Volunticity: Creating change in our community one teenager at a time
A platform empowering students to become passionate volunteers, excited to step up and create meaningful change in their communities.
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12509 78th LN NE Kirkland, WA
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Date You Started Your Project Started
Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.
Growth (have moved past the very first activities; working towards the next level of expansion)
1. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?
High school is already stressful enough with mounting pressures of a stellar GPA and college applications. Now, students are also required to complete a certain number of volunteer hours to graduate. And with an average counselor to student ratio of 1: 491 in public high schools across the United States, the proper guidance to find volunteer opportunities, let alone ones they are interested in is completely unattainable.
2. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.
Volunticity(www.volunticity.org), is a non-profit web application designed by high schoolers for high schoolers. The focus of our platform is to empower our student users to become passionate and committed volunteers in their communities. Our platform generates opportunities specific to the needs of the user by filtering our data base of service opportunities based upon their interests, age and proximity, making this process as efficient as possible. students can also effortlessly keep track of the community service completed through the logging hours page we provide on each user personal account. Volunticity, with its team of student ambassadors nationwide, personally reviews and finds organizations that are genuine for students. By connecting students with such community service options, we are aiding both well-known and local service organizations in bringing their goals and missions to life. We additionally help them recruit student volunteers directly through our site.
3. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project?
As four high school students, we have firsthand experience when it comes to the difficulties of finding volunteer opportunities. In fact, some of us did not even know there was a service hour requirement to fulfill! None of our parents grew up here and so they have no previous experience with the system. Furthermore, at public schools with thousands of kids and limited access to guidance counselors, we are completely on our own when it comes to finding opportunities that we are passionate about. We all shared this common problem and thus we began thinking of ideas on how to make this process easier for all high school kids and their parents. Volunticity was the product of all this brainstorming and we have worked diligently to create a website, accessible to everyone, that provides volunteer opportunities for all interests and ages.
4. Selfie Elevator Pitch: Include 1-minute video that answers the following “I am stepping up to make change because...”
5. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.
High schooler Sonya wants to do volunteer work related to medicine. Unable to find an organization that’s right for her, she fills out a quick volunteer form on our site and within seconds organizations fitting her needs are generated. After looking at the information provided for each one, she picks Evergreen Health. She clicks on the link and is directly taken to the application form where she can sign up to be a volunteer. Once she receives the hours for volunteering, on her personal Volunticity profile she logs her hours for graduation requirements. To help volunteer organizations receive more volunteers, they’re able to fill a form on our website asking their contact info, number of volunteers they need and any volunteer requirements they have. For gaining publicity, they post upcoming events on our site, which students can volunteer for, helping them fulfill their goals.
6. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?
Our crucial difference that sets us apart from other solutions, is our positions as leaders of Volunticity. Being high school students ourselves, we have key insights our competitors lack for the wants and needs of our userbase and we've crafted our platform specifically for those needs. Volunticity enables students to find service opportunities that are specific to their needs, students find community service that is shaped to their interests and convenience in terms of location and time. Other programs don't share our student focus or provide volunteering opportunities that are personalized.
7. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?
After visiting 4 schools in the PNW, we talked with counselors who helped us promote Volunticity by implementing Volunticity on school websites and social media. After only a couple months, 512 students have signed up with Volunticity and are already volunteering, making an impact in their community. More important than these numbers, our platform meets the needs of many counselors and students. Highschool junior, Julian Crosetto says “I found an organization through Volunticity that I will definitely be volunteering at for the rest of high school!” Additionally, Kelsey Cummings, a school counselor from Seattle says, “I often have students see me and have no idea where to start with finding places to volunteer. When I share Volunticity, students can find opportunities that they are interested in, enabling them to become passionate and committed volunteers.”
8. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?
Our next steps for our idea is to CAMPAIGN! We need to advertise our website everywhere so that we become the number one trusted source for students to use. Then, the volunteer organizations will automatically come to us to complete the circle of student to volunteer organization system. Once we are able to do this, we want to expand Volunticity to not only supplying high schoolers one of the graduation requirements, but also helping them with other things high schoolers have to face (ie. SAT prep, driving schools, textbooks, etc.). Our main goal is to help students who don't have much access to their guidance counselors, because maneuvering the high school system in America on your own is hard and it's nice to have something to help you.
9. Which of the following types of expertise would be most useful for you?
10. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?
Donations less than $100
Help Us Support Diversity! Part 1 [optional] Which of the following categories do you identify with?
Asian (for example: Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, Pakistani) (9)
Middle Eastern or North African (for example: Lebanese, Iranian, Egyptian, Syrian, Moroccan, Algerian) (11)
Help Us Support Diversity! Part 2 [optional] Do you identify as part of any of the following underrepresented communities?
Communities of color
Religious minority (non-Christian)
How did you hear about this challenge?
Recommended by others
Article in the news
Word of mouth
Referral: If you discovered the Challenge thanks to an organization or person other than Ashoka or T-Mobile, who was it?