There’s a good reason why colleges like applicants with community service under their belts. Volunteerism is an often life-changing experience that helps young people mature, work with people they might never normally meet, see new places and respond to a higher calling, as President Obama implored us all to do during a commencement address to Wesleyan University’s Class of 2008. Below are sites that can help kids, teenagers and young adults shape their adult selves through volunteering.
DoSomething.org is a nonprofit organization that harnesses the Web to bring young people a large, searchable database of volunteer opportunities and funding sources to get their ideas off the ground. The organization gives $500 grants to motivated teens and young adults, and awards $100,000 to the best volunteer project proposal of the year.
Idealist.org’s Kids & Teens section is “an essential resource for kids who want to start a project of their own, or connect with youth organizations already involved in human rights, the environment or the arts,” says Senior Writer Sarah Amandolare in the article “Volunteer Opportunities for Kids.” The article lists a few more sites like Idealist.org and DoSomething.org.
Our Alternative Spring Break Web Guide points out that local or remote volunteer opportunities can be an enlightening way for a student to spend a couple of weeks. Find inspiration and help planning your volunteer trip in this guide.
One such travel volunteerism site is Global Works, which integrates service work with cultural immersion to give teens an alternative to more typical summer activities. Language immersion trips are also available, as are custom-designed trips for groups of 14 or more.
Learn more in the Philanthropy and Nonprofits Web Guide.