Volunteering is more than something you do in school to make your resume look amazing. For me, volunteering led me to my dream job. I started volunteering in high school and I haven’t stopped since. The experience I gained led to my current job at Autism Speaks. I have a few cousins on the spectrum so this organization has always meant a lot to me. When I started volunteering with Autism Speaks, I knew that in a small way, I was helping my cousins and others with autism.
If you’re looking for a fulfilling experience and the opportunity to work in the nonprofit field after graduation, volunteering is an amazing way to start. Here’s how it helped me.
Getting Leadership Opportunities
If you’re still in high school and looking for the perfect way to support your community, check out your local Key Club. Students in Key Club (a part of Kiwanis International) plan service projects and fundraisers to give back to their community. There are lots of amazing leadership opportunities. It’s an organization that you can start working with in high school and continue with long after.
Being Passionate About My Work
Heartillery Group is a military nonprofit that I discovered through my alma mater Manhattan College. I have a cousin who served five years in the Marine Corps so being involved with this organization means a lot to me. Having the opportunity to put together care packages with Heartillery helps me honor my cousins and other brave men and women.
Learning About Different Causes
Sometimes one of the best ways to get involved is by talking to your friends who are already volunteering. One of my best friends works for Chiari & Syringomyelia Foundation (CSF) and since we’re both in the nonprofit field, getting involved has been a great way to support each other and an amazing cause. The best way to research different opportunities is to talk to friends, go to campus events and explore your options online. You never know what causes exist until you do your homework — and then you can find something you’re truly inspired by.