UNIVARSITY.ORG | On Being A Student Volunteer
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19 Aug On Being A Student Volunteer

The idea of being a volunteer stems from the genuine human desire to help others. Volunteerism enables people to make a difference in the lives of others without waiting for anything in return. It also gives people a sense of self-worth knowing that they are capable and willing to help those who are in need. While volunteer service is generally an unpaid endeavor (that is why you volunteer), being part of the federal government’s student volunteers program has its own rewards, especially for students.

The United States Code generally prohibits volunteer service except in the following four cases:

1. during emergencies to protect life and property,

2. the employment of assistants to handicapped employees;

3. the employment of experts and consultants and

4. the employment of students.

Of these four, special attention will be given to the last one.

The Student Volunteer

Service of the federal government allows high school and college students to explore career options with the federal government while developing their personal and professional skills at the same time. These unpaid training opportunities give valuable work experience related to a student’s academic field that enhances his or her chance of obtaining good jobs in the future. It also exposes him or her to the workings of the federal government. Furthermore, federal volunteer opportunities allow students to experience first-hand new and emerging occupations and professions. With this program, students are given the chance to explore career options early in their academic life. More important, educational institutions also give students academic credit for the volunteer work they perform.

If you are a student enrolled in an accredited high school or trade school, technical or vocational school, a junior or community college, a four-year college or university, or any other accredited educational institution, then you are most definitely eligible for the Student Volunteer Service Program. Whether it be in the realm of computers and technology, environment and sanitation concerns or congressional issues, wildlife conservation or renewable energy, you’ll certainly be able to find volunteer work that you will love doing and that is in line with your academic field and future career plans. Volunteer employment usually lasts from three to four months and can be done during the school year or during summer breaks. However, one very important thing to remember before commencing your volunteer work, you, the federal agency and your school should develop and agree to a work agreement that identifies you assignments, the conditions under which you will carry out your volunteer schedule and your weekly work schedule.

Interested students who wish to take part of the volunteer program may contact the specific federal government agency that they are interested to offer their services to. Further information is also available with your school’s guidance office, placement center and career counseling office.



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