Summer Volunteering Programs For High School Students In 2022

Summer volunteering programs are one of the cool things every high school student must do before or after high school. Nonetheless, before you sign up for that program or ship your teen to an unknown place, there are things you need to know.

We will explore these things – options available to you and their benefits if selected.

This article put together by World Scholarship Forum has complied some of the best places high school students should volunteer this summer. While some of these programs are here in the US, some are abroad.

So take a few minutes and read through this article to know the best places for your summer volunteer program as a high school student.

Meanwhile, below is a table of content for an overview of this article.

Most schools in the US especially the Ivy League schools continue to show interest in the extracurricular activities of their potential students. This is to ensure that their prospective students have a “life” outside academics.

To this effect, most if not all schools have included an essay in their admission requirement where students highlight the activities they engaged in before securing admissions.

So here’s a list of summer volunteer programs that are just perfect for you.


I remember going for a summer volunteer program as a teen. Then it was just for fun and an opportunity to meet new people.

Today, however, it’s become much more than just a fun thing to do. It has helped a lot of students get admission into some of the top schools in the country. And for some people, it beamed light to a new career path.

However, I’d want you to go for a summer volunteering program not so you can secure an admission in some school, but for it’s intrinsic value.

That said, whatever be your reason for trying to volunteer in a summer program we’ve got you covered. Below are some abroad high school summer volunteer programs.

#1. Global Vision International (GVI)

If you’re interested in a volunteer program that promotes sustainable development goals and projects, GVI is right for you. This summer volunteer program seeks to tackle critical and global issues through education and training programs.

The GVI programs are run in partnership with acclaimed international partners like Save The Children, WWF, The Red Cross, and PADI.

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  • Popular countries: South Africa, Laos, Thailand
  • Popular projects: Teaching, Wildlife Research, Marine Conservation 

#2. Study Programs International (SPI)

Get set up for an advantage in college admissions and future job opportunities, enroll in the SPI program that combines an authentic language immersion experience and leadership skills.

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The program is abroad and focus on helping you develop lifelong skills while gaining global perspectives and of course learning another language. gap year programs

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  • Popular countries: Spain, Costa Rica, Mexico 
  • Popular projects: Public Works Projects, Orphanage Work, Construction 

#3. Go Beyond Students Travel

For a high school student looking for an opportunity to gain skills needed to thrive in an increasingly multicultural, interconnected, and competitive world, Full cultural immersion is your best option.

Go beyond Students travel offers you this opportunity, and;

These high school summer volunteer programs promote the type of intercultural understanding, mutual respect, and social responsibility necessary for future success.

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  • Popular countries: Australia, British Virgin Islands, Ecuador, Thailand 
  • Popular projects: Community Service, Orphanage Work, Conservation

#4. Projects Abroad

Project Abroad accords you the opportunity to volunteer in Fiji, the Philippines, and Belize, in worthwhile and meaningful projects in developing countries.

This program is done with top-notch in-country support from programs staff to ensure a safe and fun experience.

Popular Projects:  Teaching Sports, Conservation, Public Health Projects 

#5. The Experiment In International Living

Get equipped with essential cultural skills and get attain a deeper awareness of sensitivity to global issues, choose The Experiment In International Living high school summer volunteer program.

These programs will help you thrive in new diverse environments.

Additionally, the programs give you an opportunity to learn new invaluable skills, get connected with people, and attain a whole level of awareness of things that matters globally.

The program is popular in Argentina, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. And popular projects to carry out includes projects on sustainability, Community Service and Development.

#6. Teaching English In China

Learning English is in high demand in China and for that reason, there is a high demand for English teachers. Students are eager to learn and are incredibly grateful for their English teachers.

Joining this summer overseas volunteer program for high school students is an amazing way to explore China while also spending some time teaching at a local school.

#7. Orphanage Work in Ecuador

Unfortunately, due to extreme poverty and a number of other tragic situations, there are a great number of children who are left as orphans in Quito, Ecuador.

You can help these children by joining this summer volunteer abroad project for high school students in Ecuador. You will help to care for, teach, mentor, befriend, and love these deserving and special kids.

This experience can change your life and perspective for good. Yes, I know!! Been there done that, not in Ecuador, but you get the point.

Home based Summer Volunteer Programs

#8. Conservative Programs

If your plans is to stay back home and spend some time outdoors like I did in one of my high school summers, this is right for you.

The program give you an opportunity to do some good in your community by volunteering at your local park, beach, forest and another summer spot.

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You can help maintain structures, clean up litter and improve wildlife habitat. If this is something you love to do every summer you’re welcome to join  Student Conservation Association’s Summer Community Crews.

You can also join the National Park Service’s Youth Conservation Corps to protect these natural places for many, many summers to come.

#9. Summer Meal Program

With food insecurity on the rise, a lot of students that depend on free and reduced lunches during the school year wold be needing help during the summer.

While food pantries and meal providers knows this, and take steps to help keep folks fed, they usually need help distributing food packages.

Therefore, identify your local Feeding America food bank, volunteer to collect, pack and distribute meals.

You’d be filling gaps if you do this, and oh boy!! you’d feel better that you helped feed someone.

#10 Museum Programs

Summer is a time to unwind and relax but it would never hurt to learn something new in a museum this summer. Museums don’t just have the biggest historical artifacts, they are a repository of knowledge.

Sigh up for an opportunity to learn about historic events and people at museums across the country.

Be a part of history (or science, or art, or…espionage) at these institutions by volunteering over the summer.

Why You Should Spend Your Summer Giving Back To The Society

Summer Volunteer Programs for high school students give teens the opportunity to do something entirely new.

You can work with large nonprofits in community development projects lead by small enterprises, on farms, or in the water.

And if you plan on doing it abroad, it spans the spectrum, and here’s what you need to know before running off or letting your teen runoff.

Summer Programs Will Spiff Up Your College Applications

Volunteer programs will make for a nice point in your college application. While I don’t encourage you to engage in these programs for this sole reason, If you do, however, it will surely impress your application officer.

This experience can even be the start of a good essay. And if you picked up a new language, that’s even a bonus to your application.

To Unhook.

Wi-Fi is limited during these summer volunteer opportunities, so volunteers can spend their downtime connecting with real human beings.

However, you get some time to call home to let them know you’re safe.

You Will Become more Independent

When you volunteer abroad under 18, high school students are responsible for more than just themselves. This fosters intense tolerance, independence, confidence, self-resilience, and adaptability.

Getting them in the door at a summer job or internship instead may seem de rigueur for teens to hold their own in a competitive economy.

However, what they really need is to hone their soft skills, like how to be caring and compassionate, before moving on to those technical skills.

Plus, summer volunteer programs for teens often do a great job of teaching both hard and soft skills, depending on their project.

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Is It Safe For High School Students To Volunteer Abroad?

Most parents wouldn’t let their teens travel for an abroad summer volunteer program, and their fears are legitimate.

However, there is numerous summer volunteering programs out there, and with careful planning, you don’t have to worry about their safety.

 High school student Students under 18 years old can gain immense benefits from the process of managing their health and safety while abroad. Volunteering abroad may even keep high school students much safer than if they were to stay at home partying all summer.

So if you’re a parent reading this, and your child really wants to go abroad for his or her high school summer volunteer program, let him or her.

It’d do you and him/her a lot good.

How To Ensure Safety On Summer Volunteer Programs For High school students.

Vet organizations independently before sending your kids off on any of their programs. Google is here to help your search easier, or you could just have a face-to-face interaction with the organization.

I encourage you to ask hard questions of the program coordinator or advisor, we are dealing with teenagers here, and if you don’t ask these questions, who will?

Find out what their emergency protocol is – should something unpleasant happen while traveling. Although these cases are rare, it won’t hurt to know and be prepared for the worst case scenarios.

Additionally. find out how often they encourage students to get in touch with their parents. This is an important question, cause most students might get caught up so much they won’t even remember.

Another way to ensure your kids safety is to request for the contact of past participants’ parents.

When it comes to teens’ safety, parents are always on the lookout they wont hesitate to share what they know with other parents.

Therefore, get in touch with any parents, and get to know their kids’ experience before signing off on form.

Continue to ask questions, and don’t settle until you’ve heard the answers that tick off all of your safety boxes.


Note that participation in one of these “best summer programs” is not essential to earn admission into a selective college. For example, spending your summer at a local job or internship, or completing a four-credit college course, can prove just as impressive.

However, students seeking an exciting summer experience outside their area, while improving their college applicant profile in the process, are advised to explore the above.

So when you’ve finally decided to go for any of these programs, I implore you to start packing days before departure. This will help you take all your personal effects.

Furthermore, don’t forget to vet the organization you’ve chosen to join for this program.

Good Luck



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