Healthy Kids YMCA Volunteers

How to make the most out of your summer volunteer experience

Girls doing crafts

With the summer fast approaching, many students are eagerly anticipating the end of the school year. It’s an exciting time at the Y, too, because it means we will soon welcome a large number of students who will dedicate their summer to helping others. Volunteering is a perfect way to develop new skills, strengthen existing skills, and build connections to help take that extra step forward to achieving your dream job. The summer and your volunteer role will go by fast, so it is important to make the most out of your limited time to volunteer!

Below are some tips to make the most out of your summer, and future volunteer experience:

  • Pick the right volunteer role: Start off by thinking about what you want to get out of your volunteering experience. Do you want to learn something new? Do you want to build on your experience? In terms of your educational background and future career goals, what will you need to reach those goals?
  • Pick the right organization: Different organizations have different focuses. The YMCA of Greater Toronto’s focus, across its many programs and services, is on taking a holistic approach to community health. It is important to pick an organization that has a focus that aligns with your volunteer needs.
  • Cater the role to your needs: Usually, volunteer roles will have specific corresponding tasks. Once you are comfortable with your role, though, don’t be afraid to ask to learn new things! It is important to challenge yourself and learn as much as you can — especially if you are only volunteering for a short time over the summer. Your program’s volunteer coordinator will appreciate your willingness to learn and you will be able to make the most of your volunteer experience.

Most importantly, remember that many summer volunteer opportunities don’t have to end when the new school year begins in September. If your placement is close to where you live, and you have time, you can always work out your availability with your coordinator to correspond with your school schedule. Have a great summer!