Monthly Archives: May 2014

20 Skills You Learn Volunteering to Help You Get a Job

Posted by Youth Volunteer Corps on

Skills You Learn Volunteering that Can Help You Get a Job

You knew that your volunteer experience looks great on college and scholarship applications, but did you know that it can also help you land a summer job?

Here are 20 skills you learn when volunteering with Youth Volunteer Corps that will help you get your first job and be successful in that position:

1. Timeliness

YVC projects start at a defined time. If you’re not there at the beginning, you’re letting your team down. Same thing in the workplace, with even more at stake!

2. Ability to work with a variety of managers

Did you notice that some Team Leaders ran projects a little differently than others? It might have been that they had different management styles. You’ll find that you need to be comfortable working with a variety of management styles in the workplace.

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3. Time-Management

At a thrift store project, your Team Leader instructs you that you need to help customers when they need help, sort new shoe donations and sweep the back room. You prioritize and figure out the best way to accomplish those tasks within the project time. We bet you’ve had a situation like that on a YVC project!

4. Leadership

Did you ever rise above and help lead a group of youth on a project? What about just showing others how to do a certain part of the task? Those are your leadership skills at work!

Hampton Roads, Oct. 2011 (10)_cropped

5. Communication skills when talking to people of all ages

Did you work with children at YVC? What about seniors? If so, we hope you’re more comfortable interacting with people of other ages than you might have been before YVC.

6. Professionalism

When you serve on a YVC project, you represent YVC to the community, requiring you to be professional and courteous.

7. Teamwork

Every YVC project involves working as a team in some size, so after a few YVC projects, you’ll have developed your skills in working with all kinds of teams.

8. Ability to work with people different from you

Did you meet people from another part of town? Did you work with youth with different interests from you?

9. Work Ethic

You knew this would be part of this list, right? If you can spend an afternoon spreading bark mulch on a 100-degree day, that shows a lot about your dedication and work ethic!

10. Customer Service

Did you interact with people coming through to get a meal at the soup kitchen? Did you interact with customers at a thrift store? What about greeting hello to hikers on a nature trail you were mulching? Every time you were in a situation like this, you were representing both the agency you were serving and YVC. This is great customer service experience!

11. Confidence

Did you have to step outside your comfort zone on a YVC project? It might have been scary at the time, but in the process you became more confident.

12. Public relations

Did you ever have to explain what YVC was to agency staff, other volunteers at the agency or even your friends? You were representing YVC and being a public relations expert for us!

13. Teachability

Did you learn a new skill on a YVC project—anything from how to plant onions to how to remove a nail from a board? Someone probably taught you this skill, and you were receptive to what they were telling you, an important ability in the workforce.

Kansas City - Summer 2012 - Jim Oldham (48)14. Organization

All kinds of YVC projects involve organizing, from sorting cans at a food pantry to reorganizing a supply closet in the animal shelter.

15. Following Instructions

At the beginning of the project, your Team Leader and the agency contact give you instructions on your responsibilities. Staying on track and following their guidance is an important thing to learn.

16. Flexibility

Not everything goes according to planned on YVC projects. You need to adapt and be prepared for whatever might come your way on any given project.

17. Problem-Solving

Sometimes it seems like there’s no way you’ll be able to accomplish a project from start to finish. Then you think it over some more, talk with your team and just start tackling the project. Before you know it, you’re done.

18. Planning

Not only did you have to plan ahead when you signed up for your YVC project, but you also probably had to plan your tasks for the day to ensure that the entire project was successful.

19. Creativity

YVC projects offer all kinds of ways to think creatively, from helping kids with an art project to acting out a play at a retirement home.

20. Training

Did you ever teach other youth how to do certain aspects of a project? You were training them on the task, just like you might one day train another employee.

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Spotlight on: YVC of Iron County

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Iron County Spotlight 5.2.14 - 2

April showers bring May flowers and the May YVC Spotlight! Summer is almost here, school is winding down, and YVCs across North America are gearing up for this year’s Summer of Service. But before we get to summer we’re going to take a quick tour of YVC of Iron County in Cedar City, Utah.

YVC of Iron County is one of the newest members of the YVC network and already they are making waves. In addition to running a strong program, Iron County just hosted a very successful YVC Gala fundraiser raising over $5,000! Way to go Iron County!

Program Director Cindy Rose and Youth Volunteer Kaylin Shelley will take us on a quick tour of their phenomenal program.

Cindy, can you tell us about your recent fundraising event?

Iron County Gala - David and Cindy Rose - March 2014

David Battey and Cindy Rose

YVC of Iron County operates heavily on donations throughout the year. This was getting old, so a decision was made to do our Inaugural YVC Gala to raise additional funds and awareness for our program. The gala was a sit-down dinner that was catered by one of our best restaurants in town, and they gave us an excellent deal on the cost of the meal. As a service project we made bow ties to be given out at the gala to donors. That was a huge hit and almost everyone was wearing a bow tie by the end of the gala.

The Youth Volunteers were able to shadow the servers: filling glasses, serving and clearing dinner and dessert and making an awesome impression. We also had background music from Southern Utah University, who donated their time to us. We had a silent auction in which we received amazing items for. Some of those included a weekend in Las Vegas, a 2 night stay at Lake Powell with the use of a speedboat for a day, tickets to local attractions, free dinners, hair and nail packages, etc.

For the finale our YVC volunteers were auctioned off to the highest bidder for the month of June, July and August and then had a special request to bid for May also. The gala event center was donated and all of our printing was donated. The event was a huge success – we profited just over $5,200!!! I feel so LUCKY with this gala as we really had no expenses other than postage and dinner. Everything else was donated to us!

Kaylin, what was the best part of your fundraiser event?

Honestly, my favorite part of the gala was seeing all of our volunteers come together for that one night to represent YVC. The reason I loved that so much is because seeing all those youth participating in something outside of themselves just gives me so much hope, and I just hope that they will be able to know how much they (and all Youth Volunteers) inspire me. I also loved meeting the founder again (he is always fun and spunky) and making our own cakes, as a YVC, to auction off. And, of course, it was fun!

Cindy, what advice can you give to other YVC programs and Program Directors who want to run a fundraiser event?

This was a lot of work. I came up with the idea in September and worked on it until the night the gala was over, which was March 20th. It took a lot of time to request donations, making all the arrangements, etc. My biggest concern was the mailing list because we have never done anything like this. We were more successful with asking guests in person and making follow-up phone calls than with the invitations that were mailed out. One BIG suggestion that we will do next time is to include a little note about who and what YVC is. After mailing the invitations I realized that a lot of those people don’t know who we are. I think that would have made a difference.

I did have a committee (two parents and one community member) that was a great help, very knowledgeable in galas and so much support in our gala! I would highly recommend a committee. I think setting goals for yourself is a good idea also. My goal was to have 100 people at the event (we had just under that) and I wanted to raise $5,000. Those figures kept me very focused. I invited David Battey to attend our gala and be our keynote speaker – it was awesome having him here, getting to see my YVC kids in action and just being a part of this first time event! And whatever you do, don’t ever get discouraged – there is always tomorrow to pick up where you leave off!

Iron County Gala - March 2014Cindy, what is your favorite part of being a Program Director?

THE KIDS!!! I love my YVC volunteers – working with them, watching them grow in their community, their giving, their thoughts, and their care. This is just such an amazing group of kids and I enjoy working side by side with them as we paint ladies’ finger nails, shoveling horse manure, picking up trash, helping with community events, etc. – it is just fun to be a part of their lives. And when they sit and talk with me about themselves and some of their trials in life, I feel so proud of them and so blessed that they confide in me. I don’t think I could be in a better place right now, which I owe to my YVC kids!

Kaylin, what is your favorite YVC project?

First off, the reason I love to help people is because people have helped me in my times of need in the past, and I hope to be able to do that through all of the projects I do. So in my favorite project we collected enough food for twenty whole Thanksgiving dinners for different sized families. These dinners were then distributed to families in the community who were in need. I was able to deliver them myself to these families and the responses from most of the families were priceless and reminded me of why I volunteer. Sometimes we, as volunteers, don’t get to see the immediate effects of our help, but I know that the effect that we have as an organization is HUGE! I hope people get an opportunity to see that someday.

Thanks Cindy and Kaylin! To find out more about YVC of Iron County and their fundraiser check out check out this link: here 

Ready to tour some other YVC programs? Check out our previous Spotlights on Plymouth, Calgary and Yellowstone County.

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