Local volunteer opportunities for students

Volunteering through Battlefield


Photo Courtesy of Pixabay via Creative Commons

Chelsea Ulrich, Author

In Battlefield alone, there are many clubs or honor societies- listed here, that require its members to volunteer. Honor societies offer the chance to tutor peers in a particular subject such as French, Spanish, English, math, science, history, or Latin. National Honor Society, which is an honor society not specific to a subject or language, allows students to tutor any subject and even for SAT preparation. Honor societies do require induction and application for membership but there are many other opportunities for students to donate their time that does not require being an experienced scholar like tutoring may.

Locally and at Battlefield, there are many ways one can volunteer to help the earth. Environmental club president Laila Kennedy says that “stream cleanups are done quarterly and you don’t have to be in the club, but it can count towards volunteer hours.” The club also regularly manages the recycling bins of the school would not be possible without student help.

Beyond Battlefield there are many different volunteering options as well. Local animal shelters typically only let minors work with cats, and not dogs. Prince William County Animal Shelter in Manassas offers a limited program for ages 15-17. In general, shelters need help cleaning, promoting adoptions (online or talking to possible candidates), and foster families. Another option for compassionate volunteers is the Haymarket Food Pantry, which helps feed those in need. They accept volunteers to transfer, organize, or accept food donations. There is an application and a training session and those aged 16 or younger must volunteer with an adult. Additionally, students can offer their time and emotional support through a helpline. Action in Community Through Service (ACTS) accepts Prince William County volunteers and while it does have online application on their website, ACTS writes that “no experience is needed—only a caring heart, dedication and a willingness to listen and learn.” Helplines assist local peers and adults with the goal of preventing self-injury and suicide and may be of interest to those passionate about mental health and spreading kindness.

Some volunteer opportunities are educating and can even act as the first step into a career of interest. Manassas NOVANT hospital does have an Observation Student program for high school students which allows them to  practice “shadowing” that involves following a physician/medical profession and learning from them. Similarly, the Manassas NOVANT hospital and other Northern Virginia hospitals do accept teenage volunteers- of at least 16 years of age. Applications for the NOVANT hospital can be found online.

There are more hands-on approaches that are for those who would like to truly volunteer in addition to learning. This especially expands to those who would like to become a first responder. There is a committing volunteer option, as fire stations offer many classes (not free of cost, however) that educate students to begin their career as a firefighter, paramedic, or emergency medical technician. According to their website, the classes required to perform as a firefighter are CPR, Infection Control, Stress First Aid, HazMat Awareness, EMS Billing,” and a few more to clear as an officer. Prince William County has nine volunteer fire departments, and is even another good way for a young adult to learn more about the medical field (through paramedic/EMT-specific classes)  if they would like to help their community rather than shadow and observe.