Many teens in Pearl River have to do some sort of volunteer activity as a requirement for either religious studies or for their high school diploma.
While it is a “have-to” in many cases, volunteering can be a rewarding and fulfilling practice on the part of the volunteer as well as the organization being served. Volunteering experiences can help change the direction or help bring into focus what teens want to do when they grow up.
Volunteering can also help enhance a resume especially for teens under the age of 16. When they finally do apply for a job, volunteer experience will weigh heavily in their favor.
Here are some thoughts and experiences from Sarah Bertussi, one of the teen volunteers, part of the Teen Library Council and Jr. Friends Group at the Pearl River Public Library.
Why Volunteer at the Library?
“I used to come here when I was little for the Summer Reading Program with Mrs. Gunning. I saw all the older kids and thought it looked like fun.”
Do you know of any other opportunities in Pearl River that you might want to volunteer for?
“For the service hours that I have to fulfill I have to volunteer in three locations. I have done Pancake Breakfasts, The Recycling Club and here at the Library.”
Which did you enjoy the most?
“Here and with the Recycling Club. Both have been great experiences.”
What are some of the things you do while you volunteer at the Library?
“I am part of the Teen Library Council, helping the teen librarian make collection development and programming decisions, and Teen Tech Tutors, helping older adults understand how to work their new technologies. I have also helped Ms. Gunning with some of her programs like the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, where the kids came and saw the movie and then we helped them with the craft after.
But I really like Homework Help, tutoring younger kids with their homework and studying. One time a girl came in with a math problem involving baseball cards. I was able to help her understand how to work out the problem using some index cards I had. In the end we worked it out, she was really happy and so was I.”
Do you think your volunteer experience here has helped with what you want to do with your life?
"I am not sure yet. I am thinking about teaching, but I also like the mechanical drawing class I’m in, so maybe engineering. Right now it’s just fun to volunteer and work with the little kids.”
If you are entering 7-12 grade this fall and live in the Pearl River School District area, you too can become a volunteer! For more information visit us at pearlriverlibrary.org or contact us at 735-4084.