Summer Volunteer Opportunities for Teens In New Orleans

We have hit a milestone in our house!

Our oldest daughter is 14 and a rising Sophomore. She has aged out of the summer camps she went to the past few years and is not quite old enough to get a job. The last thing I want is for her to be bored and spend her summer on electronics.

Enter volunteering!

As a tween/teen I volunteered at my local library with a few friends and I loved it! It felt great to be part of something…even if it was just shelving books. It gave me a purpose and a sense of accomplishment. I want the same for my daughter.

This is by no means a comprehensive list, but here are some opportunities that we have looked into for teens this summer in New Orleans. 

Local Library

Jefferson Parish Library – You must be a student between the ages of 13 – 18. Summer application deadline is May 10.

New Orleans Public Library – fill out the application through the Friends of NOPL website

St. Tammany Parish Library – Positions open to teens currently in 8th – 12th grades in three different volunteer programs – Teen Volunteer Council (meets at least twice per month for 2 hours throughout the year), One Time Volunteers & Teen Summer Reading Volunteers (commitment is at least three weeks – does not need to be consecutive – between May – July).

Reading Success Center

The mission of the Reading Success Center is to offer low cost, small group and individual academic tutoring in reading, writing and math for children in grades K-12. We believe that literacy is essential for success in both school and life, and that every child should have equal access to exceptional educational services.

Teens 13 and up can volunteer during the summer camp program. Teens will assist younger students with reading, writing and math activities. For information about summer camp for dates and times, please visit the website. We ask for a minimum of one hour commitment. To request a volunteer application, email readingsuccessctr@gmail.com.

826 New Orleans

826 New Orleans cultivates and supports the voices of young writers ages 6-18 through creative collaborations with schools and communities. Visit their site to learn more!

New Orleans Museum of Art

At NOMA teens can invited to NOMA's monthly day of service in the sculpture garden – no chaperone are required. Check out the website for current dates or contact Pamela Buckman at pbuckman@noma.org for more information.

Like working with kids? Volunteer at NOMA's summer art camps! The requirements include completing an application, 2 letters of recommendation from teachers, interview and 15 or older.

Louisiana Children's Museum

The LCM accepts applications for student volunteers for weekends, school breaks and summer on a rotating basis. Currently, the museum is looking for Summer Volunteers to help with Summer Camp. Volunteers must be 15 years old. Please check out their website for more information on applying. Applications are due Monday, May 6, 2019!

World War II Museum

Volunteers at the National WWII Museum are vital to keep the museum running smoothly. Some opportunities include assisting guests, staffing the Museum floor and galleries, selling memberships, answering phones, give tours, and more.

Student applicants must be 16 years of age and currently enrolled in 10th grade.

Contact the Director of Volunteer Services, Katie Alpert at katherin.alpert@nationalww2museum.org or 504-528-1944 x.243 for more information.

Audubon Institute

The Audubon Institute has volunteer programs at the Zoo, Insectarium, Aquarium, Louisiana Nature Center, and beyond. The various programs are available for Jr. High and High School Students.  Some of the deadlines have passed, so please check the website for up to date information.

Catholic Charities of New Orleans

Catholic Charities offers summer volunteer opportunities for high school aged teenagers through S.E.R.V.E.: Students Engaging in Reflective Volunteer Experiences. SERVE is an opportunity for high school students to give back to the community and achieve the service hours required by many parochial high schools.

Students can sign up for 12-32 hours of volunteering at various sites throughout the archdiocese including Second Harvest Food Bank, Greenwalt Adult Day Healthcare Center and Ozanam Inn. Volunteer sessions culminate with a day of reflection and fun where students connect their volunteer experiences to ways they can continue to make a difference in their own communities.

Fill out an application today!

CCANO also has volunteer opportunities throughout the year for teens.

New Orleans Recreation Department (NORD)

NORD has several different opportunities for volunteers, including, Special Events, Athletics, Outdoors, Booster Clubs & Rec Centers. Volunteers must be at least 13 years old, complete an application, and submit a criminal background check. Find out more information here.

New Orleans City Park

Volunteers are invited to the Volunteer Center at 1009 Harrison Avenue on the first Saturday of every month, with occasional exceptions. Check City Park’s calendar pages for upcoming Super Saturday dates.

High school and college students are welcome to participate in Super Saturdays or to arrange service hours with our volunteer manager to meet school service hour requirements.

Work assignments include maintaining areas around City Park. Volunteer note: please dress appropriately (i.e. closed-toe shoes!). We recommend wearing a hat, sunscreen, and insect repellent (the Park is home to more than just oak trees!). Also, we ask you to bring your own water and snacks.

Animal Rescue of New Orleans (ARNO)

Animal Rescue New Orleans (ARNO) is an organization created and dedicated to the rescue and aid of abandoned and homeless animals in the New Orleans area, including responding to the immediate needs of those in need of medical care or those too old, too young, too sick, neglected, abused and deprived of love. ARNO promotes the foster, adoption and reunion of pets with caretakers as well as spaying and neutering all companion animals through our no-kill shelter.

The minimum age to volunteer is 14 – must have a parent/guardian at all times; ages 15 – 16 – limited to 2pm – 5pm with parents permission; 17 – can handle any daytime shift until 6pm.

Orientation (approximately 45 minutes) is required of all volunteers.

Visit ARNO for the application and more information.

Louisiana SPCA

For all the animal lovers out there, if you are 12 – 15, you can volunteer as a team with a parent or guardian (18+). If you are 16 – 17, you can volunteer with parental permission. Please check out their website for the volunteer application and more information.

Jefferson Parish SPCA

Teens between the ages of 15 – 18 can become a Junior Volunteer Camp Counselor at the Jefferson SPCA. If interested, fill out this application.

Zeus's Rescues

Zeus's Rescues finds forever homes for animals that are pulled from high kill shelters. They are an all-volunteer group funded by private donations and grants. For more information on volunteering, visit the website. 

Take Paws Rescue

Take Paws Rescue has volunteer and service hour opportunities that include application coordination, helping at adoption events, and organizing larger events. Reach out to them here.

Sugar Roots Farm

Sugar Roots Farm is a working farm that offers field trips, classes, event rental space, and kids camp. They sell eggs, honey, and produce to our visitors at our farm store. They also collect compost and New Orleans food waste to feed our livestock, reducing what goes into the landfill.

They have two volunteer options:

Committed Volunteer – Ages 12+, minimum of 2 hours per week – 3 month commitment

Youth Group Work Study – One Time 2 – 4 hour project.

Fill out an application here.

*The deadlines for the following programs have passed, but they are great to add to your calendar for next year.

*Children's Hospital

Teen Ambassador Program

The summer Teen Ambassador Program will be held June 10 through August 9, 2019. The minimum requirement for participation is 6 out of the 9 weeks. Participants must be at least 16 years of age to apply. Dates of the program are from June 10 through August 9, 2019. The application deadline is March 30, 2019, Interviews must be completed by April 30, 2019. Lern more about the program here.

*KidCam Camp

Kidcamp Summer Camps have opportunities for Counselors in Training (14+) and Counselors (15+). Their selection process begins in mid-March, and potential candidates will be contacted via email or phone later this month to schedule an interview. Applicants not selected will be contacted via email no later than the 2nd week of April.

Learn more about this fun summer opportunity here!

*Ogden Museum of Southern Art

An Ogden Museum Teen Docent will learn to lead tours of the museum, serve as counselors for Ogden Museum summer camps, and participate in an outreach program aimed at bringing art to children who are not able to visit the museum.

Applications for next summer will be available in March 2020.

Did you volunteer as a teen? If so, where? Do you have any opportunities to add to our list?

Arden Cahill Summer Camp

About the author

Avatar of Noele


Noele is native New Orleanian, whose husband somehow convinced her to move to Metairie, where they currently reside with their four children, Kaitlyn (13), Aidan (10), Abigail (7) & Wyatt (16 months), two dogs, and tortoise. She works full time as a Paralegal at a small, personal injury law firm. When she's not working or carpooling her kids around the city and trying to manage the family calendar, you can find her enjoying a glass of wine while cooking for friends and family. Greek Fest, Bayou Boogaloo, and the beach are her happy places. She is a self-proclaimed hot-mess mama who also enjoys reading, writing, and exploring the GNO area.

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