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Gap Year = IMPACT Year at ACR

Impact Year at ACR  includes extensive training and skill development, leadership opportunities, educational enhancement through research, self-discovery, networking with peers and ACR Homes leadership, and resumé-enriching additional benefits. A commitment to serving individuals with disabilities at ACR Homes with exceptional direct patient care in a group home setting for a minimum of 10-12 months will set you up for success in future careers, education, and life.

*Impact Year 2021-2022 team is already filled. We will be accepting applications for Impact Year 2022-2023 Spring 2022.* 

Benefits of an Impact Year

  • $15.50-$17.50/hr + longevity increases
  • $5000 Impact Award
  • First Aid and CPR certifications
  • Greater than CNA level healthcare experience
  • Job/Work Experience
  • Volunteer Hours
  • Internship Completion
  • Letter of Recommendation
  • 1500-2000 hours of hands on patient care experience
  • Relationships and community connections
  • Professional mentor(s)
  • Updated, enhanced resume and application materials
  • Research paper and presentation
  • Enhanced knowledge on new subject matter
  • Self-discovery through experience, seminars, and book studies and evaluation of 10 characteristics of highly successful people
  • Extensive Mock Interview Tips & Experience
  • On-call experience
  • 4-5 books for personal library with deep insight into each
  • Access to alumni and other professional networking resources

What to Expect During an Impact Year

60+ hours of paid training on a range of topics related to high-quality care for people with disabilities, including but not limited to:


  • Training on vulnerable adults
  • Service recipient rights
  • CPR
  • First aid
  • Body systems and disease
  • Medication administration
  • Extensive medical equipment
  • Health records and documentation
  • Pharmacy procedures
  • Hygiene & bowel management
  • Seizure management
  • Cultural competence
  • Communication
  • COVID-19 protocols
  • OSHA
  • ACR Core Values
  • Behavior Management and Behavioral Interventions.
  • Full-time employment (38-40 hours/week) + additional unpaid internship tasks (approx. 38-42 hours/week combined, on average)
  • Flexible, DCP/float scheduling and PTO to accommodate grad school interviews and internship tasks
  • Direct Care 3 shifts/week at one base home of choice
  • 4 “rotations” at various ACR Homes for remaining 2 shifts/week
  • A team of peers for networking, growth opportunities, and community
  • Explore passions with internship focus and gain further academic experience and knowledge under supervision of ACR CEO.
  • Professional interactions, seminars, and workshops with ACR Homes leadership provides
  • Opportunities for networking, interviewing skills, improved communication skills, and conversation starting
  • Weekly group meetings and ongoing dialog with Core Impact Team
  • Journaling and individual reflection/group discussion
  • Free books with guided book studies
  • Mock interviews with Mayo Clinic, ACR Homes alumni, and ACR Homes leadership
  • Mentorship
  • Quarterly volunteer/community service – paid
  • Monthly Educational/Growth-Focused Seminar - interview tips, resumé, cover letter, personal statement, etc. personalized to goals of group.
  • 1,500 to 2,000 hours of patient care experience
  • Leadership opportunity and on-call experience
  • Step out of your comfort zone by working with people with disabilities, learn humility, branch out to new areas currently unexperienced.
  • Ability to make a difference for people with disabilities, a group that has the potential to be underserved
  • Gain experience caring for others

“It’s competitive, an impactful experience, and great for building many of the competencies for professional school.”

-college grad pursuing medical school

“I really like that incorporates so many aspects that grad schools are looking for in their applicants in one position (volunteering, research/internship, “clinical” hours”, personal and professional development. I think it really will help people who take on the position be well-rounded for their future!”  

-pre-med college student

“I have more interest in applying for the Impact Year than any other position due to the academic and professional development benefits this program offers.”

-recent college grad pursuing PT

What to know before applying

  • You must be eligible to work at ACR Homes and meet all employment requirements
  • Core Impact Teams are limited to no more than 10 staff per cycle—space is limited.
  • Intensive 3 part interview
  • Your commitment must start no later than July 1st, 2021 but can be part-time over the summer. Must be full-time 8/15-5/31.
  • Your Impact Year will require you to step out of your comfort zone in order to maximize the potential for growth and development.
  • You will be working 38-40 hours paid weekly, with additional unpaid internship and development requirements.
  • You will be on-call 1 weekend per month July-May (timeline will be adjusted to someone new to the company)
  • You will be responsible for self-scheduling 2 shifts/week and managing your time and obligations. Your available shifts could include days, evenings, weekends, and/or overnights and includes fair share of holidays.

Did you miss the application cycle for this session?

Check out ACR's many other resume-boosting positions that start year-round!

Frequently Asked Questions

Does it have to be a full year? My program might conflict.

  • We sought out input from more than 15 current employees who are pursuing grad and med programs and aligned our timeline based on their feedback. Our Impact Year program can start as early as June 1st, but no later than July 1st. Impact Year Interns can choose to be part-time over the summer months as long as they’re fulfilling their requirements. They must be full-time employees (38-40 hours/week of direct care) starting August 15-May 31.

Why only a team of 10?

  • We will only be choosing 10 applicants to be part of our program for this first session. We want this to be an exclusive group of people eager to work hard, get meaningful experience, make an impact on the people they support, and to have ongoing dialog throughout the process with this small team.

Do I get full-time pay?

  • Yes! Given that this is along the lines of a float/house staff hybrid in terms of scheduling, the pay is $15.50 for day/evening/weekend direct care shifts, and then $17.50/hour for awake shifts. Those who take part but have previous years of experience at ACR would also add their longevity pay increases to that base for up to $1.00 more per hour.

Do I get paid for the book studies, meetings, etc.?

  • Pay is only for training related to direct care, direct care, and for quarterly community service/community service projects. Journaling, reflection, internship work, meetings, etc. are the unpaid elements.

Do I need to be an ACR employee to apply?

  • No, we will be selecting those that are willing and eager to meet the requirements of the program whether they are a current employee or someone coming to ACR for this specific experience.

How will scheduling work for direct care?

  • IYIs will be based at one home for 3 shifts per week throughout your Impact Year. Your other 2 shifts per week will be self-scheduled up to 10 days in advance. For example, when house schedules get posted, an Impact Year Intern will go on to our scheduling site and choose their remaining 2 shifts at any one of the homes in their rotation (approximately 15 homes to choose from).

Can I stay at my base home?

  • You can stay at whatever home there is a spot for you for 3 shifts per week. You’ll get variety and new experiences for the remaining 2 shifts each week.

Why do I need to be on-call?

  • IYIs will be on-call for one weekend per month for their home. This experience is invaluable in showing responsibility, problem-solving, and ability to think critically. RS Ally Malone is headed to medical school this Fall. Here’s her feedback on this: “I love the idea of having these staff try being on-call. It's not only a really great experience to have to strengthen problem solving and other skills, it's a great talking point for applications. I specifically remember talking to a med school interviewer about being on call, and she said it really showed that I wanted to pursue my field since I was waking up at 3am to cover a shift for a sick staff among other incidents.”

What if I need flexibility to accommodate medical school or graduate school interviews during my Impact Year?

  • The Impact Year is meant to be busy and intensive, but to accommodate the schedules of employees who might have this arise. Additionally, since there will be a team of employees going through this experience together, it is our hope that other members of the team will pitch in to help each other out as well.

Why the emphasis on journaling?

  • Journaling and reflection is so important in order to articulate your experiences on an application and to improve story-telling ability. Having great experiences is one thing, but being able to reflect on them and talk about them when you’re asked is a completely different story. We’ll focus on reflecting on great shifts, difficult shifts, and being able to eloquently discuss these impactful experiences to use for future interviews.

Do I have to be pre-med or pursuing graduate school?

  • Not at all. This program will be tailored to the needs and interests that the group choses. The candidates we are looking for are eager for self-discovery, growth, leadership opportunities, and to step out of their comfort zone regardless of what their next steps might be.

How does the Impact Award work?

  • The $5000 award will be given at the end of the experience and is a taxable bonus. We encourage participants to use it towards their educational needs whether that is tuition, student loans, interview expenses, educational expenses, or even to travel to take part in a unique experience.

I don’t do a lot of reading. How important is the book discussion part?

  • Pretty important! It’s not uncommon for PA programs or med schools to ask you about the last book you read, or what your favorite book was. We’ll work together to discuss books that are great subject matter and that will be helpful no matter what life or career path someone wants to pursue.

I’m graduating in May and want to travel and take some time off in the summer. Is that ok?

  • Yes. We plan to start our Summer Program in July but are allowing participants to work part-time in the Summer. Full-time is required starting 8/15. We will have some projects that are based specifically in the summer, but it would be possible to fulfill the Impact Year obligations while maintaining flexible scheduling during the summer.

How can I take time off during my Impact Year?

  • You’ll have the ability to flexibly schedule your 2 additional shifts per week, but also will accumulate 3 weeks of paid time off in a year of work. We want you to use that! As long as you’re fulfilling your obligations, the time off is yours to use!

What happens once my Impact Year is done?

  • We hope that you found you love your time at ACR and while your role as an Impact Year Intern would come to an official end, you could certainly pursue any of the other positions and opportunities that exist at ACR such as e-float, residential supervisor, residential coordinator, or as a house staff at any one of a variety of homes. This is our first year, who knows…maybe we’ll make a Year 2 experience!