You don’t have to be the quarterback, star in the school play, or be ASB president to lead others. Rolling up your sleeves and doing community service with friends is a great way to get leadership experience – and have fun! Demonstrating strong leadership skills is easy to do in a volunteer setting and nothing looks better on a high school resume or applications for jobs, internships and college.
Here’s our three-step way to demonstrating leadership:
1. Volunteer for a cause you care about – even for just a few hours.
2. Work your way up to organizing a group to make an even bigger impact.
3. Lead your group by making sure everyone has a job and is excited about helping the cause together.
Leadership does not always require huge time commitments, completing an intimidating task, or competing for an award or ranking. It can be as simple as making a difference in your community with your friends.
Volunteering in a group ensures that you and your fellow students get all the benefits of working as a team. Not only can you have fun with your friends, but you also have the opportunity to get out of your comfort zones and help your peers do the same, all while making a difference.
How can you find a volunteer project?
Founded in 2004, Lion's Heart is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit teen volunteer platform available to students in Grades 6 through 12. The organization instills the value of community service in its Members, providing meaningful life skills through leadership opportunities and philanthropic experiences. Over the years, Members have performed a combined total of more than 760,000 volunteer hours!
Lion's Heart members at Camp Pendleton, CA, organized welcome-home bags for troops. Photo: Lion's Heart
Lion's Heart, headquartered in Southern California, has grown to more than 160 chapters across 25 states and is actively expanding its reach by adding new chapters daily across the country.
Groups have between three and 20 teens and are organized by gender, grade and location. Though each group has a parent Class Coordinator, the teens elect their own officers, lead their own meetings, and decide how to serve their community -- with no fundraising.
“Becoming a part of a group who thought like me and liked helping others is a very rewarding experience. It also encouraged me to join different community service clubs at my school because I liked helping alongside people, not just by myself,” writes Ariana W., a member of Lion’s Heart and a high school senior.
Lion's Heart members in Westlake, CA, organized a shoe drive for Soles4Souls. Photo: Lion's Heart
Leadership is as simple as learning to communicate effectively and organizing a group or project, no matter how small.
“My group gives each other ideas for service and that is, in my opinion, the best part,” explains Lion’s Heart Member, Brooke T. now a senior in high-school. “It enables teens to help other teens serve their community, and creates an environment where everyone is open to sharing their experiences and helping other people.”
Learning to lead through helping others and working together as a team lets you learn the many leadership styles that exist in the world, and that can help you ultimately discover your own.
Want to discover more ways to volunteer?