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Teens Gain Real Life Experiences through Volunteering

Aug 27, 2015

Photo of teen helping in Thrift Shop

FRONT: Summer Teen, Francesca Stannell, helps patron Lottie Diehl make a purchase as volunteer Norma Lugar (BACK LEFT) and staff member, Janelle Rambo (BACK RIGHT) look on.

The Summer Teen Volunteer Program at Peter Becker Community is nearing its end for 2015. More than 14 young people got the chance to experience firsthand what it is like to work at a retirement community. Together, they volunteered for more than 400 hours.

The teens served in various capacities including: assisting in the Health Care Center, helping in community’s retail shops, community garden and beauty shop, serving beside residents in special outreach projects, transporting residents, and engaging residents in games, activities and conversation. The teens are between the ages of 13-18 and from various school districts including Souderton, North Penn and Perkiomen Valley. There were lots of real life experiences encountered by the volunteer group. The teens completed a comprehensive orientation in June and immediately started sharing their time and talents with the community.

Francesca Stannell is 16. This is her first volunteer experience. She was chosen to serve based on some insightful writing on her application. Francesca shared that she was willing to try or do anything that needed to be done. She spent some of her time helping in the community’s Thrift Shop. She also helped with activities and visiting residents. According to Stannell, “I just like helping people, that’s why I am volunteering.”

Just being in the community and experiencing what it is like help others often teaches the students a great deal.  

According to Martha Detweiler, the volunteer coordinator, “this was a great group of kids and they were excited to be here. We offer students an engaging way to fulfill their community service requirement, but perhaps the most valuable part of this program is the connections the students make to our community members. They have witnessed and helped with some of the effects of aging which is not always easy, but they also got to connect with people from a different generation which is a joy.”

The community would like to thank our Summer Teen Volunteers and wish them a school year of engaging experiences.