In order to graduate, every student must have at least 100 service hours, with more required for those on academic scholarship and members of the National Honor Society. Summer, with its freedom from classes and homework, is a great time to get those hours. Broward County offers many opportunities for teens to earn service hours.
Students aged 12-18 can join their local library’s Teen Advisory Board. The responsibilities vary depending on the library, but volunteers can expect to help librarians by sorting books, mentoring younger students and aiding discussions held at the library.
Students 16 and up can volunteer at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport as Airport Ambassadors. The position entails greeting travelers, giving directions on how to navigate around the airport and assisting them with their needs. Joining the program may be time consuming when school starts–in order to stay an ambassador, students need to complete at least a four hour shift every week–but the position also comes with benefits such as discounted and complimentary items in the airport.
Broward County Parks launched a Parks “VIP” program which stands for “Volunteers Improving Parks.” Students over age 13 can join the program and help maintain the county’s parks by picking up trash and invasive species of plants. Park VIPs are also expected to help organize and participate in events held at the park.
These county-sponsored programs all have a goal to promote a sense of community, preserve the environment and help others. Volunteering for these organizations allows students to learn leadership skills, make friends and, of course, receive service hours.