Teens Give. Teens Receive.
Teenagers in Napa County give back to our community in a variety of unique ways. Through local organizations and school service clubs, as well as community events focused specifically on volunteering, more and more teens are happily jumping in to projects that help others; including those that benefit children, seniors, animals and the environment. Volunteering is contagious, and the bug is trickling down to our elementary school children.
There are many benefits that come from giving back. Youth that volunteer gain new perspectives of our community and world, develop interpersonal skills, learn empathy and compassion, improve confidence and self esteem, and strengthen critical thinking and problem-solving skills. While volunteering, teens can explore potential careers. Service hours also look great on college and job applications.
And the best bonus of all – teens who volunteer make a big difference in the lives of others. Many of our teens feel that they “get” more than they “give” when involved in service projects.
“While volunteering has given me the opportunity to get involved in our community and meet new people, it has also allowed me to have compassion for others and understand the diversity of our community and world,” says Bailey Stone, a junior at Vintage High School who co-founded school-based service clubs The Thirst Project and Empowered Teens.
Jazmin Lopez, a 2017 graduate of Independent Studies and currently a freshman at Napa Valley College, has volunteered in numerous activities over the past year; including assembling care packages for deployed troops with Operation with Love from Home, distributing new shoes and coats to women at the Veterans Home in Yountville, and serving our hungry neighbors at The Table. She says, “Volunteering brings me so much joy because I know that I’m helping make a difference and a change for the better. It’s great if I am even able to help one person and make a positive impact in that person’s life.”
This spring, Teens Connect launched a database of volunteer opportunities on the Center for Volunteer & Nonprofit Leadership website, with the help of a Leadership Napa Valley - Class 31 practicum group. There are nearly 50 opportunities currently listed on the site, with more being added weekly.
Here are some of the fun projects available:
Trail Configuration at Westwood Hills Park: Reading Mentors at Elementary Schools: Puppy Parent Training for PTSD Veterans : Bike Rodeo Support: Story Time Reader at Farmer’s Market: Museum Gallery Volunteer at di Rosa: Life Coach Volunteer for Girls on the Run: Garden Assistant at Connolly Ranch: Sign Artists at Connolly Ranch: Admin Support for Napa Soccer.
To find a full list of teen volunteer opportunities online:
Go to cvnl.galaxydigital.com.
Click on Teens Connect and filter for Napa County.
Find something you like - click on Sign Me Up.
Research shows that teens who engage in community service are more responsible and have higher self-esteem and resilience. It’s crucial that our teens find activities that provide them with life skills as well as have a positive emotional impact. Volunteering is a win-win activity that has both tangible and intangible benefits.