If you’d like to receive our Episode 88 bonus resources on helping high school students to volunteer, click this link http://tensigma.org/episode88bonus
As educators, we know the value and importance of serving others and the benefits of volunteering. It is important to help students (including students with special needs) to experience those benefits and contribute to their communities. Here are a few statistics to the benefits of volunteering:
• Youth and young adults who volunteer are less likely to engage in risky behavior and become more likely to feel connected to their communities
• A youth who has a parent who volunteers is nearly three times more likely to volunteer on a regular basis
• 9 out of 10 respondents who volunteered said that helping others makes them feel good about themselves (Prudential Financials Spirit of Community Initiative)
For Transition age students (high school and young adult), the benefits of volunteering including feeling good about themselves, raising self-confidence and self-esteem, allows students a chance to learn, share, and develop new skills. In addition, volunteering can help to improve soft skills (working with others, communication, etc.) and help to build their resume while expanding their work network. Also, some students make great connections with mentors, which can have a significant impact on their lives and some students can even earn high school credits for their volunteer work.
To help your students get the most from their volunteer experience, it is important for them to consider the following before they get started:
• What have I done in the past that I’ve enjoyed?
• What do I want to do (and not do) when I volunteer?
• How much time can I commit each week, month, etc.?
• What talents or skills can I offer?
• What kinds of people do I want to work with?
• What would I like to learn by volunteering?
Next it is important for student to look for volunteer programs by doing things like:
• Calling programs in their communities and asking if they need help
• Visiting their town’s website because some of then list volunteer opportunities. It is also possible to ask if there are opportunities to volunteer for the town.
• Contact local museums, libraries, food pantries, elderly facilities, and local businesses that serve their communities like churches, homeless shelters, hospitals, Habitat for Humanity, Big Brothers or Sisters, or Special Olympics.
• Volunteering at a local elementary or middle school to help younger students
• Looking for fundraising opportunities like walk-a-thons, marathons, or events to fight diseases
Before a student begins volunteering, it is also important that they make sure the volunteer work they are considering is in safe location, has adult supervision, and involves work that is safe. Be sure that students communicate with their parents about where they’d like to volunteer and get parent approval.
If volunteer programs are not available for students where they live, they can consider creating their own program and their school or in their community. For example, they could start a recycling program or community collection campaign like food shelf, clothing, school supplies, toys, etc.
Once a student identifies a volunteer opportunity, please be sure to review the following list of “Do’s and Don’ts”
• Be flexible because they may be asked to do different tasks than what they intended
• Be informed by attend orientation meetings or calls
• Be responsible
• Don’t expect to start on top because they will likely have to prove they are responsible and worthy of being given more responsibility before they get them
• Remember they can make a difference even if they are the only person volunteering
As part of each episode of Transition Tuesday, we provide additional tips, teacher tools, and resources related to the topics we cover. For this week’s bonus, we are providing a PDF with several resources to help high school students to volunteer, which can be accessed by clicking this link - http://tensigma.org/episode87bonus
To learn more about Ten Sigma’s educational resources for teachers or parents, please visit our website http://tensigma.org and you can also connect with us on social media at:
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If you know anyone else who would benefit from the information we share in these videos, please share this video and invite them to visit http://transitiontuesday.org
We hope you enjoyed this episode and that the information we shared to help high school students and young adults to volunteer.