Would you like to volunteer? A wonderful extracurricular activity that stands out on college applications is volunteering. It demonstrates to universities that you put in the time and effort necessary to assist others.
Are you uncertain of the volunteer options that are accessible to you? There are many options available! We’ll explain what volunteering includes, list the different kinds of volunteer opportunities for teens, and provide a brief overview of each in this article.
The specific duties you’ll perform while volunteering will vary depending on the activity. However, all volunteer work is fundamentally equivalent to working for free. You’ll be given a specific set of responsibilities (which will vary depending on where you choose to volunteer; for example, you’ll have different responsibilities if you work as a tutor for homeless children than if you volunteer at an animal shelter).
You will receive training for your specific position as a volunteer, and you will need to commit to a schedule. Most volunteer organizations, if not all of them, invest time and money in preparing you to be a volunteer. If they are going to invest resources in you, they want to know that you are devoted to them. They anticipate that you will give at least one shift of service each week for a few months, if not a full year. Again, each volunteer program will determine the precise commitment.
We’ll outline how to inquire about the specifics of your volunteer work as well as how to register to be a volunteer in the sections below.
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This list of teen volunteer activities is divided into the following six subcategories:
NOTICE: Location will affect the specific opportunities. You will probably have access to all of these volunteer opportunities if you reside in or close to a major metropolis (such as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, etc.). You might have fewer options if you reside in a more remote region.
Are you considering a career in medicine? A wonderful method to explore that passion and determine whether you enjoy working in a hospital setting is to volunteer at one. Typically, you must be 16 or older to volunteer, and the kind of hospital volunteer work you can do as a teen will be more restricted than those available to adults (for example, you won’t be able to take on any positions requiring driving). Read this comprehensive guide to volunteering in hospitals for additional details on available positions as well as instructions on how to apply.
Do you love animals? Are a zoologist or veterinarian your calling? Do you simply want to spend your free time playing with animals? Teenagers can volunteer in a variety of animal-related capacities.
Being a volunteer at an animal shelter is a choice (usually you have to be 16 or older). As a volunteer at an animal shelter, your days will be divided into labor and play. You’ll spend a lot of time feeding the animals, cleaning up after them, and assisting prospective adopters with the adoption procedure. You can interact with the animals after completing these activities.
Consider volunteering as a foster volunteer if you’re too young to work in an animal shelter or don’t have the time to commit to working shifts there every week. This chance entails caring for a pet in your home until it is adopted. To foster animals, you’ll need the approval and support of your parents. Make sure you and your family have the time to devote to care for the animals you foster if you’re interested in being a foster volunteer.
Check to see if you can volunteer at an animal sanctuary or zoo if you’re interested in working with wild creatures rather than dogs and cats or if you’re too young to do so at an animal shelter. Generally, to volunteer in an animal refuge or zoo, you must be at least 14 years old. If there is a zoo or animal sanctuary nearby, you can only take advantage of this opportunity. If not, volunteering at an animal shelter will be your best option.
The majority of zoos and/or sanctuaries need you to complete training before beginning your volunteer job (the length of time will vary). You will study about biomes, conservation and ecology challenges, and the species of plants and animals at the zoo/sanctuary during the training program.
Why do zoos and wildlife refuges require you to go through a rigorous training process? You will be assisting with the educational programs that are provided there as a volunteer. Some of the lectures might even be led by you alone. The zoo/sanctuary wants you to be very knowledgeable so that you can respond to queries from visitors.
Note: It’s likely that you won’t be able to interact with the animals while volunteering at a zoo or animal sanctuary. The staff members at these locations have years of education and training. These creatures should be handled carefully since they can be harmful. You won’t receive the same instruction and hence won’t be permitted to engage with animals in the same ways. Instead, you’ll be engaging in the aforementioned activities (helping with educational programs and lectures).
Search “[Your Hometown Name] Zoo Volunteer” or “[Your Hometown Name] Animal Sanctuary Volunteer” on Google to uncover local opportunities if you’re interested in volunteering at zoos or animal shelters.
Are you willing to assist the homeless? Think about helping out at your neighborhood soup kitchen. As a volunteer at a soup kitchen, you might prepare food, assist with feeding the hungry, and clean up the leftovers and serving ware.
Notably, volunteering in soup kitchens is frequently less structured than other volunteer activities. You can simply walk up for a shift at a lot of soup kitchens without registering in advance. Additionally, a lot of soup kitchens only operate a few days a week. This will, however, differ amongst soup kitchens.
Google “[Your Hometown Name] Soup Kitchen Volunteer” to find a nearby soup kitchen and its volunteer policies.
Consider volunteering at a food bank if you’re looking for a somewhat more consistent way to help the homeless. Typically, volunteers 14 and older are accepted by food banks. You will sort, check, and repackage donated food items from regional food drives and donations as a food bank volunteer. Despite the fact that it can be a laborious task, it is crucial to guarantee that families in need receive nutritious, non-perishable food.
Google “[Your Hometown Name] Food Bank Volunteer” to find a nearby food bank.
Are you willing to assist the elderly? You should think about helping out at the local nursing home. You might provide meal delivery, clean up after meals, assist the elderly with everyday activities, or amuse an elderly person as a nursing home volunteer (by reading to them, talking to them, watching movies with them, etc.).
Do a Google search for “[Your Hometown Name] Nursing Home Volunteer” to discover a nearby facility.
Does building interest you? Want to assist locals in your neighborhood with housing? like doing manual labor? You should consider helping Habitat for Humanity as a volunteer. As a volunteer, you’ll be helping to build houses for those who otherwise couldn’t afford one. You’ll be painting, hammering nails into the walls, and other things. The majority of the US is served by Habitat for Humanity. Visit the Habitat for Humanity website to see if there are any opportunities in your area.
Have a passion for books? You ought to think about volunteering at the library. You might organize books, assist with book repairs, assist patrons in finding books, assist patrons in using the computer, or assist younger pupils with their homework as a library volunteer.
Do a Google search for “[Your Hometown Name] library volunteer” to learn how to volunteer at your neighborhood library.
Are you thinking about teaching or assisting other students with their homework? You ought to consider working as a volunteer tutor. You will assist elementary or middle school children with their schoolwork as a tutor. All around the nation, there are numerous volunteer tutoring organizations.
Check out School on Wheels, which provides homeless youngsters with free tutoring. It’s a fantastic choice because everybody may take part, regardless of where they reside. If you reside in a region where School on Wheels is active, you will personally meet the program participants and give them one-on-one tutoring. If you reside outside the service region for School on Wheels, you can still volunteer by working as an online tutor using Skype (or a similar program). You need to submit a recommendation letter from your present teacher and have a GPA of 3.0 or higher in order to be accepted as a tutor. Visit the organization’s website to find out more about volunteering with School on Wheels.
Do you enjoy writing? Check out 826; they are in need of volunteers for their free after-school tutoring program as well as for other activities like field trips and writing workshops. To help kids become enthusiastic about their writing, 826 provides free instruction as well as other initiatives. In Los Angeles, Valencia, New York City, Boston, Chicago, Michigan, and Washington, D.C., there are 826 locations.
Google Search “[Your Hometown Name] Volunteer Tutor” to learn more about further tutoring opportunities in your neighborhood.
Do you want to work in a museum someday? Interested in history, science, or the arts? You might want to volunteer in a museum. For teenagers 16 years of age and older, most museums include volunteer opportunities. If you reside in a rural region, you might not be able to take advantage of this opportunity or your options for volunteering at museums may be more limited (i.e. you might only have an art museum to volunteer at but no natural history museum). Conduct a Google search for “[Your Hometown Name] museum” to learn more about the local museums.
As a volunteer at a museum, you’ll instruct visitors about the exhibits, lead workshops and demonstrations for guests, and/or offer administrative assistance (help with ticketing and directing visitors). Google “[Your Hometown Name] [Museum Name] volunteer” to find a volunteer opportunity in a museum nearby.
Do you want to protect the environment? Consider volunteering for a beach cleanup or a park, woodland, or nature cleaning. Volunteering to help with a cleanup is less structured than other volunteer activities, much as volunteering in a soup kitchen. Typically, you sign up for one day of work and then, if you’d like, you can sign up for additional days. You are not required to commit to long-term volunteering.
You will assist in picking up trash on the beach, in the forest, or in a park as a cleanup volunteer. This is crucial for lowering pollutants and protecting small animals (many ingest or get tangled in our trash).
Search for “[Your Hometown Name] [beach, forest, or park] cleanup volunteer” to uncover opportunities close to you.
Do you like to garden? Consider volunteering at a neighborhood community garden. This is a unique volunteer opportunity because you won’t probably be engaging with anyone. You’ll probably receive a piece of a communal garden, which you’ll have to take care of. Not to worry! You don’t have to be an expert gardener. The coordinators will give you support and training.
Search “[Your Hometown Name] community garden volunteer” on Google to find a gardening opportunity nearby.
What should you do when there are so many volunteer options accessible to you? You must ask yourself a few questions in order to choose the ideal volunteer position.
What are your interests first? Do you love books? Consider helping out at a library. Are you a science nerd? Perhaps helping out at a scientific museum is your best course of action.
Do you have any career goals for the future? Are you considering a career as a nurse or doctor? If you want to explore that career option, think about volunteering in a hospital. Are you considering a career in veterinary medicine? Think about helping out at an animal shelter.
Which causes are your favorites? Do you want to halt global warming? Think about helping out in a beach, park, or forest cleanup. Would you like to assist the homeless? Consider helping out at a soup kitchen or food bank.
How much time can you devote to your volunteer work? Can you dedicate four hours every other week to volunteering? Great if you can! Any of the aforementioned possibilities are open to you. If you can’t commit to volunteering so frequently, you might want to try volunteering at a soup kitchen or a cleanup instead, both of which don’t require a long-term commitment.
What is the minimum age required? You must be 16 or older to participate in the majority of volunteer programs, so if you’re younger, your options may be fairly constrained. You can volunteer in a zoo, food bank, or soup kitchen if you’re under the age of 16. You’ll need to get in touch with the relevant volunteer programs to find out if you can participate in one of the other volunteer options.
Would you prefer to work alone, with others, or with animals? The majority of the volunteer activities mentioned involve interacting with and aiding people. You are not required to collaborate with others. In contrast to volunteering in a garden, working at an animal shelter entails spending most of your time alone.
When choosing your volunteer opportunity, take into account all of these factors. Ideally, the answers to these questions will help you find the ideal volunteer opportunity.
The benefits of volunteering are numerous. You’ll have the opportunity to pursue an interest through volunteering (such as in literature or medicine). Additionally, you can support a cause you care about, like assisting the homeless, by volunteering. Additionally, you might run into other students who share your interests or wish to help the cause you care about.
Volunteering is a fantastic way to determine whether you want to follow a particular vocation (such as medicine, education, etc.). Finding your interest in high school is an excellent idea so you don’t have to spend time and money in college trying to decide what to major in. Pre-med may not be for you if you don’t like doing hospital volunteer work. If you enjoy giving your time to animal shelters, you might want to consider becoming a veterinarian.
Volunteering is also another excellent extracurricular for your college application. It demonstrates how selflessly you invested your time and energy in assisting others! Additionally, volunteering is a cost-free activity that only takes up your time.
There are a few drawbacks to volunteering, though. It can take a ton of time to volunteer. Ideally, you’ll be willing to commit four or more hours each week (or every other week) to volunteering if you’re passionate about your work. The time commitment involved with volunteering can be too much for you if you don’t enjoy it.
Try one of the volunteer possibilities with a shorter time commitment if you don’t have the time to commit to regular volunteer work (such as being a soup kitchen volunteer or beach cleanup volunteer).
Volunteering may be dull to some students. You will likely perform mundane tasks at many of these occupations, as it was mentioned above (cleaning up, answering phones). We still believe that trying to volunteer is worthwhile. Consider going into a different volunteer opportunity or exploring a totally different extracurricular activity if you don’t enjoy your initial volunteer effort.