Thanks Harold, for breaking out some great questions around community service and high school students/college applicants.
Some youth benefit from facilitation and guidance around meaningful activities that also serve their academic planning. Perhaps we can give some thought to developing activities that speak to the types of impact - advocacy, direct impact, indirect impact - to choose from. Similar to what the state of Maryland does with their service learning units developed for teachers, maybe students can choose from the level of engagement and learning that they can commit to while using a tool to capture learning reflection before, during and after the activity.
There are ways to create shared opportunities to just have fun and grow engagement from there. Build youth interest by creating a high-visibility event, then offer a number of avenues to continue the connections between youth and older adults.
Perhaps start with a community-supported, youth-driven prom for elders (they have grown in popularity). Involve local youth organizations, high schools, retailers, places of worship, etc. As planning commences, this is a great opportunity to create intergenerational committees, task force(s), etc.. Involve local media, and highlight youth perspectives and feedback. Collect a list of names for future interest groups and perhaps offer fun, competitive challenges around a designated interest. Prom reference: http://www.aplaceformom.com/blog/2013-06-26-senior-citizen-proms/