Internships, Volunteering, and More Ways Teens Can Get Involved This Summer

Volunteering is an awesome way for teens to help others, feel good about themselves, and make new friends.

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Yes, summer should be a time to relax and unwind, but that doesn't mean teens should spend it on the couch the entire time. You can help your teenagers find volunteer opportunities, internships, and even paying gigs that align with their interests. If they're not ready for work, there are tons of other options for them to get creative and keep their minds sharp all summer long.  

Here are some ways you can encourage teens to get involved this summer:

Suggest Getting a Part-Time Job

Who doesn’t want to make a little money of their own? Part-time jobs teach teens about responsibility and working hard. If money and hard work aren’t an easy sell, maybe this will be: Getting a job now can also help them in the future. Summer jobs can help teach teens skills that will give them a leg up in their next interview. In fact, one study showed that the more hours teens work, the better their career prospects in the future. It’s never too early for kids to start paving the way to their dream jobs. If they’re not sure how to start looking, share our tips for teens to find a summer position.

Discuss the Perks of Interning

Many internships for teenagers don’t offer pay, but the skills they’ll learn are invaluable and may help them land their next paying gig. Internships are beneficial for résumés and applications. Plus, they're a great way to make connections in whatever industries your teens are interested in. To start searching for opportunities, have them check out Internships.com and InternMatch.com. If they’re interested in a particular company or organization, the best place to look for the internships they offer is on their career sites or LinkedIn pages. You can help teens network by telling friends and relatives about their interest in interning.

Ask Them to Start a Blog

Summer is the perfect time to develop or find new hobbies. Blogging is an entertaining way for teens to keep track of their projects and progress, while also sharing it with others. Not to mention, they can continue to develop their writing and photography skills. If they want to tackle cooking more this season, they can write about what went well or terribly wrong and share awesome pics. Some teen bloggers have been able to jumpstart their careers thanks to their posts! Blogging can also be used as a place to post reviews or just free write about their day. Some popular blogging sites include Tumblr, Wordpress, and Blogger.

Recommend DIY Projects

Do-it-yourself projects are an engaging way to get creative and make beautiful, useful things. They can also teach teens how to be resourceful, think outside the box, and reuse materials. The next time they want to purchase something, challenge them to figure out a way to make it themselves. Pinterest is the mecca of DIY projects, but Brit + Co also has tons of ideas, as well as DIY kits teens can purchase for everything from flower crowns to desk sound stations. Work on something together to get them started! 

Encourage Community Service

Volunteering is an awesome way for teens to help others, feel good about themselves, and make new friends. There are plenty of different options to get involved from community gardening to assisting at local food banks to tutoring kids younger than them. There’s bound to be a volunteering opportunity that piques your teens’ interests. Help them begin their search by checking out opportunities at VolunteerMatch.org.

Peruse DoSomething.org Together

There are a bunch of campaigns that you and your teens can join to help make the world a better place! They can search DoSomething by causes they’re passionate about, such as animals or the environment, how much of their time they have to donate, and what they’d like to do—whether that's making something, sharing something, or hosting an event. It can be a fun way for the both of you to work together this summer. New campaigns are added all the time so be sure they check back whenever they’re in an improving-the-world mood.

No matter what your teenagers decide to do this summer, the Choices team hopes they have a happy and healthy one! Check out our “Summer Survival Guide” to make sure they stay safe this season.