There are plenty of ways to volunteer and there’s most likely one that fits your liking. Whether you’re looking for something close to home, at your college, or abroad – there’s a way to get involved and spend your time. We’ve compiled a quick list to make things easy!
If you’re in your hometown:
- Tutor. Maybe it’s your friends little brother that could use some help with math or someone at school. It could be a person you know or a complete stranger. Take a look at local organizations like Boys & Girls Clubs of America and your local library to see what’s out there. And if school isn’t your jam, you could always help by coaching a sport!
- Write. This could be anything from a letter to a congressman about an issue your passionate about to writing a letter to troops who are far away. Check out Operation Gratitude, Soldiers Angels, or do a quick Google search to find other organizations that can send your letter to stationed military. It’s like being a pen pal but for a good cause!
- Donate. Give your time to a neighbor who might need help with yard work, or gather your friends together and bring your old clothes to a Goodwill. Donating and hanging out, talk about a score! You can also spend some time at a retirement home and play chess, checkers, or hear about someone else’s life stories. The opportunities are endless.
- Community Service Project. Whether you’re at Berkeley or Yale, both have a project that gives back to the local community. After spending some time in the area, you’ll have learned a lot and the skills you’ve acquired will be used in community service. Plus you’ll get a certificate for 8 hours worth.
- Academic Trips. While not really a form of volunteering, you’ll definitely be learning. Depending on what you’re studying – medicine and public health, law and government, and many others – you will visit a professional environment in that field. Make sure to make connections to those working because who knows, the opportunity may arise for you to volunteer at that organization!
- Explore. When part of springboard you’ll have plenty of opportunities to venture into the city, to dive into the subject you chose to focus on, and to meet new people. Take all of it in and let that inspire you in a different way. Maybe it will confirm what you want to do academically in college or give you a new idea on how to get involved in that field, or perhaps try something different altogether.
If you’re a part of the GLA volunteer programs overseas:
- Teach. There are many opportunities for you to help teach English or literacy to kids who are struggling with it. A great country to look at is the program in Africa like Tanzania. And if science is more your thing, then look into the GLA program in Bali, where you’ll be sharing about modern day medicine.
- Work. Regardless of what GLA program you decide to partake in you will end up working in that environment. It could look like anything from building a house to restoring traditional temples. Talk about trying new things! Be sure to check out the different countries that GLA has to offer and see which one you would want to spend the most time in!
- Give Back. Without even realizing it, you’ll be giving back to the community that you are in. From helping with the specific destination needs to becoming friends with the locals, you’ll have made an impact in the country.
Which of these wonderful volunteer opportunities for teens would you choose? Let us know in the comments!
Contributed by Samantha Watkins