How to Find an Ethical Volunteer Project
By Julia Levine Rogers
Volunteering – both internationally and domestically – is one of the most popular gap year activities. Many gap year students choose to volunteer for at least part of their gap year.
It’s admirable that so many students want to give back. Volunteering is an amazing opportunity to immerse yourself in a different culture, learn a language and broaden your horizons. But not all volunteer programs are created equal. It’s important that you do the homework to find a socially responsible organization in order to maximize the positive impact you’ll have on the community you serve.
My Gap Year Story
When was the last time your parents or someone at school came to you and said "you should take time off school and take a Gap Year?" If you're like me, then chances are probably not! But taking a Gap Year may be the best year of your life.
My name's Jake, I'm 19 and after I graduated American high school, I took a Gap Year. I wasn't sure exactly what I wanted to do in college. So I went to a cultural immersion program in Jerusalem. I traveled to Egypt and took scuba diving lessons in the Red Sea. Then I went to Canada and became a ski instructor. After that I went to New York City and became a bartender. And as of now, I'm in Europe touring around with some British mates that I met on my ski instructor course. Sound good? It's been awesome!
The following story was contributed to Planet Gap Year by Holly Bull, a Gap Year Consultant and President of The Center for Interim Programs in Princeton, New Jersey. Interim is a service that enables one to pursue structured alternatives to formal education or work by matching interests with over 5,000 internships, volunteer positions, apprenticeships, cultural study programs, etc. worldwide. This "time on" can provide new direction, sharpen hazy career goals, rejuvenate those on the verge of burnout, and offer a much-needed break to students between high school and college, or in college.
A friend recently asked me what was the difference between AmeriCorps’ Vista and AmeriCorps NCCC programs? I had a hard time explaining so I decided to check out the AmeriCorps website Here’s what I found out: