Volunteering for High School Youth!
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List of Youth Related Funding Opportunities
Youth Opportunities Fund, Ontario Trillum Foundation: http://www.otf.ca/yof
Youth in Action Grant, United Way of Peel Region: http://www.unitedwaypeel.org/our-work/investment-strategy/youth-in-action-grants
If you are a funder and would like to list here your funding opportunity for the benefit of youth across the Peel region, please email your details to Shaminda Perera, Manager of Community Enagement at sperera [at] volunteermbc.org
Frequently Asked Questions
Q) Why should I volunteer? Why is volunteering important? | A) If you are passionate about something and would like to be involved with it, volunteering could be a way to get involved. Volunteering is a great way for youth to gain awareness about social issues currently impacting their neighbourhood. At the same time, skills based volunteering helps you with valuable experience to build your resume, apply for scholarships, develop soft skills considered essential for future employment opportunities as well as to obtain a valuable PREB Ontario certificate. In addition, Ontario Ministry of Education have made it mandatory that high school students complete 40 hours of community involvement to be eligible for the Ontario Secondary School Diploma.
Q) Where can I volunteer? | A) To be eligible for the high school diploma, volunteering is about giving back to your community and building the capacity of the community. Therfore, largely volunteering activities should be at a not-for-profit and charitable organization that provide essential services in the community. Both, the Peel District School Board (PDSB) and the Duffering Peel Catholic District School Board (DPCDSB) changed the term from "Volunteer Hours" to "Community Involvement Hours" to highlight this distinction. Check the information material provided by your school board or inquire from your guidance counsellor to identify what is an eligible volunteer activity.
Example 1: Offering your time, effort, and skills voluntarily to a for-profit organization is not an eligible volunteer opportunity.
Example 2: Even though the Mississauga Marathon is organized and coordinated by a for-profit organization, the marathon is an entity of its own executed as a charitable initiative. The marathon is a fundraising initiative to support the not-for-profit organizations and charities. Therefore, volunteering to support the marathon is considered volunteering.
Example 3: Volunteering as a customer service representative at a local not-for-profit thrift shop is considered volunteering. However, volunteering at a thrift shop that is a for-profit organization will not be considered eligible.
Please feel free to contact Volunbteer MBC if you have any question or need any further clarification. Phone: (905) 238-2622; Email: sperera [at] volunteermbc.org
Q) How old do you have to be to volunteer? | A) You need to be at least 13 years of age to volunteer without parental supervision. All you need to do is register on Volunteer MBC’s website – create a volunteer profile and look for a volunteer opportunity that matches your interest from the ones that are posted on the website.
Q) I am in Grade 8, can I still volunteer? | A) Anyone can volunteer in the community as long as you are able to carry out the duties as described. When you volunteer you will be awarded your volunteers hours. However, what you may also want to consider is that only the volunteer hours earned after the Grade 8 graduation will be eligible for the high school diploma requirement.
Q) How are my volunteer hours tracked when volunteering with Volunteer MBC? | A) Every time you volunteer, whether it means that you attended a youth meeting, volunteered at an event, or you worked in an office environment, you will sign in on the sign in sheet (or online system), which tracks your volunteer hours. At Volunteer MBC, we have an online system: Charity Republic Volunteer Management System which tracks the hours of every volunteer with Volunteer MBC.
Q) I am a Step Up Youth Volunteer Ambassador, when do I receive my volunteer hours? | A) You receive all your hours during the SUYVA turnover ceremony for all the campaigns/events that you have organized/participated in. Not only that, you can also earn awards and medals for contributing a significant amount of hours to different campaigns.
Q) What is the Youth LEaD program? | A) The Youth Leadership Education and Development (Youth LEaD) program is a learning series offered exclusively to the high school students in Peel region. It provides ladership skills while also reciving the skills in project planning, volunteer engagement, and service excellence. please visit www.volunteermbc.org/YouthLEaD for more information.
Q) How is the Step Up Ambassadors program different from the Youth LEaD program? | A) Youth LEaD is a structured learning program offerred to a specific program schedule. The learning activities are spreaded across 4 months, commenicng during the first quarter of a year. All students in Peel region are welcome to register on a first come first serve basis. Step Up Ambassadors are Volunteer MBC's youth ambassador group who spearheads the youth programming promotion and execution. You need to be a member of the group and it requires a minimum of 1 acedemic year's commitment.
Q) How will volunteering help me to get employed? | A) Volunteer experience can help bridge the employment gap, it can also help to get useful Canadian experience for internationally trained professionals. Volunteering helps to build the resume for new graduates and create networking opportunities within the industry. Volunteering is certainly not an alternate to employment, it complements your employment search activities.
Q) How much time would I need to commit to volunteering alongside school work? | A) That depends on your preference and the kind of volunteer activity. Importantly, it also depends on how much is manageable by the volunteer.
Q) How will I find these opportunities in university/college? | A) In Peel region, the best place to search for a volunteer opprtunity is through Volunteer MBC's referral service. In addition, you can learn about volunteering opportunities through social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can also subscribe to Volunteer MBC’s E-newsletter to learn about new volunteering opportunities in Peel.