Attention Loudoun County teens: are you interested in volunteering with other teens to make a difference in Loudoun County? Volunteer by donating your time to individuals and organizations that most need it. If you are a student attending Loudoun County Public Schools, take notice of LCPS’ stance on volunteerism: “Loudoun County Public Schools encourages students to actively engage in volunteer service throughout high school.” Not to mention, the advantages of community service are significant:
- You develop workplace readiness skills while serving others. Workplace readiness skills are the attributes that an ideal employee should attain. Teenagers especially should continue to improve characteristics such as creativity, critical thinking, and work ethic. Volunteering can aid growth in such skills.
- You can find volunteer work you enjoy doing. The opportunities are unlimited. If you love reading, volunteer at a local library. If you want to spend time with animals, volunteer at a pet shelter. Furthermore, use your skills and expertise productively and assist those who need it!
- If you are in high school, you may get recognition for your service. “Students who demonstrate a strong commitment to service, as evidenced by completing 100 or more hours of service by April of their senior year, will earn a service cord to be worn at graduation” (LCPS). However, don’t volunteer just because you receive recognition for doing so, volunteer because you truly want to.
- Volunteering allows you to make stronger ties with your community. Communication while volunteering gives you a chance to know your community better. Moreover, after staying at home during the pandemic, it may feel refreshing to socialize! You can make new friends while volunteering in a team, and learn more about Loudoun County.
How to find opportunities that are just right for you:
- Time commitment – How much time are you willing to dedicate as a volunteer? Do you have flexible hours? Which days of the week are you available?
- Your interests – What cause would you like to donate your time to? (Examples: education, medical, marketing, technology, physical labor)
- Location – How far are you willing to drive to reach the destination you are volunteering at?
- People – Do you prefer working alone or in a group? If you would like to work for/with multiple people, which age ranges? (Examples: Preschool, Elementary, Teens, Young Adults, Adults, Seniors)
Here are places in Loudoun County that provide opportunities for teens to volunteer:
- Loudoun County Public Libraries (LCPL) – If you are age twelve or above, visit a library near you and ask for a volunteer application for teens. You will have opportunities to review books and library programs, shelf books, and help prepare for events and programs! Website: library.loudoun.gov
- Loudoun County Parks, Recreation and Community Services (PRCS) – Check out the diverse teen volunteer choices at PRCS! Fill out an application form, follow the instructions, and attend a volunteer orientation to begin. Website: loudoun.gov/4455/Teen-Events-Programs
- Loudoun Cares – Loudoun Cares is an organization that connects willing volunteers to jobs that interest them. “Loudoun Cares puts “feet on the street” for over 200 local non-profits by matching your time and talents with their needs” (Loudoun Cares). Website: loudouncares.org
- JustServe – Seeking opportunities to volunteer under a ten-mile radius of where you live? Find a project, sign up to serve, and improve your community today! Website: justserve.org
- Claude Moore Community Builders (CMCB) – CMCB is a ten-month community service program that stems from the Loudoun Youth organization. The application process for 2021-2022 is closed, so keep an eye out for next years’. Website: loudounyouth.org/programs/claude-moore-community-builders/
Article by Riya Nippani, Lightridge High School in Loudoun County