High School Volunteers
Did you know...
In order to graduate from high school in Ontario, students must complete 40 hours of community service. For many that can seem daunting at first, but our staff at Volunteer Sudbury/Bénévolat Sudbury are here to help make that process as fun and simple as possible!
Let's start from the beginning: what is volunteering?
Volunteering is when a person willingly gives up their time and energy to help a person, group, or cause without asking for anything in return. In 1999, the Education Ministry of Ontario decided that, in order to graduate, students would have to complete 40 hours of community service. The community service requirement was designed to teach students about the importance of giving back to their communities and to show them how they could make an impact. Additionally, the community service requirement helps students to network, explore future career options, develop skills and gain valuable experience.
Volunteering is an opportunity to gain incredible life experience while giving back to your community - so get excited!
What type of work counts towards the community service requirement?
Formal Volunteering: Giving time with a non-profit organization to support a good cause.
Working at a community event
Visiting patients in the hospital
Informal volunteering: Helping an individual or group directly (excluding family).
Shovelling a neighbour's driveway
Helping someone move
Tutoring without pay
Ineligible activities: What doesn’t count toward the community service requirement?
Takes place during class time or is a requirement of a course in which the student is enrolled
Household chores or working for free for family
Any work that would normally be performed by a paid worker
Court-ordered community service
But remember to check with your school!
Every school has different criteria for the volunteer work that they count toward the community service requirement so be sure to check with your school guidance counselor before you decide where to start volunteering.
When can I do my volunteer hours?
You can start working on your volunteer hours during the summer before grade 9. All volunteer hours must be completed before grade 12 graduation so the earlier that you start volunteering the better!
Where can I volunteer?
When searching for a volunteer position we recommend considering first what skills you have to contribute and which causes you would like to give back to. Then go to our volunteer opportunities finder where you can find positions based on your interests, availability, and more. Be sure to check that you are eligible to apply for the position as many organizations have a minimum age of 14, 16, or 18 for their volunteers.