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