Too young to get a job, or too busy to commit to one? Want to make a difference in your community? Volunteering this summer may be for you!

A recent survey of 1,200 U.S. teenagers found that over two-thirds of teens volunteer their time, and that teens who volunteer are happier and more optimistic. Volunteering also helps teens build important leadership skills. All in all, volunteering is a great way to spend your extra time.

The Virtuous Cycle of Teen Volunteering infographicIn the study, teens said their favorite ways to volunteer include feeding the hungry, taking care of animals, and tutoring younger kids. Although 75 percent of teens believe volunteering helps in the college application process,  only 10 percent volunteer solely for that reason.

Almost a quarter of teens say they don’t volunteer because they do not know how to get started. If this is you, here are a few organizations in Washtenaw County and the Detroit Metropolitan area that need teens this summer.

Ann Arbor Rec & Ed
From coaching a sports team to helping at summer camps, there are lots of opportunities.
Volunteer Page

City of Ann Arbor Natural Area Preservation
There are many stewardship day opportunities.
Volunteer Page

Food Gatherers
Feeding the hungry is great and this is a fun organization. No parent needed if you are over 14 years old.
Volunteer Page

Humane Society of Huron Valley
There is a $175 training class required, but in the end you get to play with animals.
 Volunteer Page

Huron River Watershed Council
There are many science related opportunities to help monitor and protect our rivers.
Volunteer Page

Leslie Science Center
The Leslie Science Center needs volunteers to help with outdoor nature and science summer camps.
Volunteer Page

Peace Neighborhood
Peace Neighborhood is a Skyline favorite because of its close proximity to school. Volunteering here primarily involves after-school tutoring.
Volunteer Page

St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Teen Volunteer Program
This program fills up fast. Applications open May 1st.
Volunteer Page

Summer in the City, Detroit
You can choose to volunteer for only a single day or all summer. Carpools leave daily to Detroit from the Pioneer High School parking lot at 8:30 AM and return around 2:30 PM. You can play, plant or paint. This is a really fun way to spend the summer. The $35 sign-up fee includes a t-shirt.
Volunteer Page

Michigan Medicine (University of Michigan Health System)
The deadline was in April and involves an interview. Mark your calendars for next year.
Volunteer Page

Washtenaw County United Way
The United Way is an extremely important organization in our community that provides basic necessities to many families.
Volunteer Page

Ann Arbor YMCA
YMCA has lots of great opportunities to work with kids in Ann Arbor or at YMCA camps.
Volunteer Page

These are just some of the great volunteer options in our community. If the listed volunteer opportunities do not really appeal to you, please speak to the Skyline counseling staff about other ideas. As was best said by Winston Churchill: “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” Have a great summer!