsted County will notify you that we have received your application by email on or before March 8, 2024.
  • United Way of Olmsted County will notify you by April 1, 2024 if you are receiving this award.
  • A student who qualifies for the Varsity Letter in Community Service, will receive a certificate and a community service varsity letter patch if he/she is a first, second, third or fourth year earning the award. These are currently free of charge.


United Way of Olmsted County

Grace Pesch, Impact Strategist, 507-287-1533

United Way of Olmsted County
Attn: Varsity Letter in Community Service
903 West Center Street, Suite 100
Rochester, MN 55902

Stewartville High School

Joyce Stacey, United Way Volunteer and Former Educator


United Way's mission is to unite people and resources to improve people's lives in our community. We fight for the education, health, and financial stability of every individual, and encourage students to primarily serve in those three impact areas. We also recognize that students are already involved in community service clubs and initiatives through their high schools. To encourage a balance in activities, students must perform at least one school-related activity and serve at least 40 hours of non-school related volunteering such as supporting a local nonprofit (501c3) or civic service agency.