In July 2016, ACM enthusiastically decided to bring Youth Volunteers on board! Since then, our youngest volunteer to date has been Billy, pictured above. He’s 9 years old and joins his grandfather Bill for shifts as a Collection Monitor or as a Photo Booth Attendant.
How does the Youth Volunteer program work? It depends on their age. Volunteers under 16 years of age are paired up with an adult volunteer. As a matter of fact, many of our pairs have been volunteers bringing their own grandchildren with them! This is a fantastic opportunity for the grandparent to spend quality time with their grandchild, not to mention the chance to share their love for the automobile and years of knowledge with an eager youngster. It is also an excellent chance for young people to learn more about cars, hear stories, discover memories and explore philanthropy through helping a non-profit organization.
While volunteers under 18 do have some restrictions in what they are able to do, there are still several great volunteer positions they can choose from. Volunteers who are 16 and older are able to enjoy more freedom to roam unaccompanied during their Museum tasks while also gaining valuable customer service skills.
What are the other benefits of becoming a youth volunteer? Molly Latham, Area Extension Specialist at University of Nevada – Reno says, “Youth who volunteer just one hour or more per week are 50% less likely to abuse alcohol, cigarettes, become pregnant or engage in other destructive behavior.” As if that wasn’t compelling enough, Latham also divulges that teens themselves report benefits such as: “Learning to respect others; learning to be helpful and kind; learning to understand people who are different; developing leadership skills, becoming more patient and discovering a better understanding of citizenship.”
Those are just the immediate benefits to youth who volunteer! Long term, young people benefit from volunteering because as adults, they are more likely to have a strong work ethic, be more likely to volunteer and give to charitable organizations. These valuable skills translate into a society that’s better for everyone.
As you can see, for Youth Volunteers, ACM and the community, volunteering is a win-win…win! If you would like to learn more about becoming (or bringing!) a Youth Volunteer, click here to learn more or contact the Volunteer Coordinator at [email protected].