There are many places where a student can volunteer including schools, non-profit agencies, museums, and more. While volunteering is all about helping others, finding an opportunity that is interesting and exciting for your student can make service a win for all involved.
- What do you want to learn? The answer to this question can include specific skills like teaching or public relations or more general exposure like “learn more about animals”. Listing 2-3 items here is a great start.
- In what areas do you want to grow? This may include gaining exposure to issues and experiences that will broaden your child’s perspective or a skill he wants to develop such as “becoming more comfortable meeting new people.”
- What are you curious about? The focus here is the BIG questions your child has about how the world and society works such as “what can we do to keep rhinos from becoming extinct?”
- What kinds of experiences do you most enjoy? ave your teen think about whether she prefers working one-on-one or in groups, working outside or inside, working with thoughts and conversation or hands-on activities.
- What level of impact do you want to make? This is very related to question 4. Someone who most enjoys working one-on-one may want to have a more personal impact, while someone who prefers large groups may prefer something on a larger scale. This is often the area of the greatest mismatch between volunteers and organizations, so it is helpful to spend a bit of time thinking about and discussing this one.
Answer the questions above and write the answers down so you can refer to them during your search. Then, head to the internet and begin researching. Remember to be on the lookout for those that most align with your student’s goals and interests.
Start by checking out the following sites for comprehensive lists of service opportunities right here in Austin.