4 Reasons for Teens to Volunteer

Volunteer work provides teenagers with a great opportunity to prepare for the future and also the chance to improve their communities. In addition to boosting awareness of social issues and local organizations as well as boosting social skills, high school students who volunteer typically have an advantage over their peers when headed to college.

1. Teens who Volunteer Will Learn New Things
With every new activity comes training. These skills may seem trivial or basic at the time of training, but may also provide building blocks for future success. For instance, by managing the receipt, sorting and distribution of donations from community sponsored school supply drives, teens might learn how to use spreadsheets to keep track of inventory. These skills are a great foundation for a job in management, accounting, or running a small business.

2. Teens Will Add to the Resume 
If a teen’s pre-college resume is limited to summer employment at the local pizza place and basic computer skills, it might be time to add a few lines. Commitment to community volunteer work over time shows that a teen is willing to work for something without monetary compensation–much like a college internship, apprenticeship or job shadow experience–which may be a requirement of college programs.

3. Giving Time and Service makes You a Better Person
One of the most selfless acts anyone can do is donate their time and talents. Teens who are busy with after-school sports or work to help support their families and still make time to volunteer on evenings or weekends show outstanding character and resolve to make a difference. High school students are particularly well-suited to find time to mentor younger youth, connect with residents at a senior center or assist with one-time special events held on weekends.

4. Teens Who Volunteer Show Responsibility
Just like going to a job, committing to a volunteer position shows responsibility. Teens working on becoming more reliable should get involved in volunteer programs relating to their hobbies to naturally build responsibility. For example, teens who love to read can find volunteer opportunities with a local library and teens who enjoy sports can coach athletics at an after-school program for children.

5. Earning Credits
Some high schools mandate a specific number of community volunteer work hours before a student is eligible for graduation. Many volunteer opportunities can translate to high school or college credits. It is important to discuss these opportunities with guidance counselors and administrators before beginning volunteer work.