Recently I had the opportunity to do a few hours of volunteering with Bright Minds Youth Development (BYMD) in my community. Bright Minds is an amazing organization that provides summer camp and after school programs to children and youth from 5 – 21 years of age. Organizations such as BMYD is a great source of volunteer opportunities for teens!
My mom and I first met Jacqueline Kee, President and Chief Executive Officer of BMYD, at the Mad City Money event I attended with 121 Financial Credit Union. She told me a little bit about the organization and then later contacted me about teaching a personal finance class to a group of students during their summer camp.
This group of kids was a little bit younger than the other groups I have taught. Most of them were between 11 and 13 years old. I knew that I would be speaking on the importance of saving money and explaining how the envelope system works. I decided that I would not change the class at all, even though the kids were several years younger than those in the previous classes I have led.
It turned out to be a good call as these kids were SMART and already knew a lot about saving up for the things they want in life. They didn’t have any trouble understanding the envelope system at all. BMYD had plenty of envelopes for everyone and I helped each student come up with a workable system with their envelopes which they took home with them.
We also talked about the many ways that kids their age can earn extra money. Most of the girls and boys are already working hard by doing chores and other odd jobs to earn extra money. I was very impressed! One of the girls even cleans her grandmothers house just like me.
Volunteering in your community is really important to do especially when you are still a teen. First of all it’s a great way to serve others and learn to give to other people instead of always being self centered. It is also required for Bright Futures Scholarships here in Florida and in many other states. Other college scholarships require a certain number of community volunteer hours as well.
BMYD has an incredible student leadership model for volunteering that Jacquie told me about the day that I went and taught the class. There are a number of camp counselors who are high school students with BMYD. If they volunteer one summer and do a REALLY good job then Jacquie will consider them for a paid position the next summer. These high school students have real responsibilities and work very hard with the kids to make camp fun and a great learning experience.
If you look hard enough I’m sure you will find the same type of organization in your own local community. You can gain those needed volunteer hours, get great leadership experience and give back something positive to the kids in your town.
Mike, who normally writes about getting great deals on tech, has also written about his experiences with an organization where he volunteers and you can read about it HERE.
What do you do to earn volunteer hours?
Many thanks to 121 Financial Credit Union for sponsoring a give-away whenever I go into the community to teach teens about personal finance. You can check out their Facebook page HERE – they really are the best sponsor ever and are currently featuring me on their Facebook page.