15 Best summer community service programs for high school students in 2023

Multi-ethnic group of teenagers (14 to 17 years). Focus on girls in foreground

Summer community service programs for high school students: If you read our article on how to survive middle school. you will understand that one of the ways to survive middle school was mingling with your peers.

Thus, as a parent If you and your child are planning ahead for summer break, then you may need to consider signing up for some of these community service programs available for high school students in 2021.

This is a good way to keep the child engaged during the holidays and also expand your child’s horizons.

But what are summer community service programs for high school students? 

Why are they necessary and what are the best summer community service programs available in 2021?

These and much more will be our focus in this article. 

Let’s get started.

What are summer community service programs for high school students?

Community service summer programs for high school students refers to all types of teen volunteer opportunities, ranging from international travel programs to day programs close to home. 

During the program, high schools students focus on offering community service to host communities in a bid to make the world a better place.

You can also combine your community service program with travel, language immersion, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), or the performing and visual arts. 

Usually, the projects you will be working on be be around topics such as;

  • English as a Second Language;
  • Water quality and conservation; 
  • Wildlife and animal conservation; 
  • Tree planting and habitat restoration;
  • Environmental sustainability;
  • Housing; 
  • Childcare; 
  • Community building; and 
  • Economic and social justice.

This experience is very vital because it helps you to develop interpersonal skills, communications skills and leadership skills whilst having fun and building new friendships. 

So, whether you’re looking to take a gap year before college or want to use your summer break to do something different, this is a good path to follow.

Joining one of the community service programs for high school students is a fantastic way to start your adult life off on the right foot.

Why do high schoolers have to do community service?

There are a lot of reasons why high school students must take summer community service programs very seriously.

The most important benefit being that it promotes leadership and awareness as students take an active role in their communities. 

Also, community service teaches students how they can help others and the impact their contributions can have in society.

In addition, when students volunteer, they can gain real skills they can use in their jobs.

Summer high school community service programs are important to the person who serves as well as the recipient. 

It’s the way in which the students grow and develop.

To be more specific, here are a few benefits of summer community service programs for high school students;

#1. It helps to achieve personal growth & development:

Personal growth and development is an ongoing aspect of our life that must never end.

The day you cease to grow is the day you begin to experience backward movement in your life.

Community service allows you to practice good social skills, build self-esteem, empathy, and learn from many perspectives depending on your community service activity. 

Volunteering can also give you a sense of purpose, allowing you to get out of your comfort zone and interact with different people, and make new connections.

#2. Helps you to make a difference in the society:

By engaging in community service programs as a high school student, you tend to contribute to society. 

As a result, you make a difference in your own way.

#3. It helps to bring people together:

Summer community service programs for high school students help to bring people together.

You have the opportunity of meeting your peers who are like minded and you develop new friendships. 

#4. Increases your job prospects:

For many companies today, they prefer to hire applicants who are community service leaders, including volunteers. 

The reason is because your community service may have taught you skills that you can use to benefit your employer

So, attending summer community service programs and volunteering during your student days can help you to land a job.

What are the best summer programs for high school students?

Having known what summer community service programs are and the benefits for high school students, let’s look at the best programs for you this summer.

#1. IFRE Volunteers:

The IFRE Volunteers summer community service programs for high school students give you an opportunity to travel around the world while experiencing a new culture.

This goes a long way to add an overall satisfying edge to your life.

If you have been looking for the ideal opportunity to explore a country of your choice at a very affordable cost while helping those who are in need to improve their lives, then this program is for you. 

Click here to learn more.

#2. Raleigh Expedition:

Raleigh Expedition is an international volunteering program open to all and engaging young people from around the world.

This summer community service program is specifically designed for those who may have less time but still want to achieve lasting sustainable change.

It is a blend of experiential learning with hands-on project work, deep cultural immersion, wilderness exploration and meaningful community engagement. 

This program will ignite young people’s passion for change and equip them with the skills, networks and confidence to become youth leaders. 

Volunteers have the opportunity to create change in themselves as well as in the environments and communities where we work.

To learn more about Raleigh Expedition, click here.

#3. Arcos Journeys:

This summer community service program combines community service and eco adventure in tropical Costa Rica.

You will get the opportunity to travel to and perform community service in the town of Atenas and live like a local.

Also, there is a chance that you’d travel to the rainforests of the Arenal Volcano region for hiking, hot springs, ziplines, and horseback riding. 

Then on to Manuel Antonio on the Pacific for surfing and white water rafting.

All I see in this program is learning and lots 

of fun.

Click here to apply for this program now.

#4. Center for Talent Development (CTD) Civic Leadership Institute:

This program offers excellent preparation for college and careers and allows students to develop the leadership skills they need to make a difference in the world.

In the Leadership Intensive Series students, explore ideas, challenge their thinking, and come away with a deeper understanding of their strengths and talents to reach their full potential.

To learn more about this program, click here.

#5. GVI: Volunteering for Teens:

The GVI summer community service programs are specifically for Teens who are under 18 years old.

This gives them the opportunity to explore the greater world through programs in cultural immersion, marine and wildlife conservation, and community development.

As a result,  high school students can learn to become a global citizen. 

GVI programs are available in 11 countries and the duration is about one to two weeks.

Click here to go to their website and learn more.

#6. World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms:

If you enjoy working on the farm, then this WWOOF program is the best option for you.

In this program, you will link with organic farmers, help on the farm, promote a cultural and educational exchange, and build a global community conscious of ecological farming and sustainability practices.

In exchange you will get a free room and  support for your sustainability movement.

Opportunities are available in over 100 countries, and the time commitment is negotiable, you can work that out with your host. 

To learn more about this program, click here.

#7. The Experiment in International Living:

The Experiment in International Living is the most experienced provider of summer abroad programs and virtual cultural exchanges for high school students.

By participating in this immersive program, you get the opportunity to explore the world in an authentic and impactful way, while developing enduring friendships through cultural experiences and homestays.

In addition, you gain critical skills such as leadership, teamwork, intercultural competence, language acquisition, and problem-solving.

To learn more about this program, click here.

#8. Thailand Summer Volunteering Program:

The Summer Volunteer Program in Thailand will allow you to experience the authentic Thai way of life while contributing meaningfully towards society.

For 3 weeks, this program is perfectly suitable for college as well as high school students as well as gap year students who are keen to explore Thailand responsibly.

Being a volunteer, you will get a chance to support the underprivileged communities of Thailand.

You will also get to volunteer with little ones at Bangkok & spend some quality time with the elephants & mahouts in Surin.

Experience the thrill of a jungle trek at Khao Yai National Park, explore the bustling markets of Bangkok, binge on delicious Thai food, and learn to cook some authentic dishes as well.

This is an experience that you cannot afford to miss. 

Click here to learn more about this summer community service program. 

#9. The ISEP Global Engagement program:

For an entirely unique Volunteer Abroad program, apply for ISEP’s Global Engagement Program at the University of Ghana. 

This program offers benefits above and beyond a typical study abroad program including community service, independent studies and research projects.

In addition, you get an internship, an on-site resident director, excursions and even a Twi language course. 

The University of Ghana has a variety of courses, but students studying resource development, agriculture, social sciences or public health will gain a valuable perspective that will set them apart from their peers.

To learn more about this program, visit their website. 

#10. Projects Abroad Volunteer Work with Children in Ghana for Teenagers:

This is a beautiful summer community service program that will thrill you.

Seize the opportunity to take part in community volunteer work in Ghana while working alongside people your own age to support disadvantaged children.

You’ll focus on painting classrooms in the morning, before you play games and do activities with young children in the afternoon. 

Also, you will paint murals of the ABCs or country flags, a number chart, or build a library corner to inspire a love of reading! 

Your work will brighten up the care center for years after you’ve left, and local teachers and other volunteers can use the murals to teach classes.

While enjoying this program, you will make friends with your peers and develop long-lasting skills.

To learn more about this project, click here.

#11. Rein Teen Tours Community Service Programs for Teens:

This community service program is a once-in-a-lifetime event made to instill confidence, maturity, and passion for people.

You will get to learn about cultures, and ideas that are new to you.

Generally, the benefits of this program extend far beyond your normal summer experiences.

It will enable you to make meaningful encounters with the people in the different communities you will visit.

Also, you will return home with the feeling of satisfaction knowing that your contributions to the community have a lasting impact.

To learn more about the Rein Teen Tours Community Service Programs, click here.


The high school age is a very vital one for learning.

Therefore, I encourage you to seize the opportunities to get yourself involved with community service.

Also, parents must encourage their kids to do the same.

When teenagers grow up contributing to society and making lasting impact, they will want to continue to do so.

As a result, we will be creating a world where everyone is making an effort to make the world a beautiful place.

Please share.

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