Our youth career readiness and volunteering program offers opportunities for teenagers (ages 12–18) to engage in fun and meaningful work at Thinkery while preparing them for future endeavors.

Every VolunTeen trainee begins the program by attending a three-day orientation, which includes getting to know Thinkery, basic job functions, team building and professional skill refinement. Teens continue in the program by participating in approximately 40 hours of mandatory training over the course of a fall or spring semester or in one of our summer intensive sessions. After their training period, fully-trained teens can select from pre-determined shifts to fit their schedules. Post-training volunteering occurs during all museum hours throughout the year and at special events, both onsite and offsite. In their first 12 months, teens are committed to volunteer 100 hours.

While volunteering, VolunTeens facilitate STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) activities in Thinkery’s galleries and refine the skills necessary to find meaningful employment in their future. By earning volunteer hours and certifications, VolunTeens move up through a rung-system that provides greater opportunities as they progress.


Fall 2017 Application Information

Click here to apply for the Fall 2017 VolunTeen cohort!

Applicants must be 12–18 years of age at the time of application. Additional details can be found at the top of the application. All parts of the application are due Monday, September 4, 2017.

The application must be completed in one sitting. Exiting out of the application will result in needing to start from the beginning.

Fall 2017 Training Dates

VolunTeen Orientation: September 23, 2017

VolunTeen Orientation: October 1, 2017

VolunTeen Orientation: October 7, 2017

VolunTeen Training: October 14, 2017

VolunTeen Training: October 21, 2017

VolunTeen Training: October 28, 2017

VolunTeen Training: November 4, 2017

VolunTeen Training: November 11, 2017

VolunTeen Training: November 18, 2017

VolunTeen Training: December 2, 2017

VolunTeen Training: December 9, 2017

The application will call for the following:

  • The name and email address of one reference to speak on the teen’s behalf via a short digital survey. References must be non-family members, outside of your household who can speak on your behalf regarding your character and/or previous volunteer experience or experience working with children. Teachers, coaches, religious leaders or mentors are excellent options.
    Please notify your reference in advance that you have asked for their assistance. This reference will be automatically sent an email with your name, your primary email address and a survey. You will be notified by email when your reference has submitted their survey, which they must complete by the application deadline.
  • Assistance from the parent/guardian of the applicant during portions of the application.
  • Short answer responses:
    • Why do you wish to be a VolunTeen?
    • What about you, your skills, and your experiences volunteering and/or working with kids make you a qualified candidate?
    • What are your short term and long term goals?

Short Answer Tips

  • Take your time and write to the best of your ability.
  • Remember to discuss your experiences as if the reader has no idea what the organizations, programs, sports, or activities are.
  • Avoid any negative commentary about yourself or others.
  • Remember to describe programs, organizations and phrases that may not be known to everyone.
  • Think about what makes you unique!