Volunteer opportunities for Dulaney students

Zoe Kazanzides, Staff Writer

Are you interested in finding meaningful volunteer experience? Many opportunities can be found through the school’s organizations and resources. 

For Key Club members, there are many events that range from bicycle repairs and car washes to engaging in arts and crafts events and performing at the Senior Living Community, College Manor. There are even asynchronous virtual event options such as LibriVox, where participants record themselves reading books. Key club members also have the opportunity to propose events to the club, so almost any service event is an option.

Erica Wang, senior and President of Dulaney’s Key Club, urges Dulaney students to volunteer. She loves to volunteer because she enjoys meeting other people and making connections through various events. One of her favorite Key Club events is Warm Up America– a project where people knit granny squares that are sewn together into blankets and are distributed to families. Key Club plans to have this event available each winter. Wang especially enjoyed this event because it was a culmination of her passions for knitting and helping others. 

Non-members of Dulaney Key Club can still technically sign up for Key Club events, they just would not receive service “points” automatically through the club. To receive credit for the service, non-members should bring service forms to the event to log Service Learning Hours for their participation. 

She says, “Establishing relationships with other people and organizations allows for a greater impact and reach to others.” 

Notably, Key Club and National English Honors Society work together for multiple events, such as the Arbor Initiative Event, which involves boxing books to donate to schools around Baltimore. Non-members can participate as space allows. Wang plans to establish even more connections between clubs at Dulaney and outside organizations.

As for volunteer opportunities outside of school, the Maryland STEM Festival partners with many other organizations to hold an annual festival with the hopes of increasing student interest in STEM regardless of their background. They have a Student Ambassador Program composed of middle and high school students that dedicate 10-12 volunteering hours to promote the festival. 

Volunteering has many benefits, and Phil Rogofsky, the executive of the Maryland STEM Festival says volunteering “…frequently gives students help with public speaking and communication…especially our ambassadors that are spending a lot of time talking to others about the festival.”

Volunteering can also provide future career experience. Jessica Carlson, the internship coordinator at Dulaney provides some contacts, but it is ultimately up to the students to find their internship placements. Any volunteer internship is valuable for future career experience, and there are also several internship opportunities in the nonprofit sector, such as Baltimore Hunger Project and CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), as well as various hospitals in the area. 

Two of Ms. Carlson’s favorite volunteer experiences were Washington Quaker Work Camps and Habitat for Humanity. She enjoyed how both organizations worked with people who needed help with housing and worked alongside people who would live in the houses. 

She said, “I loved how you could turn around at the end of the day and see the progress you made.”

In order to obtain volunteer experience- reach out! Clubs at Dulaney, like Key Club, can provide many opportunities to volunteer. There are also drives collecting hygiene products, canned foods, animal food and drugs, dog toys and aluminum cans in room 203. Also, searching up certain nonprofits that align with your interests and reaching out to their emails and phone numbers is a great way to connect and obtain volunteer experience.