Volunteering is an impactful and rewarding experience – for both the volunteer and the community receiving. When it comes to youth and volunteering,there is an even greater impact in terms of underlying skills and experience gained.
Because of the COVID-19 related restrictions this past year, opportunities for youth to earn their community service hours for graduation, has been extremely limited. Despite the Ministry of Education reducing the number of required hours, it has been difficult for high school students to engage in volunteering, to say the least. Throw in all of the other pandemic-related challenges that teenagers are faced with and it would be reasonable to assume that volunteering is the least of their concerns.
Yet, for some, these pressures and challenges have spouted creativity, innovation, adaptation, and the desire to help others. Some youth have thrived under the transition to virtual learning and socializing and are still motivated to give back to their communities and get some new experience. Activities such as cleaning up parks, shoveling neighbour’s driveways, writing letters to residents of long-term care facilities, and planning/facilitating virtual programming to engage their peers, are just a few examples of community service youth in Hamilton have participated in.
Youth have a tremendous amount of skills, creativity, and passion to offer. There’s a beautiful opportunity to support these students to be innovative, become leaders, give back to their communities, and stand up for social issues, all while providing a means for them to get one step closer to graduating.
MentorAction continues to seek opportunities to partner with youth in Hamilton to raise awareness of the issue of gender based violence, in their high school communities.
If you are interested in organizing a youth volunteer initiative with MentorAction and work towards ending gender-based violence visit our webpage at: www.mentoraction.org