Hello! My name is Julie, and I am an aspiring Gold Award Girl Scout. As a recent high school grad, I know just how tough it can be to earn volunteer hours required for extracurricular activities and educational opportunities. Not only do most organizations look for volunteers who are well over typical middle and high school ages, but also many of the organizations that offer teen-friendly volunteer opportunities require work that doesn't always connect with student volunteers and their goals for the future. For that reason, volunteer disengagement, evidenced by volunteers who hide or slack off instead of doing the work organizations need, talk to who they must to get their hours signed off on without actually doing them, and look for other ways to just “get their hours over with”, has become a prevalent problem amongst teens around the nation. It makes me quite upset when individuals do not enjoy what they are doing as volunteers or appreciate the impact they have on others; oftentimes, their refusal to engage in the required work hurts both the organization and those who are depending on it. That’s where I believe the Gear to Volunteer website, a crucial part of my Girl Scout Gold Award Project, can help. Through this website, I hope to provide others like me with a connection to volunteer opportunities that align with causes and occupational fields that interest them as a means to give students a chance to willingly and impactfully better the community behind them while they explore their own diverse interests, get the volunteer hours necessary for college and work resumes, and develop pre-work experience that can be hard to find through other channels. Therefore, I welcome you to dive into Gear to Volunteer; while you are here, be sure to learn more about why you should volunteer, visit the virtual volunteer fair, shout out your favorite organizations, and explore Operation Get to Work.
To encourage students to take an active role in bettering their communities and give them opportunities to delve into thier own interests and prospective career paths, earn hours for various requirements, and develop pre-career experience through volunteerism.
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