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Leon County Volunteer Center invites teens to focus on helping others this summer

Helping others can keep teens out of trouble
Posted at 5:43 PM, Jun 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-20 17:44:09-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Minors getting arrested for serious crimes is a problem that recently seems to have gotten worse in Tallahassee.

With summer officially starting Friday and kids are out of school, how can we keep youth off the streets and out of trouble?

The Leon County Volunteer Center has the answer. Lately, the center has seen an increase in kids who want to volunteer.

Many teens want to volunteer to get Bright Futures Scholarship hours in. Others just want to give back, get work experience, and make new friends. As a way to spend your summer, it's win-win and, of course, it's hard to get into trouble when you are busy helping others.

Find something that you are interested in. That's the first piece of advice Jeri Bush of the Leon County Volunteer Center has for kids hoping to volunteer this summer. She says there are plenty of opportunities available.

"Disaster related activities. There are special events they can sign up for. The museums, the parks," said Bush. "There are a lot of things that these kids can do."

The Center's Youth Volunteer referral system connects young people with opportunities to serve that are age appropriate, whether youngsters are 12, 18 or anywhere in-between.

"My advice to them is to look on the website, research the organization that they are interested in volunteering, what is the criteria, what age will they take you at?" said Bush. "What is the criteria?"

If the organization has any opportunities available, they will call you for an interview, just like a job. It's a great way to prepare for the working world.

"Working with different organizations you have different abilities, you know how to do different things so when you go into the real world you are already built up," said Jacquiem Rutherford, a participant in the Summer Youth Program.

There are more than 300 organizations that partner with the center which translates into hundreds of ways for local youth to make a difference.

"It's just a healthy environment to be in - it's a second look at what's out there," said Bush. "There's always someone out there that needs a helping hand and you could help."

For more information about how to volunteer at the Leon County Volunteer Center, click here.