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3 Questions High School Students Should Ask About Volunteer Jobs They Are Considering

3 Questions High School Students Should Ask About Volunteer Jobs They Are Considering

Volunteering is a great way for high school students to give back to their community, learn new skills, and gain valuable experience for college applications and resumes. When considering a volunteer opportunity, it’s important to find one that matches your interests, availability, and goals.

Here are 3 key questions all high school student volunteers should ask before committing to a volunteer job.

  1. What does this volunteer role entail?

The first question to ask is what exactly you will be doing as a volunteer for this organization or cause. Will you be working directly with people in need? Doing behind-the-scenes work? Engaging in physical labor? Office administrative tasks? Make sure you have a clear picture of what the day-to-day responsibilities are so you can determine if it’s a good fit based on your skills and interests.

Ask questions like:

  • What are the key duties and activities I’ll be responsible for as a volunteer?
  • What is a typical volunteer shift like?
  • Will I be working independently or collaboratively?
  • Who will I report to and work with?
  • How much interaction will I have with the people/community being served?

Getting detailed information upfront ensures you pick a volunteer opportunity that excites and motivates you. It also helps match your abilities to the organization’s needs.

  1. When are volunteers needed, and what is the time commitment?

The next important thing to find out is the schedule and time commitment required for the volunteer role. Ask questions like:

  • What are your volunteer hours? Nights? Weekends?
  • How often and what days of the week are volunteers needed? Weekly? Monthly? Occasionally?
  • What is the minimum time commitment expected from volunteers?
  • Can the schedule be flexible based on my availability?

Make sure to think about your current schedule and other commitments like school, extracurricular activities, part-time work, family obligations, etc. Choose a volunteer opportunity that works with your availability, not against it. Consistency and reliability are key, so determine a schedule you’ll realistically be able to stick to on a regular basis.

  1. Is training provided and are there any qualifications required?

Finally, find out if the organization provides training for the volunteer role and if any prior experience or qualifications are required or preferred. For example, some volunteer jobs may require a specific skill set, level of physical ability, language fluency, etc. Ask:

  • Is training provided? If so, what does it involve and what will I learn?
  • Are there any qualifications, skills, or prior experience required or preferred for this volunteer role?
  • Will a background check be required?
  • Is there an age requirement?
  • Do I need any certifications (CPR, First Aid, etc)?
  • Will I have ongoing supervision for guidance?

Understanding if the organization will properly prepare you with training and support is key. Also, knowing any required qualifications will allow you to determine if it’s a good match based on your background, skills, education, availability, and interests.

Finding the Right High School Student Volunteer Opportunity In New Jersey

Volunteering is meant to be a rewarding experience where you can make an impact and grow on a personal level. Asking the right questions upfront ensures the volunteer job is the right fit so you can have a great experience.

Beyond these three key questions, here are some helpful tips for high school students considering volunteer work:

  • Look for causes and issues you genuinely care about. Your passion and enthusiasm will make it a more meaningful experience.
  • Don’t overcommit. It’s better to volunteer consistently for a few hours per week than take on too much and burn out.
  • Look for opportunities to learn new skills, gain experiences, and even network for your future college and job goals.
  • If you’re unsure where to start, ask peers, teachers, and school counselors for ideas on local organizations looking for high school volunteers.
  • Read volunteer job descriptions carefully to get a sense of the duties, commitment level, and qualifications.
  • Make sure to ask about any flexibility or things you may need regarding scheduling and capabilities.
  • Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask questions directly to the organization’s volunteer coordinator.
  • Have an idea of the length of time you’d like to volunteer for? A semester? A summer? A year? Discuss goals and preferences.
  • If possible, visit the organization and observe volunteers in action to get a feel for the experience.
  • Ask about policies regarding references, letters of recommendation, and recognition for college applications.
  • Read reviews and feedback from past volunteers. Reach out to current volunteers with further questions.
  • Trust your instincts during the search process. Pay attention if something seems off or not ideal.

With some self-reflection on your skills, interests, and schedule, as well as asking the right questions, you can find an incredible volunteer opportunity as a high school student.

The right role – one that makes the most of your talents to create positive change – is sure to be a rewarding and memorable life experience. Where will you considering to volunteer next?

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