Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

Summer Jobs & Volunteer Opportunities for Teenagers

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It may only be April, but it’s never too early to start thinking about summer. Thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic, 45 states in the country have closed all of their schools, and many of them plan to remain closed for the rest of the scheduled school year. That doesn’t mean summer vacation starts early, thanks to efforts like online learning and homeschooling, but it can give teenagers who have a bit of extra time the chance to start looking at jobs or volunteer opportunities for the summer.

It’s never too early for teens to start a job search. If the current COVID-19 pandemic has placed you out of work (along with the over 10 million Americans who have filed for unemployment in recent weeks), you might also consider looking for ways to increase your learning potential, like selling online or writing. If your teenager sees the impact this virus has caused and they’re eager to do their part, they might want to start searching for job opportunities, too.

You were a teenager once, and you likely understand just how overwhelming finding that first job or volunteer opportunity can be! So, help your teenager out, especially as we’re going through such trying times. Encourage them to be a neighborhood helper this summer to people who might need it most, or to get a job that allows them to feel fulfilled with their choices.

How Teens Can Prepare for a Job Search

If you’ve ever had to look for a job before, you know there are steps to follow, including:

  • Starting a basic job search (online, in the newspaper, etc.)
  • Building a resume
  • Reaching out to connections
  • Applying to positions you’re interested in

Things might be a bit different for a teenager, especially if they don’t have any prior work experience. They might also be resistant if they feel they won’t be able to get a job due to discrimination. In a survey given by, it was discovered that 20% of respondents believed their employers had a negative attitude when it came to hiring LGBT employees.

While that statistic reflects full-time employees, it shows how important it is for the LGBT youth in this country to feel comfortable working or volunteering in different environments.

Feelings of isolation can be difficult for anyone, and during this time of social distancing, we’re all realizing that more than ever. But it can be even more difficult for teens in the LGBT community who might struggle with family members that don’t agree with or approve of their lifestyle. Unfortunately, finding a job isn’t always easy for them, either. Things like harassment and discrimination aren’t uncommon in the workplace for the LGBT community, even for young people.

Encouragement and support are important, whether your teen is worried about working for the first time or worried about fitting in. They can still start by looking for open jobs that interest them within the community. Some of the most common job industries for high school students include:

  • Foodservice
  • Retail
  • Recreation/entertainment
  • Child care

One of the best things a teenager can do when considering a summer job is to think about how it might help them to prepare and plan for the future. Any job or volunteer work can be used on a resume and can help to develop connections both in the community and beyond. It’s a great way for your teen to start networking before they even graduate high school.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, certain industries are in desperate need of employees. Many of these industries are the ones that typically hire high school students, like retail and foodservice. Walmart, for example, will be hiring 150,000 associates for temporary, part-time, and full-time positions. Since people can’t currently go out and eat at restaurants, food delivery services are in high demand, too, including UberEats and Door Dash. Both are great options for teens with no experience. You can set your own schedule, and you don’t even need a car if you can deliver food locally on your bicycle.

Working and Volunteering in the Community

During these uncertain times, volunteering locally can be more impactful than ever. If your teen is struggling to find a job, volunteering is a great way to give back while making new connections and developing new skills. Thankfully, there are multiple ways to give back on an individual basis or to do something bigger for the community.

If your teen is interested in child care but hasn’t been able to find a job, why not encourage them to sponsor a child through a local school program? Or, have them volunteer at a local gym or recreational center for kids? If your teen is a part of the LGBT community or knows someone who is, they might be able to volunteer at a local support center for others within that community, especially other teens who might be feeling isolated and alone. Now, more than ever, it’s time to bring connections closer together and focus on being kinder, more accepting individuals in the workplace and beyond.

If your teen has an interest in what’s going on in the world, they can put their curiosity to good use by becoming a volunteer photographer for a local paper or blog. Volunteering as a photographer for community events, charity work, or animal shelters in the community is a great way to gain experience and show off work so it’s easier to get hired later on. If your teen wants to print their photos, even if they’re stuck at home, they can use resources like the cloud or a photo-sharing account to bring their art to life.

Your Teen Can Make a Difference in Whatever They Do

The job hunt can be overwhelming for any teenager, so it’s okay to be there to support them and answer any questions they might have along the way.

Encouraging your teen to focus on getting a job or doing something good for their community this summer can help you both to find some comfort and normalcy in these otherwise uncertain times. So, while it may feel like summer will never get here, now is the perfect time to talk with your teenager about ways they can make a difference. The jobs and volunteer opportunities they take advantage of now can help them to learn skills they can use in other careers for the rest of their lives.

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Integrated Family Community Services is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

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