how to engage high school students at your organization
Why High School volunteers: High school students can be a tremendous asset to the work of your organization. They have skills that can be valuable as you tackle social problems.
- Skills: High school students can provide abilities like using technology to your organization’s advantage (developing video content, website design, etc.)
- Group engagement: High school students like to work together! If you engage one highschooler, you could unlock the door to having many high school students join together. (2020 UServeUtah Youth Council Report)
- Creativity: High school students will take problem solving risks and come up with new ideas for you to consider. (“Why Youth Service,” ysa.org)
Connecting with High School volunteers:
- Contact a teacher at your local high school. They can share the word about the opportunity with their students.
- Student Body Officers and other club leadership
- Post ideas on justserve.org that are high school appropriate
Maximizing their contributions:
- Identify creative projects for them to do
- Provide for direct service opportunities for them to see the impact of their service
Providing a beneficial experience:
- Meaningful: Students believe that they have limited time. To volunteer they need to make sure that it’s meaningful to the community and to them to be a part of it
- Food and friends: For group volunteer activities being able to offer food and allow for friends to join will attract students. (UServeUtah 2020 Youth Council Report) Often once a student is exposed to volunteering at your organization, they will make the effort to continue volunteering.
- Willing to write recommendations for jobs and college acceptance
Process for UServeUtah High School Volunteer Award Program:
- Receive verification emails to verify completion of service and total number of hours
- This will be self-reported.
- Virtual, off-site volunteering is acceptable, so use your best estimate of how much time the student spent on the project to verify those hours