Often seen as a selfless act, joining a volunteer project can actually provide many benefits to all parties involved.
Carry on reading to learn how volunteering while you are in high school can make a positive impact on your life.
Why is volunteering important?
From contributing with sustainable projects in India, to protecting endangered species in South Africa, there are countless examples of how volunteer programs are making a difference throughout the world.
Volunteering doesn’t only help you create a positive impact. It can also help make you into a more tolerant person who understands the issues different communities are facing – be it locally or overseas.
Volunteering helps you meet like-minded people
When you’re still in school, it can be difficult to meet new people outside of the classroom.
Local voluntary projects (such as volunteering at an animal shelter or nursing home) are a great way to make new friends and connections in your area.
Such projects are easy to get involved with, and they are an ideal option for volunteering while you are in high school. Of course it is important that you fully research any project you may wish to join, ensuring their ethical objectives match your own and that you and the project share a common goal.
If you have “itchy feet” and want to see more of the world while making a difference, volunteering overseas could the right decision for you. Most people who take part in volunteer programs while travelling look back fondly on their time spent volunteering, often citing it as one of the best experiences of their lives.
When volunteering overseas, you can meet like-minded people who could become your friends for life.
Volunteering is good for you
Did you know that volunteering can have profound benefits for both your physical and mental health?
Outdoor voluntary work such as beach clean-ups or litter picking gets you out of the house and moving around.
If you are already an active person and want to incorporate voluntary work into your exercise routine, why not check out “plogging”? This slightly bizarre combination of jogging and litter picking started in Sweden, but now there are are plogging clubs forming throughout the world.
It is not only your body that can get a workout from volunteering. Your mind can also benefit from joining a volunteer project.
Seeing how your work improves the lives of others gives you a huge sense of accomplishment, which in turn builds your self-esteem.
There is even evidence to suggest that teenagers who volunteer are less likely to experience mental health challenges than those who don’t. Perceived benefits include overcoming depression, reducing stress and anxiety, and dramatically increasing self confidence.
Volunteering while you are in high school can boost your career
With lots of competition out there, getting into your first choice university or apprenticeship can be challenging.
Volunteering in an area relevant to your career goals demonstrates that you are ambitious, dedicated to your goals, and altruistic. All of those are desirable traits. So volunteering while you are in high school could be just the boost your application needs to make it to the top of the pile.
There are several teenage volunteer opportunities out there. Joining one will enable you to practice key life skills, such as team work, problem solving, task management, and organisational skills – all of which look great on your resume.
Volunteering is fun!
Have you ever dreamed of exploring virgin rainforests? Is swimming with turtles is at the top of your bucket list? Or maybe you just want to spread your wings and travel the world.Volunteering overseas will offer you endless opportunities to do and see things that you may never have a chance to do at home.
What could be better or more fun than travelling the world, experiencing new things, and meeting amazing people, all while making a positive contribution to the world?
Volunteering in high school is a great way to explore your interests and passions while making a difference in the world. If you want to join a volunteer project overseas, why not head over to GVI and see what teenage volunteer opportunities await?