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Volunteer Programs in Memphis for Teens

author image Dixie Parnell
An elementary educator for the past 18 years, Dixie Parnell has taught in both the public and private sectors. She earned a Bachelor of Science in elementary education from the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga and a Master of Arts in education from Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Prior to entering the teaching field, Parnell worked at Hamilton County Juvenile Court and served on the foster care review board.
Volunteer Programs in Memphis for Teens
Memphis teens have a variety of volunteer options. Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Memphis, Tennessee is a vibrant city with a flair for music and zesty cuisine. Just as diverse as the city itself are the volunteer opportunities available for Memphis teens. Whatever their interests, Memphis teens can find programs in which to pursue them and gain beneficial life experience. Whether your teen is looking for volunteer programs during the summer months or year round, she can find information and training to help make her volunteer ventures successful.

The Local Library

According to the Memphis Public Library website, there are a variety of opportunities open to teens who volunteer at one of the library's more than 20 locations. Those 14 and older can choose to work during the summer, as well as throughout the school year. Twelve- and 13-year-olds can volunteer during the summer months for the library's Summer Reading Program. Teens may engage in a wide assortment of activities, including assisting library patrons, shelving books and office-related functions. Training programs are offered by the library and are oriented to specific jobs. The Memphis Public Library also offers free book checkout and special events for their volunteers.

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Future Health Care Workers

Among the volunteer programs for Memphis teens interested in the health care industry are the summer programs at both St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and LeBonheur Children's Hospital. The St. Jude Children's Research Hospital website outlines the requirements for teens hoping to volunteer in one of the two summer sessions. An application, essay and references are required of teens ages 16 to 18. Teens ages 15 to 18 learn about health care careers, as well as provide valuable services to patients such as filling water bottles and interacting with young patients in the children's ward. Their summer teen program, called VolunTEENS, also requires an application, letters of recommendation and an essay. Other volunteer opportunities available to Memphis teens at LeBonheur Children's Hospital include special events and group volunteering with two or three other teens. Both hospitals offer training and orientation programs before teens begin volunteering.

Learn While You Work

Teens who enjoy animals of all species may find volunteering at the Memphis Zoo interesting as well as educational. Special event volunteers have a vast number of opportunities from which to select. Volunteers ages 14 and 15 are required to have a parent or guardian volunteer with them, according to the Memphis Zoo website. Other zoo opportunities for teens include working directly with the zoo horticulturist, helping prepare food for the animals, working with the domestic animals, collecting tickets and working in the gift shop. All volunteers attend an information session to make them aware of the opportunities available and an orientation session to prepare them for the position they choose.

Opportunities Abound

Volunteer Mid-South offers numerous volunteer opportunities for teens from Memphis and throughout Shelby County. According to its website, the 2013 Teen Summer Volunteer Fair provided more than 250 teen volunteers to 24 different nonprofit agencies. They also offer opportunities throughout the year for teens and their families to work together to help their communities, including a number of monthly volunteer projects that aid local nonprofits. Volunteer Mid-South offers a wealth of volunteer opportunities along with the training to ensure success and sense of self-satisfaction for a job well-done.

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