Monday, April 30, 2012

Get A Taste of Your Career by Volunteering

I bet you need the hours, and probably have little plans this summer. Perfect. These hours are needed for graduation, and even more are required for those looking to gain community service-related scholarships and awards.

Some of you may even already have a good idea of what you will do in the future career-wise. So why not mix both? Here are some career-related places and opportunities who welcome volunteers:

1. Hospitals
      -This is by far the place that is most varied in volunteering options. And it's perfect for those seeking medical careers since you can get familiarized with how it would be like to work in a hospital. You have the choice of department to work in, and you schedule the days of the week you choose to help out. Departments include: Maternity, ER, Nurses Stations, Information Desk, and Discharge Lounge. Recommended hospitals: Memorial Hospital West, and Memorial Hospital Miramar. Personally go to the front desk to acquire more information on volunteering at that specific hospital (some hospitals have waiting lists, so fill out an application well before you plan to actually start volunteering).

2. Cultural Art Centers / Performing Centers
      -This one is for you performers, directors, costume designers, set designers, etc. out there. By serving as ushers during performances you get to stay for the show and enjoy the spectacle. You will get to see plays, concerts, art shows, and much more all while gaining volunteer hours when you help out the visitors get to where they need to go. Recommended cultural art and performing centers: Miramar Cultural Center, and Broward Center for the Performing Arts.

3. Museums
      -Historians anywhere? History is something learned with time and dedication, it is not a skill. So it'd be a great opportunity to surround yourself with a great opportunity to gain knowledge for your career and to obtain your volunteer hours at the same time. You can listen in to tour guides when they pass by or when you are helping them with large groups. Volunteering here would let you direct visitors to specific exhibits, maybe guide a tour, and watch over the artifacts so they aren't accidentally ruined by careless visitors. Recommended museums: Young at Art children's Art Museum, and Museum Of Discovery and Science/IMAX Theatre.

4. Schools
      -Seeking a job in education or child services? Schools are a great way to get closer to that. You might end up assisting a teacher with lesson plans after school or on teacher planning days, letting you learn more about the responsibilities of an educator and the hard work that needs to be done when they aren't teaching during the school day. Even helping out in the office helps. Recommended schools: Somerset Academy Central, Somerset Academy Chapel Trail, Somerset Academy Miramar, Coral Cove Elementary, Coconut Palm Elementary, and Dolphin Bay Elementary.

5. Animal Fostering
      -Animal lovers will love this one. Anyone who wants to work with animals will be excited to get to be a part of this magnificent opportunity. Not only do you get to take care of an animal (usually cats or dogs), but you get to take them home until someone adopts them. You may foster an animal for weeks or months, or however long it takes for them to find a more permanent home. Recommended organizations to contact for animal fostering opportunities: Adopt a Stray.

6. Farms / Ranches
      -Another opportunity for those who want to care for animals. This is a chance to be around bigger animals such as horses, not just cats and dogs. You can set up when you want to help on a flexible schedule and you might even get a chance to get some free horse riding lessons after your help when there is some free time. Recommended farm/ranch: HAPPI Farm.

7. Animal Shelters
      -Yet another animal caring opportunity. This one lets you come in to help care for stray and abused cats and dogs. Many shelters have many volunteer requests though, so they might only let you help for a few weeks at a time to let all their applicants have a chance to spend time caring for the animals. Recommended animal shelters: Broward Humane Society, and Miami Dade Humane Society.

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