September 2018

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September 2018 Volunteer of the Month

“I believe my purpose is to help people and make the world a better place. That’s why I volunteer and will continue to do so when I go to college.” Megan Dancy shared these thoughts about volunteering with me when I interviewed her to be our September 2018 Volunteer of the Month. Nominated by Cathryn Oulighan at the Stamford Museum and Nature Center, we are thrilled to honor Megan and share her story.

A junior in the Westhill High School Regional AgriScience Program, Megan has had a long-standing relationship with the Stamford Museum and Nature Center. As a middle school student, she took the junior curator program on the farm side of the nature center and loved it. In 2016, when she began her freshman year and was accepted into the AgriScience program at Westhill, she learned that she needed to participate in a supervised agricultural experience. As an animal lover who hopes to pursue this as a career, volunteering at the Stamford Museum and Nature Center is a perfect fit for both her education and her passion.

She quickly took on exotic animal care duties in the Heckscher Wild exhibit and this summer she began spending three days per week in Heckscher Wild. She has gained enough experience that she is trusted to work independently with every single animal in the exhibit. When I asked her what she loves about volunteering at Heckscher Wild she said one of her favorite aspects is the different habitats. “We have all kinds of animals, from hedgehogs to snakes, to preying mantids! Heckscher Wild has introduced me to some of my favorite furry friends!”

6th Annual Teen Essay Contest

Volunteer Square is thrilled to kick off our 6th annual high school essay contest in partnership with our friends at Hearst Connecticut Media. The essay contest invites high school students in Connecticut to tell us "Why volunteering and making an impact on their community is important?"

VolunteerSquare.com, a free tool that connects volunteers with nonprofit organizations in Connecticut, is committed to providing programs for young people and encouraging high school students to get involved in their communities. We believe the energy and enthusiasm high school students bring to a project, combined with their drive to work hard and give back, are essential components to building stronger volunteer communities.

To enter the contest, tell us, in 500 words or less, "Why volunteering and making an impact on your community important to you?” To be eligible to participate you must be a student, 13 to 21 years old and attend a Connecticut public or private school. Essays will ONLY be accepted Thursday, November 1, 2018, through Thursday, November 8, 2018. To submit your essay, email it to essays@volunteersquare.com. Important note: essays received before or after these dates will not be considered.

Become a Volunteer Square Intern

In an effort to expand opportunities for teenagers and build stronger volunteer communities in Fairfield County, the Volunteer Square internship provides training and experience with digital marketing, social media, website maintenance, and community relations high school schools across Connecticut. 

Since the program began in the fall of 2016, we've welcomed 31 interns from 17 towns. As volunteer ambassadors in their schools, area towns and their peer groups, the high school interns are crucial to our organization and without their project coordination and volunteer recruitment, we would not be able to make such a large impact in area towns.

This year the interns started organizing monthly community volunteer projects such as a community wide clean up of Veteran's Park in Norwalk on Earth Day and preparing 5,000 bags for the National Postal Food Drive. VS interns also collaborated with the staff from one our corporate clients to transform the Domus school building in Stamford, into a summer camp space and organized a back-to-school supply drive for students at The Lighthouse After-School Program in Bridgeport.  

Here is what some of our interns have said about the program!

 "I love that this internship gets me more involved in my community and that I get to meet other people that are doing the same."

 "It's amazing how much one week of volunteering during my internship lifted my spirits. If you ever lose faith in humanity, go volunteer. I can guarantee it will be restored quickly."

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