Share computer skills with a family member or blog for a local nonprofit. Opportunities are always available for teenagers who want to improve their communities and get a boost for themselves along the way. These types of activities offer gratification for the teens involved, but they can also pave the way to a rosier future.
According to a 2012 survey published by DoSomething.org, teens who volunteer are happier, do better in school and feel more involved in their communities than teens who don't. In addition, volunteering can open doors in the form of scholarships and practical work experience. In a separate survey published in 2008, researchers at Do Something talked with the admissions officers at top colleges across the country and asked them whether volunteer service influenced college acceptance. Results indicated it was a strong factor, coming in fourth behind grade point average, tests scores and extracurricular activities.
Become a Mentor
Every neighborhood has that one child who needs a friend. Although teens are technically too young to volunteer in the Big Brother/Big Sister program, that doesn't mean they can't help a neighbor in need. Mentoring encompasses a spectrum of activities: assisting the child next door with his homework, helping an older family member hone his computer skills or lending a receptive ear to a younger sibling. Mentoring can be as gratifying for the teen who mentors as it is to the person he helps.
Get a Part-time Job
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 14 is the minimum age for a teen to legally begin working in the U.S., but the types of jobs for this age group are limited to informal employment, including babysitting or helping with chores around the neighborhood. Formal employment opportunities start at age 16, with the options typically consisting of food service or retail-related occupations. Teens with good grades might try applying for tutoring positions, while those with computer skills might advertise to help those without such skills.
Develop a Hobby
Most teenagers have activities they enjoy doing in their free time such as playing video games, social networking or blogging. Downtime is the perfect time to develop that hobby into a skill. By researching all the information he can find on his particular interest, a teen can become an expert in the field. Becoming well-versed on some hobbies, especially those that require Internet and networking skills, can help a teen brighten his future job opportunities.
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