13 Jun 2023

A Meaningful and Productive Summer Volunteering

I recently worked with a college graduate who is having difficulty obtaining a first job. Her resume includes work at a retailer, baby-sitting, and her coursework – not enough to show her interests, drive, and dedication to her community. Her resume could be enhanced with extra-curricular activities and volunteer work.
Does your child have a summer job in retail to earn pocket money? Super! Working at a job, following the rules, and earning your own money boosts maturity and is excellent preparation for adulthood. In addition to or in place of paid work, summer is the optimal time for tweens, teens, and college students to choose activities based on their interests and give back to the community.
To enhance their resumes and gain even more fulfillment, students can scope out the world of volunteering. Here are how some of their interests can connect to volunteer work:
Middle and High School Students
Love animals? Work at an animal shelter or for an pet adoption center. There are many in the Washington DC metro area. Our family volunteered and adopted dogs from A Forever Home, an organization that is completely dedicated to saving as many dogs as possible.
Interested in politics? There are always campaigns that need volunteers as well as organizations such as Fairfax Democrats and Fairfax County Republican Committee. A recent graduate of our local high school just dropped by to tell us about a candidate. She was full of energy and enthusiasm.
Want to help low income people? Volunteer for Habitat for Humanity or a food pantry like Cornerstones. Help with a rummage sale or organize one yourself or with friends.
Are you good with computers? Volunteer to help people in need through your local library or Facebook group.
Are you interested in helping the environment? Arrange a clean-up for your neighborhood or volunteer for a Fairfax County park.
Love to read or play chess? You can volunteer at a summer reading program or chess club at your local library. These positions are listed on the Volunteer Fairfax website.
College Students
For college students to boost their resumes, summer or school-year internships will give you the heads up. How can find an internship?
  • Career Center at your college
  • Handshake.com
  • LinkedIn.com
  • Online profiles of companies that interest you and have internship programs
  • Connections with people you know
Some students prefer to do research with a professor at their college. You can talk to professors you like or research the work of professors who are doing projects that interest you.
Benefits of Volunteering
The benefits include much more than a padded resume. Volunteering is not only fulfilling, but it also provides you with the opportunity to learn new skills, gain good work habits, and become a valuable part of a team. You can make a difference in the lives of those around you and experience the joy of giving back.
Write about your Volunteer Experience
To get the most out of your volunteer experience and share it with others, write down your contributions.  This is a great way to practice writing skills as well.  Summer writing tutors are available at Tutoring For Success.
By Cheryl Gedzelman, President, Tutoring For Success, Inc.

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