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Celebrating Volunteer Week: How Middle School Students Benefit from Giving Back

This week kicks off National Volunteer Week, and on this #Middleschoolmonday we'd like to recognize and celebrate individuals who selflessly volunteer their time, platforms, resources, and abilities to help others and their communities. 

This year marks National Volunteer Week's 50th anniversary, which has grown tremendously with the recognition of countless projects, leaders, and special events planned throughout the week. Meaningful service and community improvement would be almost impossible or less efficient without volunteers.

Since volunteering costs us our time, which we will never get back, it is one of the most valuable and selfless things you can model for and teach middle schoolers. Furthermore, serving others demonstrates care not only for yourself but also for those around you. And giving your time and service to those in need is always time well spent. Volunteering benefits people of all ages and can be especially beneficial for middle schoolers.

Here's why:

Black Girl College Prep: Celebrating Volunteer Week: How Middle School Students Benefit from Giving Back

Through volunteering, students can develop empathy and compassion. This exposes younger students to other viewpoints and issues experienced by those in their community and the world around them. Empathy is one of the most important character traits that is missing among many Gen-Z students in this day and age. Exposing more students to empathetic concepts and encouraging them to practice empathy could significantly reduce many social issues they face, including bullying, peer pressure, racism, and other cultural issues.


Volunteering is a conduit for compassion and offers the space to step outside yourself. By helping others in need, students can acquire empathy and compassion, ultimately leading to a better understanding of themselves and their surroundings.

Students can boost their confidence and self-esteem by volunteering at the middle school level. At this age, learning the importance of taking responsibility for their actions and contributing to the greater good helps with college and career readiness. Developing a sense of civic duty and realizing that even small acts of kindness can greatly impact others helps steer students in a positive direction.  

Volunteering also reinforces the power of having a voice and using it by taking action. Taking on new responsibilities and helping others while contributing to worthwhile causes allows students to witness the positive impacts of their actions. Consequently, their confidence and self-esteem will grow, allowing them to show up more authentically and tackle challenges inside and outside the classroom.

Volunteering allows students to explore while learning new skills, which helps with career exploration and high school preparation. Middle schoolers can explore their interests and passions by serving in different areas, which exposes them to a variety of causes and activities. Whether it's working with animals, helping the homeless, or protecting the environment, volunteering provides opportunities for students to discover what they're passionate about and how they can make a difference.

Encourage your middle schooler to select serving opportunities that are best aligned with their passions as well. Find out what they've learned, and inquire if they can see themselves working in those service fields. Even if it's not something they're willing to consider, they can still develop various soft skills like communication, teamwork, problem-solving, and leadership. These practical skills are invaluable for personal growth and future success in school, career, and life.

Volunteering allows students to network and connect with their communities. Getting involved with and learning more about their neighborhood can provide middle school children with a sense of belonging, pride, and connection to their surroundings. Students will have the chance to build meaningful relationships with fellow volunteers, mentors, and community members, expanding their social networks and support systems. Parents, the more invested your learner is, the more support you'll have come high school graduation time. Intentionally positioning your students encourages them to gain a deeper appreciation for the people and places that make up their community. If students start to build roots now with various organizations and individuals, they never know how this can help them garner recommendation letters, summer jobs, and even future scholarship support.

As we celebrate Volunteer Week, let's encourage our middle school students to get involved and experience the many benefits of giving back. Whether it's through school-based initiatives, local nonprofits, or virtual volunteering opportunities, every act of service makes a difference. Sign you and your student up for a project this week and, if not, this week before the month ends. is a great place to find something near your address.


Coach Rahk


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