Summer is usually a time for relaxation and vacation. For many high school students, it is a time for reflection and giving back to their community and society at large. This they do seamlessly while acquiring new and valuable life skills.
There are numerous summer volunteering programs for high school students that adds great value to the learning, growth, and developmental process of students.
Students who engage in this activity go on to acquire valuable life skills beneficial to their lives and careers.
This article answers vital questions on volunteering opportunities for high school students during summer. It also provides different volunteering opportunities for students to enrol. The table of contents below highlights all information found in this article.
Table of contents
- IS VOLUNTEERING GOOD FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
- IS SUMMER VOLUNTEERING FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS SAFE?
- WHY SHOULD HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS VOLUNTEER?
- #1. VOLUNTEERING LETS YOU LEARN AND IMBIBE THE SOCIAL AND NETWORKING SKILLS YOU WILL NEED LATER IN LIFE AS AN ADULT
- #2. VOLUNTEERING HELPS YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
- #3. VOLUNTEERING CAN HELP YOU DETERMINE YOUR LIFE GOALS
- #4. VOLUNTEERING LOOKS GOOD ON YOUR RESUME
- #5. VOLUNTEERING HELPS YOU DEVELOP, HARNESS AND REFINE NEW SKILLS
- HOW YOU CAN FIND SUMMER VOLUNTEERING PROGRAMS FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
- 15 BEST SUMMER VOLUNTEERING PROGRAMS FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN 2021
- #1 Young Team Entrepreneur Summer program.
- #2 2021 Summer Virtual STEM Lab
- #3 Best Buddies
- #4 Global Leadership Adventures
- #5 United Nations Volunteer
- #6 Translators without borders
- #7 Project Gutenberg
- #8 DoSomething.org
- #9 Civic Education Project
- #10 Medical Internship in Ghana
- #11 Scuba diving and marine conservation in Baja California, Mexico
- #12. Archaeology volunteering in Peru
- #13. Human right internships in Ghana
- #14. Volunteer Building in Philippines
- #15. Mathcamp
- Summer Volunteering Opportunities for High School Students FAQS
IS VOLUNTEERING GOOD FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
According to Calabrese and Schumer 1986; Youniss, McLellan, and Yates 1997; Nolin et al. 1997; Smith 1999; Metz and Youniss 2003, encouraging young adults to volunteer to serve their community is widely viewed as beneficial to the individual as well as to society.
Research shows that high school students who engage in volunteering tend to have a higher bond to school, their peers, as well as the community and society at large. They have also been shown to exhibit other constructive social behaviours.
According to Youth Service America here, 82% of students agreed that their attitudes towards attending high school became or would be more favourable resulting from service-learning.
Furthermore, the Volunteering as a pathway to employment report from the Corporation for National and Community service, found that volunteering is linked to an improvement in the possibility and likelihood of the students who volunteer to find employment.
This is independent and regardless of the gender, age, ethnicity, geographical area, as well as job market of the volunteer.
The study showed that volunteering is linked to a 27% higher odds of finding employment, and a 5% increase in employment of opportunity youth, including high school students.
Therefore, it is safe to conclude that summer volunteering, and volunteering at large, is good and important for high school students.
IS SUMMER VOLUNTEERING FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS SAFE?
This is a recurring question in the minds of high school students who are interested in summer volunteering, as well as parents of high school students interested in summer volunteering.
However, it is for the most part, unfounded, as summer volunteering for students in high school is quite safe.
WHY SHOULD HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS VOLUNTEER?
The benefits of summer volunteering, or volunteering at all, for high school students are enormous, and we will take some time to look through these benefits.
#1. VOLUNTEERING LETS YOU LEARN AND IMBIBE THE SOCIAL AND NETWORKING SKILLS YOU WILL NEED LATER IN LIFE AS AN ADULT
Volunteering opportunities generally make for amicable and liberal environments, hence meaning that you can have authentic, engaging conversations with people with whom you share similar interests and values, without that hanging air of the awkwardness of expectations.
Moreover, volunteering can also help you discover and learn important information concerning your own work habits, ethics and goals.
If you’re looking to or looking for a way to break into a new field of interest, apart from your would-be career area, selecting a summer volunteer program in an environment different from said career area, will help.
Furthermore, when volunteering activities bring you in contact with more people, that further improves and increases your network as well as helps you develop good and necessary social skills.
#2. VOLUNTEERING HELPS YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
There are various ways through which volunteering can improve your mental health.
Volunteering helps to reduce stress. This is because the richer the experience you have while volunteering, the more fulfilled, pleased and accomplished you feel about giving your talents and time to others. This results in an improved and elevated mood, as well as a reduction in stress.
Also, volunteering helps combat depression by distracting your mind from such self-destructive practices as negative thinking and over-criticism, especially of yourself.
It also improves motivation by providing a sense of achievement.
Furthermore, volunteering helps prevent a sense of isolation, because while volunteering it is possible to create long lasting friendships. And, if you’re shy or introverted, a volunteering venture can help break the ice while providing help to others.
Moreover, research has shown that volunteering can actually make you happy.
Research shows that feel good hormones as well as brain activity spike while carrying out a volunteering activity or venture. In a research carried out by Harvard Health, it was found that volunteers experience something called the “happiness effect”.
Apparently, weekly volunteering can produce levels of happiness comparable to when one receives a life-changing salary boost.
#3. VOLUNTEERING CAN HELP YOU DETERMINE YOUR LIFE GOALS
Giving your time in volunteering is a good way to get information and to discover just what you’re looking for with regards to your career.
It could also help you discover little necessary tidbits on just how you function, such as if you’re a team player or if you’d rather work independently, as well as the types of organisations which working for causes you to feel more accomplished and fulfilled.
Or if you like working for large organisations or if you prefer a startup kind of organisation.
#4. VOLUNTEERING LOOKS GOOD ON YOUR RESUME
If there’s one fact that is universally acceptable about volunteering, it’s that it looks good on your resume! It comes in handy, especially in writing applications.
And those you volunteer for can write very handy recommendations for you.
#5. VOLUNTEERING HELPS YOU DEVELOP, HARNESS AND REFINE NEW SKILLS
When you volunteer, it allows and enables you to try your hand on many different skills and challenges, and all in a welcoming and pressure-free environment.
Volunteering can also help you to refine and sharpen existing skills, with the added advantage of concurrently developing new skills.
Volunteering gives you the opportunity to practice these skills regularly hence helping you imbibe them faster and more effectively and efficiently.
Some skills that could be obtained and developed during volunteering include; Leadership, Professionalism, Timeliness, Work ethic, Customer Service, Budgeting, Creativity, Problem solving, Team work, Public relations, Time-management, Communication skills as pertains to speaking to people of all ages, Ability to work with different kinds of managers, Ability to work with people different from you, Confidence, Teachability, Following instructions, Organization, Flexibility, Planning, Training.
HOW YOU CAN FIND SUMMER VOLUNTEERING PROGRAMS FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
Now, that we’ve seen the importance and benefits of volunteering, one important question is, “how can I find summer volunteering programs for myself?”
The answer to this question would be dependent on the your field of interest as well as your future goals.
There are various kinds of summer volunteering programs to choose from. See some here.
Make use of the resources available at your school to get in touch with organisations which provide volunteering activities and opportunities. These resources would include: Academic counsellors, school websites, school libraries and career centers.
Furthermore, schools usually have programs and organisations which collaborate with them to make available volunteering opportunities and activities.
These include; Rotract, National Honour Society, Key Club.
Check with local organisations. Don’t limit yourself to opportunities available at your school. Get out and about and find local organisations around you to allow for summer volunteering for high school student.
Some organizations to check out include, American Red Cross, Farmer’s Markets, Habitat for Humanity, Meal on wheels, Mayor’s office, City parks and recreation departments, Best Buddies, Sierra Club, Food banks, Hospitals and Skilled Nursing Centers; (summer medical volunteer programs for high school students), Library, Boys and Girls clubs, Local museums and theatres.
#1. Ask your family and friends
Make use of the connections you have with your friends and family to discover volunteer opportunities.
You could inquire of them, if they have either volunteered at places of repute, which are looking out for and accepting volunteer applications or if they have heard of or currently work with organizations that are useful and reputable places for volunteers to invest their time.
#2. Look Online
The internet makes available an apparently endless database of volunteer organisations, programs and opportunities.
However, you must be careful to vet and further investigate the different volunteer opportunities found online, to ensure their legitimacy.
For more assurance that the volunteer organisations you found online are genuine, you could look on websites owned by schools, which have vetted lists of recommended sites.
Some online options for summer volunteering which you could look through, include United Nations Volunteers, Smithsonian Digital Volunteers, Catchafire, Translators without borders, Crisis Text line, Project Gutenberg, Zooniverse, Dosomething.org. Check them out here
#3. Simply choose to give back to your community.
This will include participating in activities such as:
Don’t have time to travel? Apply to these virtual volunteering opportunities in 2022
15 BEST SUMMER VOLUNTEERING PROGRAMS FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN 2021
In no particular order, here are the 15 best volunteering programs for high school students in 2021.
#1 Young Team Entrepreneur Summer program.
Here you can learn to grow your own start-up, or be able to join an active startup. Here you learn to find customer outside of your local network, obtain and build skills pertaining to hiring, and perfect the inner intricacies of your company.
You also learn the essentials of entrepreneurship such as launching your first company, building skills and foundations in tech, marketing, sales and product design.
You can work directly with mentors from universities such as Duke, UNC, etc.
All programs have remote or in-person options. The in-person sessions are hosted on campus, say UNC-Chapel hill.
There are 3 sessions available; June 13 -15, July 5 -16, July 8 – 30. The programs is open to all kids aged 12-14 years.
#2 2021 Summer Virtual STEM Lab
This volunteering program allows girls aged between 4 and 12 years the opportunity to a personal learning experience, which will give them that push towards becoming innovative scientists and problem solvers.
It also helps the girls gain valuable math and science skills, making them more proficient than they were before they volunteered.
Here, you get to receive your own personal lab kit, as well as access to online resources, videos and experiments.
There are also weekly webinars where you get to interact with scientists and engineers.
This summer volunteering program happens virtually, hence you can stay home and join in to all the classes.
The dates include; June 21 – 25, June 28 – July 2, July 5 – 9, July 12 – 16, July 26 – 30.
#3 Best Buddies
This volunteer program affords you the opportunity to volunteer virtually, while still helping out and learning the valuable skills that come with volunteering.
Here, you could host an interactive virtual chapter or event, or a citizens activity. This could range from leading a virtual yoga class or taking part in arts and craft.
You could also volunteer in mini ambassador workshops as an online speech coach. Some things you’d learn include virtual etiquette, and how to be an advocate on social media.
This program is available to high school students of all ages. You simply input your state, to find virtual volunteer centres near you.
#4 Global Leadership Adventures
This program has 2 available option, travel programs and virtual programs.
The first option provides the opportunity to travel to locations and destinations in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe and even the United States.
In these locations, you engage in life-changing volunteer activities and experiences.
The second option offers the Global Impact Virtual Internship, which allows you to choose a thematic focus area similar to your field of interest, engage in activities centred around those areas, and receive mentorship and guidance from professionals.
The thematic areas for this year include Animal and wildlife conservation, Children a d education, Public health and medicine, Social justice, Community development and Environmental Stewardship.
It is open to teens of all ages and will begin on July 5 – August 12 or July 6 – August 12, depending on the schedule option you select.
#5 United Nations Volunteer
This volunteering program made available by the UN is a great way to spend the summer. It comes with countless volunteering skill acquisition and putting to action such as COVID-19 response.
Outreach and advocacy, Writing and editing, Translation, Community organizing, Research, Technology development, Arts and design, Leadership and strategy, Teaching and training, Administration, Event organization, Volunteer management.
It is available to teens of all ages, and you can register at any time during the summer.
#6 Translators without borders
If you’re a high school student who is proficient in at least one language, you might find this volunteer program very useful.
Here, you can translate for crisis response or translate medical texts. Other skills such as graphics design and fundraising are also very much welcome.
It is available to teens of all ages, and you can sign up anytime during the summer.
Sign up here
#7 Project Gutenberg
Here, you can volunteer by donating eligible materials, helping to transcribe books into digital format, or proofreading the work of others.
It is open to teens of all ages, and you can volunteer anything in the summer as it is a virtual program.
This is an online volunteering platform that lets you take part in effecting real-life changes.
You can engage in donating jeans or collecting cigarette butts, confronting colourism, tackling hunger, collecting unopened menstrual health products and packages and delivering them to local homeless shelters.
It empowers young teens to cause positive social change both online and offline.
It is open to teens of all ages and you can join the community to volunteer at any time during the summer.
#9 Civic Education Project
This volunteering program is essential in the development of necessary leadership skills. It provides various opportunities such as learning of the various particular issues that affect young people, and get a first-hand experience of addressing them, engage in curriculums which help your views of current social and political situations, as well as allowing for meeting with top leaders and professionals.
The activities and curriculums are divided according to grade. When you log in and register, you can view the different programs and dates available to your grade.
#10 Medical Internship in Ghana
This summer medical volunteer programs for high school students allows you to shadow doctors in clinical settings in Ghana. Basically, volunteers learn how to make a diagnosis of and manage or treat various diseases and health conditions.
You’ll be able to participate in outreaches and help treat wounds, as well as to measure sugar level and blood pressure levels.
You’ll also help with health education and raising awareness of certain disease conditions by making presentations on them.
The program is for two weeks and is only available for 15 – 18-year-old.
Time frame – 2 weeks between 13 June and 20 August 2021.
#11 Scuba diving and marine conservation in Baja California, Mexico
This volunteering program provides opportunities to learn diving, confront climate change, and participate in protecting ocean resources.
You can also get a globally recognized scuba diving certification, with no need for previous diving experience.
It is only available for 15-18-year-olds.
Time frame – 2 weeks from 25 July to 6 August 2021.
#12. Archaeology volunteering in Peru
This summer volunteering programs for high school students allows students to learn from and work with archaeologists to reveal ancient civilizations history.
Here, you get to work with professional archaeologists at famous dig sites, attend presentations and lectures on the ancient Incan Empire, help preserve national heritage historical sites, and give back to the community by going on outreaches.
You’ll learn skills such as mapping, excavation, classifying artefacts.
It is only available for 15 -18-year-olds.
Time frame – 2 weeks from 3 July to 30 July, 2021.
#13. Human right internships in Ghana
Are you passionate about human rights for the abandoned? Then, this might be for you.
You get to travel to Accra, Ghana and engage in activities that help to raise awareness about human rights, learn about the country’s peculiar political and cultural systems.
You also get to go on excursions to places like the old Cape Coast Castle and Kakum National Park.
It’s is only available for 15 to 18-year-olds.
Time frame – 2 weeks between 18 July and 13 August 2021.
#14. Volunteer Building in Philippines
Are you interested in making a difference through building and construction? Then you’re right on track with this volunteer program.
Here, you get to build and rebuild homes, especially ones hit by the 2013 tycoon. Also, you get to build and renovate classrooms as well as toilet facilities.
This is only available for 15 to 18-year-olds and will run from 18 to 31 July.
Mathcamp is a great summer program for mathematically talented teens ages 13-18.
At Mathcamp, you get to create your own days from the countless math activities available.
On Saturdays, you get to participate in math projects, field trips and relays. This is one of the best summer volunteering programs for high school students in 2021.
Mathcamp is available to 3 July to 8 August 2021.
Summer Volunteering Opportunities for High School Students FAQS
Some benefits of volunteering as a high school scholar include:
- Students gain new skills
- Earns you credit
- Adds to resume
- Shows responsibility
Volunteering is good for students because it helps them develop life skills that will be beneficial to them.
The best volunteer opportunities for high school students are:
- Young Team Entrepreneur Summer program
- 2021 Summer Virtual STEM Lab
- Best Buddies
- Global Leadership Adventures
In conclusion, summer volunteering for high school students is an important endeavour in acquiring the necessary skills for living in the 21st century, as well as giving back to the community and society, and maintaining your mental health.