Earlier this month, a group of more than 40 students from universities around the country participated in "Maximum Impact: Deloitte's Alternative Spring Break," organized by Deloitte, United Way of Miami-Dade, and United Way Worldwide. The program provides an opportunity for students to make an impact in the Miami community by working alongside Deloitte professionals to get an inside look at prospective careers in the professional services industry. 

"Our work with Deloitte not only helps identify the next generation of leaders, but also empowers young people to become change agents within their communities," stated Ryan Powers, vice president of communications, United Way Worldwide. "We've seen students who have participated in the Alternative Spring Break program go on to secure excellent jobs upon graduation and also take leadership roles beyond the life of the program, organizing service initiatives on their home campuses." Since 2009, Americans aged 16-24 have experienced an unemployment rate of more than twice the national average for the general working population, according to recent estimates. Youth unemployment costs the nation up to $25 billion every year and almost $5 trillion in aggregate lifetime costs to society, including unfulfilled earning potential, lost tax revenue, the impact of criminal activity and health expenditures. "Alternative Spring Break provides college students with an inside look at what it's like to work at Deloitte – our culture of serving others, teamwork and personal passion for improving our communities," said Diane Borhani, director, talent acquisition best practices & innovation, Deloitte Services, in a statement. "We believe in supporting students, and we know that engaging them early is essential to ensuring their long-term success and the well-being of our economy." Following last year's Alternative Spring Break program, 85 percent of participants said that they would be more likely to volunteer in the future. In 2014, college students worked in service sites, such as AMIKids – a non-profit that supports at-risk youth – to mentor children involved in the juvenile justice system. AMIKids went on to participate again this year. For more information on the program, head to Deloitte's site here.