Teen Volunteer Opportunities!

Volunteering can be a great way to teach your kids the importance of giving back to the community.   And having a teenager, I now have learned it is also highly rated on college applications ;o)

But it can be somewhat difficult to find places that will allow teens to volunteer. I have reached out to a number of local organizations, and here are some opportunities I have learned about!


Volunteen Trainees begin the program by attending a 2-day orientation which includes basic job training, leadership skill refinement, and information about the Thinkery. Teens continue in the program by participating in approximately 40 hours of training that prepare them to facilitate STEAM focused activities. The Trainees practice their skills by working in the museum exhibits to complete their 100 hours within a year. Through the year, Weekend, Homeschool, and Summer Intensive Volunteen sessions are offered. 


The Thinkery now offers Counselor-in-Training (CIT) program for teenagers (entering 7th-12th grade) to work in Thinkery camps. CITs will work closely with staff mentors to lead fun STEAM-based activities in the Thinkery summer camp program. Individual goals are set to ensure participants develop new skills and gain valuable work experience that is transferable to future academic and career endeavors.

All selected applicants must agree to one week of the mandatory training dates (9am-2pm, Monday-Friday, June 8-12, 2015) and a minimum of 50 hours/maximum 125 CIT camp support hours. 

$160/member, $175/non-member

Teen Participation Days

Groups and individuals who are looking for a one time volunteer opportunity can join the Thinkery for a quarterly Teen Participation Day. This full day opportunity engages teens in a brief training to prepare them for shifts behind-the-scenes and on-the-floor at the Thinkery. All teens must be available for the full day and provide a parental release form and signed a behavior agreement. Demand for these days are high and capacity is limited please plan ahead. 

Next Teen Participation Day:  Monday, February 16, 2015


●●● Austin Pets Alive

Does your child love animals?  

Austin Pets Alive has a variety of volunteer opportunities for teens 12 and up. Volunteers 15 years and under must be accompanied by an adult.  All volunteers must attend a two hour orientation (fees range from $10 – $20 for the class) before starting and commit to volunteering for a minimum of six hours per month.

Opportunities for 12 – 15 year olds include:  Preparing treats for the pups, accompanying parent on dog walks, general tidying up, organizing donations, washing bowls, laundry, socializing kitties, general cattery clean up.

Opportunities for 16 – 17 year olds include (with parent permission): Dog walking, working in the cat adoption center, neonatal program, clinic and the parvo puppy ward.  In our neonatal program, 16 and 17 year olds can feed kittens as long as they are accompanied by a parent – additional training is required for neonatal, parvo and clinic.

Children in 1st grade and up also have the option to come to our shelter with a parent and read with the kitties through the Book Buddies program – orientation is NOT necessary for this program!

●●● Dell Children’s Hospital

Dell Children’s Hospital has a summer teen volunteer program for children 15 and up that will allow teens to volunteer is a variety of positions throughout the hospital.

The application will be available at on their webpage during spring break, and will remain open until they receive a maximum of 100 volunteers.

Applicants will then be screened and invited to attend a two-hour orientation. Parents are required to attend the session with their child.

After meeting those requirements, teens will be invited to volunteer over the summer at the Dell Children’s Hospital.

Please visit http://www.dellchildrens.net/volunteer/  for more information.

●●● St. David’s North Austin Medical Center Teen Summer Volunteer Program

The St. David’s North Austin Medical Center Teen Volunteer Program gives young adults a unique opportunity to gain experience in a healthcare setting while gaining personal satisfaction by helping others. High school students are invited to participate in our teen program. Teens must be 15 by June 1st of the summer they wish to volunteer (no exceptions).

The Summer Program is 9 weeks, running from the second week in June to the second week in August. Students must be available for 8 of the 9 weeks of the program.

We wish we were able to accept all students who are interested in volunteering. However, our summer program is limited to 30 students. Submission of an application does not guarantee placement. Volunteering in previous years does not guarantee placement.

We will begin accepting applications on March 16th. The application deadline is April 30th.

●●● Capital Area Food Bank Warehouse

The Food Bank is a fun, nurturing environment for kids and teens to learn discipline, social awareness, teamwork and other transferrable skills. They offer age-appropriate volunteer opportunities for kids as young as 8.

Youth volunteers ages 8-17 must be accompanied by an adult age 21 or older. Youth groups must bring one adult chaperone for every five youth under 18.

Morning and afternoon shifts are available to youth volunteers Monday through Saturday. They also offer a youth and family night on the first Tuesday of the month.

●●● The Art School at Laguna Gloria Teen Volunteer Program

The Teen Volunteer Program is available for young people ages 13-18 and runs throughout the year with special emphasis placed on the summer semester. Teens work in the children’s program at the main campus for The Art School, Laguna Gloria. Note: We do not typically need volunteers for adult classes. Any openings will be listed on this site.