Teens and Volunteering: Get Started Now!

Photo credit Michael J. Maloney

Teens nowadays are worried about school, friends and social situations. Volunteering really doesn’t come up for many – but it should!  Studies have shown that teens who volunteer gain benefits ranging from increased self-esteem to acquiring valuable job skills. At the fifth annual TeenLife LIVE! Community Service Fair & Expo that took place at the Chestnut Hill Mall on Sunday more than 1,200 students, parents, and teachers were able to explore volunteer opportunities with 50 local non-profits in and around Boston that specifically engage teen volunteers.

TeenLife.com is the “go to” online destination for students, parents and educators nationwide who are seeking programs, products and services geared to college-bound teens, aged 13-19. Even when your children are young it’s important to teach them about volunteering. Plus as kids get older it can help them decide if they want to work in a particular field.

Volunteering can open up doors for them and they can learn about different cultures, traveling and how their work can benefit others. Volunteer opportunities for students under 18 can be limited, and students, educators and parents often struggle to find meaningful opportunities that match students’ schedules and interests. That is why this event is so great – it brings together the non-profits looking for volunteers and the students (and parents)  who are curious about different opportunities.

Each year TeenLife hosts this event as a way for parents and students to learn and gather information about the different organizations.  Some of the non-profits at this year’s fair included The American Red Cross of Massachusetts Bay, Cradles to Crayons, DoSomething.org, , Horizons for Homeless Children, New England Aquarium, Boys & Girls Club of Greater Boston and the United Way of Massachusetts Bay.

You can go to TeenLife.com to find out more information and to sign up for the bi-monthly e-newsletters and their guides.  The site is great if students (and parents) are looking for other opportunities such as summer programs, after school and weekend activities, gap year programs and college readiness programs.

Annmarie Seldon is founder and owner of AMS Communications a public relations consulting practice.  She blogs at trendymommies.com where she writes about business, lifestyle and products trends.  She is a consumer product expert, company spokesperson, entrepreneur, TV/radio contributor, style contributor and mom of two. She currently is the mom correspondent for WCAP-AM 980 radio where each Tuesday afternoon she discusses topics of interest to moms.

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