Hand Up Teen Leadership

Ready to step up and give back? We’re looking for the next generation of leaders to help us fight hunger in San Diego.

Hand Up Teen Leadership invites San Diego teens of all faiths and backgrounds to develop their leadership skills and engage in hands-on service and advocacy projects to address food insecurity in our local neighborhoods. Part service, part learning, Hand Up Teen Leadership is about challenging ourselves as leaders and finding the fun in giving back.

Take the Next Step

“Hand Up gave me the confidence that I can make a difference in my community. I have made lifelong friends that have allowed me to grow as a person and a leader.”

How We Lead

We Learn

We engage topic experts to learn about the complex causes of hunger and food insecurity in our region, and participate in leadership training workshops and mentoring programs to help drive creative solutions.

We Serve

Collectively, Hand Up teens clock hundreds of community service hours organizing donation drives, outreach events, fundraisers, and food distributions for the Hand Up Food Pantry at JFS. Past participants have earned the President’s Gold Volunteer Service Award for their commitment to service.

We Advocate

As a group, we travel to Sacramento to take part in Hunger Action Day and lobby for stronger legislative solutions to combat food insecurity. We also conduct presentations to educate the community about hunger-related issues.


pounds of food collected.
dollars raised.
service hours completed.


The Teen Leadership program runs from September through June. If you’re looking for a hands on way to make a difference, we invite you to complete an application for the upcoming school.

Registration is now closed.


We’re here to answer your questions and help you get started.

Get Hands On with Hand Up

The Hand Up Food Pantry relies on a dedicated team of volunteers to help us connect local families with more than 258,000 pounds of nutritious food each year. Your involvement can make a difference.

Aurora's Journey
with Hand Up

After joining Hand Up as a freshman, Aurora has been on a mission to eliminate food waste in San Diego. Meet the industrious teen behind the gleaning project at JFS.

Girls Give Back

Girls Give Back empowers young women in grades 9-12 to create meaningful change in the world around them. Together, we learn about gender equity and social justice and serve our community.


Our teen leadership programs are provided with the help of our generous partners.