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 3-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 own schedule. Post-training volunteering occurs during all museum hours year-long and at special events on and offsite. Teens in their first 12 months are committed to volunteer 100 hours.

While volunteering, VolunTeens will facilitate STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) focused 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 which provides greater opportunities as they progress.

Applications for our Summer 2017 cohort are closed. Check back in August for information on our Fall 2017 cohort!

There will be two VolunTeen sessions in the summer. The orientation dates are mandatory for participation.

Here are the VolunTeen orientation dates and trainings:

Summer Session I:

VolunTeen Orientation I-III: June 14–16, 2017
VolunTeen Training Week 1: June 19, 20 and 22, 2017
VolunTeen Training Week 2: June 26, 27 and 29, 2017
VolunTeen Training Week 3: July 3 and 6, 2017

Summer Session II:

VolunTeen Orientation I-III: July 19–21, 2017
VolunTeen Training Week 1: July 24, 25 and 27, 2017
VolunTeen Training Week 2: July 31, August 1 and 3, 2017
VolunTeen Training Week 3: August 7, 8 and 10, 2017

If chosen to move forward, you will choose which session you would like to participate in as well as either AM or PM training times.

Must be 12-18 years of age at the time of application.  Additional details can be found at the top of the application.

The application will call for the following: 

  1. 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.
  2. Assistance from the parent/guardian of the applicant during portions of the application.
  3. 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 excites you about STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math)?

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!