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Summer Volunteer Opportunities for High Schoolers in Orange County, CA



Volunteering is awesome for so many reasons. The work itself makes our communities better places to live, while the volunteering experience helps participants build character, bond with neighbors, and develop a sense of civic responsibility. No wonder so many universities look for volunteer experience as they sort through student applications each year!


With school out and most extracurricular activities on a break, summer is the perfect time for high schoolers to take advantage of local volunteer opportunities. However, sometimes it can be tough to tell if organizations even allow volunteers under the age of 18 and/or if they require extensive training you can get started.


Fortunately, Thinque Prep is here to help! If you live in Orange County, CA, where our college counseling, test prep, and tutoring office is located, check out this selection of summer volunteer opportunities for high schoolers.


For the Student Who Loves Animals

  • WAGS Pet Adoption (Westminster)

    • WAGS offers a variety of ways for volunteers under 18 to get involved, including cleaning the facilities, transporting pets to senior housing for visits, and even caring for and playing with rescued rabbits!

  • OC Animal Care (Tustin)

    • Though the county animal shelter isn’t currently offering volunteer positions to people under 18, they encourage families to help out by completing community service projects. Check out the link for projects that fit a variety of skill levels and time commitments.

For the Student Who Wants to Fight Hunger

  • Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County (Irvine)

    • This food bank offers volunteers 13 and over opportunities to serve either at their distribution center or at the Harvest Solutions Farm down the street.

  • Laguna Food Pantry (Laguna Beach)

    • Volunteer opportunities include stocking shelves, greeting shoppers, and helping out with fundraising. Volunteers between the ages of 14 and 17 must be accompanied by a responsible adult on their first visit and until sufficiently trained.

For the Student Who’s Passionate About the Environment

  • Bolsa Chica Conservancy (Huntington Beach)

    • Be a part of the decades-long effort to restore one of the largest remaining saltwater marshes in the state. Volunteers as young as 6 can help by picking up trash and removing invasive plants.

  • Laguna Canyon Foundation (Irvine, Laguna Woods, Laguna Beach)

    • Help maintain trails, remove invasive plants, and plant native vegetation throughout the 22,000-acre South Coast Wilderness. Volunteers must be at least 16 and accompanied by a responsible adult.

Each and every one of these amazing organizations can benefit from an extra set of helping hands. By volunteering, you get to make a difference in the community AND develop a rich set of experiences that you can draw on when completing your college applications (and especially those essays that ask about community service!).


Speaking of college applications, if you’re interested in a comprehensive, holistic college counseling experience, the students Thinque Prep works with in their Lake Forest office tend to be from local areas like Aliso Viejo, Irvine, Mission Viejo, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Beach, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, and Trabuco Hills. However, if you’re located in another area of Orange County (or even out of state!), we’re happy to work with you virtually via Zoom as well - whatever’s most convenient for you! Give us a call, email, or text today to learn more about how the college counseling services Thinque Prep has to offer can propel you to college success.


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