Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Homeschooling the Teen Years - Keep Track of Those Volunteer Hours For Scholarships!

Drawing by E (age 14)
Do your teens volunteer?

Are you aware of which volunteer activities count toward college scholarships?

Are they keeping a log of their volunteer hours?

A(age 17) has had some luck with "young leader" type scholarships that ask for a record of volunteer hours.  One of the scholarships she applied for and received was from a Christian liberal arts university, and so counted hours spent teaching Sunday school (she teaches the 4th-6th grade class at our church) and VBS, in addition to her hours volunteering with a humane society type organization cleaning out cat cages once a week, her student government and food bank hours at the college where she dual enrolls, the time spent rehearsing and performing skits for children at a homeless center with a community theater group, and even the hour or so she spent singing Christmas carols through retirement homes with the youth group.

We looked into a similar scholarship from our governor's office.  It allowed for some church based activities, such as serving meals at a homeless shelter, or delivering Thanksgiving baskets - but not anything that involved "proselytizing", so not Sunday school teaching or VBS work.

The one thing both scholarships had in common was that they wanted a detailed log of volunteer hours.  We had not thought to keep one.  When A was volunteering it was out of interest in the activity rather than with a thought to scholarships.  We ended up having to page back through our wall calendars to find the times she'd been at various places. Thankfully I keep a detailed schedule of who needs a ride to where and when, so no one ends up stranded.  It worked pretty well, but it was time consuming, and we probably missed some hours, and every hour counts!

If your teens are volunteering, and if there's even a slim chance they might want to go on to college, keep a log of their volunteer hours.  It will make life so much easier for them later.

You might want to peruse various university websites too, just to see what sort of community involvement are for scholarships.  There were several items (see list below) on the scholarship page of our the governor's scholarship that I might not have thought of.

Places and Organizations that offer volunteer opportunities:  

• 4-H
• Adopt a Grandparent/Homebound Elderly Companions
• Adopt a Highway
• Afterschool programs
• Big Brothers Big Sisters
• Boy Scouts
• Career and Technical Student Organizations
• Community Gardens
• Conservation Districts
• Family Career & Community Leaders of America (FCCLA)
• Future Farmers of America (FFA)
• Food banks and soup kitchens
• Girl Scouts • Habitat for Humanity
• Historical Societies
• Hospitals
• Humane Society
• Hunter’s Education Classes
• Libraries • Literacy Programs
• National Honors Society • Nursing Homes
• Meals on Wheels • Master Gardener Programs
• Museums, Art Galleries and Monuments
• Pow-Wow Events
• Preventative Drug, Alcohol, Violence, Abuse Programs
• Red Cross (Blood Drives, Emergency Preparedness Training, etc.)
• Ski patrol
• Student Council
• United Way
• Volunteer Fire Departments
• Youth Justice Council

Types of Service Activities:

• Afterschool mentoring
• Book drives
• Coaching
• Coat collections
• ESL tutoring
• Food drives
• Fundraising for nonprofits
• Global Youth Service Day activities
• Highway cleanups • Home weatherization
• Invasive plant removal
• MLK day activities
• Peer mediation
• Serving food at soup kitchens
• Trail building and maintenance
• Tutoring
• Serving as a hospital aid
• Bake sales for school clubs
• Helping at animal shelters
• Visits to senior homes

It's great to be a homeschooler.


Natalie PlanetSmarty said...

This is a great list. I wonder if teaching classes (for free) in taekwondo studio will count - A is very interested in becoming an assistant taekwondo instructor in high school.

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Yes! I imagine that would count.

Ticia said...

If your kid has enough volunteer hours as well, they can apply for a Presidential Service award. Princess has earned it for the past 3 or 4 years. Last year she earned the gold Presidential Service Award with 100 hours of service.

Ticia said...

Oh and American Heritage Girls is another organization that has and tracks service hours.