Why Student Volunteering is Critical to Future Success
and 5 Steps to Get Started

Volunteering is about helping others, but it also has other great rewards and benefits that can help you throughout life. Make this school year the time to get on the right path to a rewarding journey of volunteering. Not only will you contribute positively to your community and society, you’ll also experience personal and professional growth through new interests, skills and strong connections that can build a strong foundation for your future.

Here are five steps to get you started:

 
  1. Reflect:
    • Identify your passion. What are your interests and motivations?
    • Assess your skill-set. What skills do you already have, want to gain, or improve on?
    • Be realistic about your time. Considering school, extra-curricular activities and other obligations, what does your availability look like?

  2. Explore:
    • Do your research. Visit websites and review an organization’s mission as well as the types of volunteer positions available to youth.
    • Does each volunteer opportunity match your interests, strengths, time availability?
    • Is the location of each position easily accessible?
    • Does the opportunity meet your province’s criteria or requirements for student volunteering? Is there a police check or other clearances involved?

  3. Reach Out:
    • Phone or send an email to the organization (usually a volunteer coordinator) to introduce yourself. Confirm if the position is still available as an ‘ice breaker’ for reaching out.
    • During first contact, find out more details about the opportunity. Confirm what skills and attributes they looking for, the tasks involved, and next steps to apply.

  4. Prepare:
    • Pull together a simple but professionallooking resume that outlines your objectives for volunteering, education, skills and strengths, and experience (either paid, volunteer, roles through extra-curricular activities).
    • If an application is required, use your resume as the foundation for filling it out.

  5. Follow up:
    • Make them remember you. Follow up as soon as possible and show that your intentions for volunteering are real.
    • Determine ahead of time if the opportunity is a good fit – for both you and the organization. Ask for a time to meet or visit to discuss the role. This would be a good chance to practice your social skills!
 
Most Important Tip!
Looking for a volunteer opportunity is similar and as serious as looking for a paying job. Remember, volunteering is a privilege and not a right. If an organization is not convinced you are ready and willing to volunteer, they will look to other candidates best suited for the opportunity.
 

Source: Getvolunteering.Ca – Building Blocks for Youth Volunteer Engagement: A Guide for Parents, Teachers and Guidance Counsellors

 
Lastly, remember these common sense behaviours before and after you secure that perfect volunteer opportunity:
  • Punctuality
  • Appropriate dress and grooming
  • The use of good manners
  • A willingness to listen to instructions
  • The ability to follow through on commitments
  • The ability to maintain confidentiality
Source: Halton District School Board Website, Parent Info > High School Graduation Requirements > 40 Hour Volunteer Requirement
 

For additional information, contact:

Bernadette Celis-Clarke
(416) 440-5124

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BENEFITS OF VOLUNTEERING:
  • Gain new skills and identify new talents
  • Explore different career paths and discover new interests – and dislikes!
  • Build your network for potential future employment, references and mentorship
  • Be part of positive change in the lives of others and the community