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Teenhelp volunteering? - June 10th 2017, 02:24 AM

Hey all, I have many questions about volunteering on this site. when I joined here a little less then a month ago, it was to get advice about personal issues, but I ended up liking the site so much that I spend a lot more time here then I thought I would. Lately I find myself replying to other people's posts with advice of my own. I was just thinking, I would probably really like to volunteer here and try to help other people if I can, but Im wondering if I should? I am only 17 (well almost) so I don't even know if the advice I would give would be all that great. I have only been here for a very short while, is it ok to still post about problems and questions of your own while also volunteering? And the last thing I'm wondering is, this doesn't seem to be a very busy site so maybe there are already enough volunteers and it would just be better if I stayed a regular member and continue doing what I have been? Maybe I'm just getting ahead of myself lol.
   
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Re: Teenhelp volunteering? - June 10th 2017, 02:42 AM

Hi there!

First of all, I'm glad that you're considering volunteering with us. It's a very rewarding experience, and you can make a real difference in the lives of young people around the world. When you've been here for a month (and have 25 posts), you'll be eligible to apply for a full staff position. To see which positions are open at the moment, click here.

If you're not sure whether you're ready for the commitment of a full staff position, you can apply to be an associate staff member. This means that you would have access to that area (e.g. Live Help or HelpLINK) without having to fulfill the activity requirements of the full position, so you could help out here and there to see if it's something you would like to do on a more regular basis.

As for whether there are enough volunteers - the short answer is no. If applications for a position are open (which they currently are for HelpLINK, Live Help, and Community Mentors) that means we don't have enough people filling those roles and anyone who's eligible is more than welcome to apply. TeenHelp tends to go through phases of being very busy and then fairly quiet, so don't let that deter you from applying.

Your age is absolutely not a problem. This is TeenHelp after all, and most staff members are either teens themselves or first started volunteering when they were (I first became a HelpLINK Mentor when I was sixteen, for example). If you give good advice, there's no reason to be concerned about how old you are or whether you're experienced or mature enough to hold a staff position. Age is just a number, after all.

And, to put your mind at ease, I would like to assure you that staff members are still allowed and in fact encouraged to ask for help when they need it. You don't have to be perfect to be a staff member, nor do you have to put your own problems on hold. All of the avenues of support the site offers are still available to staff members. If you're at all thinking about it, I would encourage you to apply anyway; the worst that can happen is that your application is declined, and that doesn't prevent you from applying again in the future.

I hope this answered all of your questions, and if you have anything further you'd like to ask please feel free to reply to this thread or shoot me a PM. Take care!


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Re: Teenhelp volunteering? - June 10th 2017, 02:45 AM

Hey,

Here is a link that discusses volunteering in depth: http://www.teenhelp.org/volunteer/

When you click apply it will take you to a page that will show all the possible positions and it will also tell you whether or not the application is open. From what I know Helplink Mentor, Livehelp Mentor and Community Mentor are open which means that more volunteers are welcomed and, likely, needed.

Don't let your age deter you from applying because you might be able to offer quite a bit of advice. I know sometimes I read responses by younger members and I learn something from them. If you have a desire to volunteer than you should definitely consider it. Also, if you are unsure if you can devote the time you might be able to become an associate staff member until you can devote more time.

Best of luck.


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Re: Teenhelp volunteering? - June 10th 2017, 03:04 AM

I joined staff here when I was only 15 years old I believe. Even if you don't think your advice is good, you will learn a lot by joining staff and really dedicating your time on here. I don't think age really matters anyway in regards to how helpful you could be. We all have personal experiences that could benefit others by sharing. You could apply for an associate position and try it out before you jump right in.


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Re: Teenhelp volunteering? - June 10th 2017, 09:12 AM

Hey! The others all gave great responses and I just wanted to add that I joined staff when I was 15 and am only almost 17 as well. Age definitely isn't a problem, and we've had people on staff that have been younger than me. Seeing as you are considering applying, responding to other people with your own advice is great and definitely is going to increase your chances of being accepted. You are completely allowed to ask for advice while you're on staff, I know I have and if you feel awkward about posting for advice in the main forums while on staff, you are allowed to use the other areas of the site as well an area in the staff forums that you can ask for help in. So you are totally allowed to do that. Like the others said, applying for associate to begin with is a great place to start just to get a feel for the position and there isn't as much pressure as there would be for a full staff member position.

If you decide to apply, then good luck! I hope to see you on staff in the future.


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Re: Teenhelp volunteering? - June 11th 2017, 01:29 PM

Hey!

You've been given some good responses and I'll try not to repeat everything that has been said.

If applications are open (they often are) it means we need volunteers. And if you're really questioning whether you can do it, like said you can start by being an associate staff member. Trial it and see how it goes. There's also no set things you need to do. Where volunteers on the site are expected to do so much, you won't. So you can take it at your pace and if you get on well, you can apply for a main role, not associate.

You seem down to eart and understanding. I don't think age has anything to do with it. Like said, this is TEENhelp. I was about 14/15 when I started volunteering. I worried that I wouldn't be helpful enough. But I've stuck around and not had issues and I think as time has gone on, with my personal experience with struggling and from doing this volunteer work and a bit of other buts, my knowledge has grown and my advice has grown with it. Your age is not an issue so please don't let that set you back!

I hope these al help you a little. And of course you can still ask for help when you're a staff member. It's very encouraged that you continue to do so. Just because a staff member is on staff, doesn't mean they can't reach out for help. At all.

Hope and wishes,
Jessie


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Re: Teenhelp volunteering? - June 26th 2017, 01:38 AM

Hey everyone! I can't believe it's actually been 2 weeks since I posted this! I actually haven't been on here much in the last 2 weeks I've been insanely busy recently. I realized that with how busy I'm going to be I'm probably not ready to commit to volunteering. I am definitely going to stick around and give advice when I can and receive it when I need it �� Maybe in the future I'll have more time to commit. Thanks so much to all of you for the encouragement and information.
   
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Re: Teenhelp volunteering? - June 26th 2017, 03:07 AM

Thanks for getting back to us! I think it's very mature and responsible of you to recognise that you're not in a place where you can dedicate enough time to be on staff at the moment. I do hope that you decide to apply for staff when you find that you have the time later on down the track. In the meantime, you could always apply for an associate position - either Live Help Mentor or HelpLINK Mentor - so that you can help out when you can and get a feel for what the positions are like. I'm going to go ahead and close this now since you seem to have made your decision, but if you have any further questions or concerns please feel free to PM me or start a new thread.


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