Volunteer Opportunities

10 Fantastically Unique Volunteer Activities by Lion’s Heart Members

cure with kindness

 

Curing with the Most Kindness 

Lamorinda, California, girls 2020 group made cards for hospitalized children at their meeting.

most uniques volunteer project.PNG

 

 

 

 

 

Most Constructive Volunteer Opportunity

Larchmont-Mamaroneck, New York, girls 2020 group helped refurbished an abandoned school in Yonkers, NY.

 

park city boys 2022 donate clothes to utah clinic

most environmentally friendly.PNG

 

 

 

Coldest Opportunity with the Warmest Thanks

Park City, Utah, boys 2022 group collected and donated clothes for Utah Health clinic last winter.

 

 

 

Most Environmentally Friendly Activity

Larchmont-Mamaroneck, New York, girls 2021 group put no polluting stickers on drains around their community.

 

doggy reader

 

 

Cutest Volunteer Opportunity

Fort Worth North, Texas, girls 2022 group volunteered at Dallas Animal Services Adoption Center making chew toys, handing out treats, and reading to dogs.

vb boys 2022 tissue paper flowers for seniors

 

 

 

 

The Artsiest Volunteer Project

Virginia Beach, Virginia, boys 2021 group made tissue paper flowers for seniors in their senior center.

prettiest pose with produce.png

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Best Pose with Produce

Trabuco, California, boys 2021 group gleaned the gardens at the Incredible Edible Farm.

warmest donation.PNG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Warmest Donation

Laguna Niguel, California, girls 2022 group made and donated blankets and towels for an animal shelter.

sweetest suprise.PNG

 

 

 

 

Sweetest Surprise

Westlake Village, California, girls 2018 group delivered ice cream to fire stations in their community.

 

teashers pet....

 

 

Smartest Way to Volunteer

Franklin, Massachusetts, girls 2023 group helped a teacher at Keller Elementary school move classrooms at the end of the year.

How Volunteering Can Help Offset College Costs

Harness your high school volunteering habit into real rewards on your college expenses.

As many of America’s 20.5 million college students would attest, education does not come cheap. But there may be a way that you can learn more about your community, gain valuable skills and potentially save money on your college tuition — simply by volunteering your time and effort.

Students who participate in volunteer projects throughout their high school careers are often able to receive better scholarships and other grants that support community engagement and activities. Consider the ways that volunteering could benefit you, your college costs and your future career.

How volunteering helps

When you have the chance to shine, your passion and success follows. Spending time at a local animal shelter, retirement community or hospital can earn you both experience and accolades on your college application.

If you have an idea of what you want to study at university, consider volunteer opportunities that can both diversify your experience and qualify for scholarships or grants that could ease your student loan burden.

Volunteering in college

Once you’ve started college, you may be able to find time for opportunities that give back to the community and make a difference to your financial bottom line.

For instance, if you’re already considering joining the military, you can set yourself up to cutting down on costs by joining the ROTC — or the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. The ROTC helps you pay your college tuition while you serve your country. ROTC provides scholarships of up to $80,000 toward tuition and educational fees for students who enroll during college or in high school. It can also assist you along your career path, helping you excel and save on expenses throughout college.

And don’t underestimate the impact volunteering can have on your future employers. Volunteering can make you more hireable in an area of service that you’re passionate about, showing real commitment to your community. You’ll gain skills that are important when working with a team, getting to know the unique issues that people in your city face. You’ll be potentially working toward leadership positions, building skills that are highly prized by employers when deciding among new college grads.

But it doesn’t have to be just another tactic to fleshing out your resume. Volunteering for organizations within your major can provide experiences that dovetail with your studies, enriching what you’ve learned in the classroom, better preparing you for your chosen career.

What you can do after college

Whether you need to pay off student loans or pay for continued education at a reduced cost, post-college service opportunities abound.

AmeriCorps

AmeriCorps is a group of volunteers sent to locations around the US to teach, support at-risk communities and work within some of America’s poorest neighborhoods. AmeriCorps volunteers can receive a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award after fulfilling their term of service, which can be used for paying off student loans or advancing your education.

National Health Service Corps

If you’re pursuing a career in medicine, National Health Service Corp volunteers provide medical care to rural communities and communities that lack qualified health professionals. The NHSC offers scholarships for students who are still in medical school, and helps medical professionals who have already graduated pay off student loans after they’ve fulfilled their service term.

Peace Corps

The Peace Corps gives students a way to volunteer around the world while keeping an eye on graduate school. Volunteers can serve while pursuing a master’s degree program abroad and participate in the Coverdell Fellows Program, which provides financial assistance to volunteers who want to volunteer in the US. Just ensure you don’t lose out on the offset with high fees associated with moving money around while volunteering overseas, compare providers to find most cost effective options.

Consider student loans

Whether choosing to offset college through volunteering during or after college, keep in mind that while a huge expense, college is one that will pay off in the long run. To do this it helps to look ahead at the return your investment and work out whether the career you pick will support the level of debt you’ve accrued to get there. finder.com recently broke down the value of a student loan against potential future earnings based on LinkedIn’s Top 20 Highest Paying Jobs of 2017.

What we found is that it’s worthwhile to figure out whether your future career has a good return on investment — and that student loans can help ease some of the financial burden until you make good on that ROI.

Remember, it’s never too early — or too late — to start volunteering with a group or organization that you’re passionate about. You just might be able to both change your life and save money in the end.

MH3 (1)

Written by Michelle Hutchison. Michelle is finder.com’s resident Money Expert and is passionate about helping Americans make better financial decisions. She has been in the financial services industry for over seven years and has previously worked as a journalist and editor.

Who is finder.com?

finder.com is a personal finance comparison website, which helps Americans compare financial products online so they can make better informed decisions. Visit finder.com to compare and learn about credit cards, mortgages, personal loans, international money transfers, life and travel insurance, shopping coupon codes, and so much more before choosing the option that best suits their needs.

Best of all, finder.com is completely free to use. We’re not a bank or insurer, nor are we owned by one, and we are not a product issuer or a credit provider. We’re not affiliated with any one institution or outlet, so it’s genuine advice from a team of experts who care about helping you find better.

 

The Challenge Engaging Students in Community Service – It’s Not What You Expect

We were curious. Teens and parents often stumble upon Lion’s Heart  in their quest to find volunteer opportunities. They soon realize we have a full-fledged teen volunteer program where teens volunteer throughout the year, year after year. Students join Lion’s Heart because of a strong desire to give back to their community. But now more than ever, many students also have a class, graduation, National Honor Society, or another form of community service requirement.  

That got us thinking. How far reaching are student volunteer requirements?  Is this a private school tradition or has it hit mainstream public schools? How do students find volunteer opportunities? Do they track their hours? If yes, how? And looking to the future, how does their contribution reflect upon them as prospective college students and employees?  

alumni-survey-handsSo we asked. Lion’s Heart surveyed over 100 students, parents, and educators to understand how students are expected to navigate their community service requirements. Based on the manic cycles of our phones, chat lines, and email inquiries, we had a sense that students weren’t getting the support they needed. But frankly, the results which represent public, private, charter, magnet and homeschools, surprised us.

How encouraging, we thought. Schools of every kind are embracing service learning as an essential part of a students’ overall education.  We couldn’t agree more. But how are schools finding teen-friendly volunteer opportunities for their students?  The short answer – students and their parents are giving their favorite search engines a workout to find community service projects.  

alumni-survey-volunteers

An opportunity for more opportunities.  It’s not always easy to fit another activity into an overcrowded schedule of academics, athletics, music, friends and, and, and….  Students, along with their parents and educators want variety and frequency. Of those who chimed in, 52%, think weekly community service opportunities are the right cadence, while 38% feel they can get by on monthly volunteer notifications. In the minority were the remaining 10% surveyed who felt seasonal – fall, winter, spring, summer – volunteer projects were the right speed.  

Paper.  Yes, papalumni-survey-girler in 2017.  How community service is memorialized is no less curious. A shocking 57% of students use a paper tracking system, and 12% rely on a makeshift system like Google Sheets.  Only 8% of students have an app or online solution to record volunteer project details. 

We learned a lot.  But we’re more curious than ever about the barriers students encounter when they try to give back to their communities.  And because we’re all about inspiring a new generation of teen volunteering, count on the Lion’s Heart team to address some of these gaps.  Our survey is ongoing.  If you are a student, parent or educator and want to share your experience, click here.

Written by

Amy von Kaenel –Lion’s Heart Chief Strategy and Development Officer

Personal statements from students who got in to the colleges of their dreams!

As a member of Lion’s Heart, you know better than I do what volunteering can do for others and yourself. It must be a breath of fresh air to get away from the traditional setting of a high school and meet new people at every volunteering event.

It’s often inspiring to cross paths with people you’d never otherwise meet, and exciting to gain new perspectives on matters you didn’t know mattered to you. This reason alone has enabled many college applicants to discuss their journey and transformation as a volunteer worker in their personal statement.

Check out how students from Tufts, Dartmouth and WashU conveyed their personalities in the following successful excerpts:

Extreana.png Extreana

Tufts University ’ 18

It’s last period on a Friday. The long-awaited final bell rings; automatically, my classmates quickly pack up and join the stream of students that surges down every hallway. I join the current, but instead of following the stream through the exit, I turn and ascend the stairs to our school’s library. Walking past the students scrambling to finish essays, I join my fellow National Honor Society members in the back of the room. Though many may deem it an unconventional — perhaps even wasteful — way to start the weekend, NHS’ Friday meetings in the library are the 45 most-cherished minutes of my week. Read on.

Rl724

Dartmouth College ‘20

Ah, stress: while I can’t simply wave a magic wand and make it disappear, that won’t stop me from trying to find a solution. Behind my test scores, transcript, and list of extracurricular activities, I, like many of my peers, struggle with academic-related stress. Whether I’m studying for calculus tests, memorizing lines for the school play, or filling out college applications, I’m stressed. View full essay.WashUCaliBoy.pngWashUCaliBoy

Washington University in St. Louis ‘20

It’s hard to imagine life without clean water, insulated housing, and readily available health care. Ecuadorian villagers live this life every day. During this past summer, I joined a medical humanitarian effort as a health teacher to teach hygienic habits to these Ecuadorian villagers. During my time in the Ecuadorian highlands, I tried my best to offer services to the Ecuadorians who had limited access to severely strained medical facilities. View full profile.

Want to read more college essays with a focus on volunteering? AdmitSee has a database of over 60,000+ successful college applications to choose from. Get inspired to craft the best version of your application. Sign up now to get free profile views, or subscribe to get unlimited access to our database! Check out Admitsee’s blog.

We Love Our Summer Interns!

In May 2016, Lion’s Heart staff began interviewing twenty-six Lion’s Heart teen Members for a summer internship in the Laguna Hills, California, corporate offices. Each potential intern provided a writing sample telling a little about themselves and why they wanted the summer internship. All twenty-six came in for a face to face interview, for some, it was their first interview ever. The teens, ranging from thirteen to seventeen years old, were truly wonderful people with so many amazing talents. Some were nervous, some were confident. One even arrived in a suit and tie! We eventually selected six interns to spend their summer working in our office with our staff on a variety of interesting projects.

IMG_2566.JPG

“Our goal was to give the interns a glimpse of how our operations work while allowing them to have a rich and educational intern experience,” said Terry Corwin, Lion’s Heart Founder and Executive Director. “They have all been given a variety of assignments such as making videos to share on social media, writing blog posts, researching volunteer outreach programs, whiteboard sessions on ideas for marketing, auditing volunteer logs, and much more.”

Lion’s Heart is so thankful for all six of our volunteers; Madison, Taylor, Reese, Julia, Matt and Kevin. They worked tirelessly, never complained, and were so productive. In the past three months, Lion’s Heart Teen Volunteer interns amassed a whopping 182.5 volunteer hours and finished 11 large projects which included making a fun video on what they love about volunteering with Lion’s Heart, researching the civic 50 corporations, guest blogging, reaching out to parents, alumni, and non-profits, getting booths in high school events, and listing Lion’s Heart on all the community directories they could find. Our interns became part of our Lion’s Heart family and while we are sad to see them go, we wish them all the best on their journeys and we welcome them back anytime.

IMG_0680.JPG

We will be showcasing each of our interns on the blog and social media this week so keep checking back!

We look forward to selecting a new batch of interns from our fantastic Members next summer so if anyone is interested in joining us, keep an eye out for our email coming next spring!

Screen Shot 2016-04-08 at 9.11.58 AM