Make a Difference in Your Community By Volunteering This Summer
Volunteer work can be a valuable opportunity for high school students to gain hands-on skills, expand their horizons, and make an impact. Between test prep and summer activities, it may feel challenging to find time in your summer schedule for community service, but most students would agree that it’s well worth the effort.
If you are interested in deepening your volunteer experience over the summer, it’s important to do your research and seek out opportunities that relate to your interests and goals. Keep reading for some tips on how you can give back to your community this summer.
Use Your Network
For students with little to no volunteer experience, it can be challenging to pinpoint how to search for opportunities. While there are many options, one great start pointing is reaching out to the people around you. Check in with friends to see what kind of volunteer work they do and get in touch with the coaches and leaders of any extracurricular activities you participate in. Often the most meaningful community service work is an activity that relates back to a cause you are passionate about, so using your own interests and connections can be a great place to start.
Come Back to Your Skills
If you’re a computer whiz or talented pianist, consider putting your skills to use to give back to your community. Look for opportunities to teach something you are passionate about to a group of people who may not have as much access to your favored activity. Whether it’s teaching basic computer skills at a local senior citizen center or working with young students at a music school, seek out opportunities to share something you love with others.
You don’t need to lead a foundation or travel across the world in order to give back and make an impact. Some of the most meaningful volunteer opportunities are those that are closest to you. Look for small ways to get involved in your local community, such as working at an animal shelter, getting involved in any recycling or restoration initiatives, or participating in a child mentorship program. In order to open your eyes to these types of opportunities, read your local newspaper and research organizations in your area that are looking for volunteers.
If you have a clear idea of how you wish to make an impact but don’t see any opportunities that align with what you envision, consider forming something on your own. Students who are really passionate about a cause and eager to think outside of the box may choose to create their own volunteer opportunities or new ways to make an impact on their community. Again, it can be helpful to come back to the skills and interests you have and the causes you wish to support. A student who loves arts and crafts may choose to start their own line of jewelry and donate the proceeds to an organization they find meaningful while an aspiring chef might decide to do something similar with food. Don’t be afraid to get creative and develop your own initiatives and opportunities that relate to your interests and passions.
Whether you choose to get involved in a pre-established organization or create something entirely your own, the summer can be an excellent time to explore new ways to give back and make an impact. If you are currently preparing for the college application process and looking for more activity ideas, our team of expert counselors can make suggestions tailored to your passions and goals.