AICE your Bright Future with these volunteer opportunities


photo by Alina Negrin

Community service hours can be earned in a variety of ways such as cleaning up our beaches for sea turtles or reading to children at the library.

Kali Gaylord, Staff Writer

Volunteering to help out for a cause you feel passionate about can make you feel proud and accomplished, and with 20 service hours for graduation, 75 for Bright Futures Scholarship Program, and 100 hours for the AICE diploma, knowing where to look can help start your volunteering journey. 

Dogs are man’s best friend

No matter how true that statement is, many people can’t deny that they love to be around dogs, playful and affectionate, wanting you to pet them and care for them. Whether or not you have a pooch of your own, volunteering at Big Dog Ranch Rescue would be the perfect way to spend time around the fur balls you love while also contributing your time to an important cause. The mission at the ranch is to rescue, rehabilitate, and educate until every dog has a safe and loving place to call home, while also working to end abuse and homelessness through legislative efforts.

To become part of this mission, all you have to do is volunteer. The ranch is located in Loxahatchee Groves, and children aged 8-15 must be accompanied by an adult, but ages 16 and up can volunteer alone. A simple, online application must be filled out and once accepted, you will be on your way toward fun-filled days with paws galore. Volunteer duties include walking the dogs, cleaning kennels, feeding the hounds, playing with puppies, greeting potential adopters, and maintaining the grounds to ensure safety and cleanliness for all, with or without fur. 

A Book Lover’s Dream

For those who can’t or don’t want to be around dogs for one reason or another, the library is another place where you can get your hours in a more quiet setting. The Palm Beach County Library System has branches all over the county, so finding one easily accessible to you won’t be a problem. These libraries host an array of events that can give service hours if you choose to participate. 

To find an activity you want to partake in, head over to the Palm Beach County Library website and select the events page and then volunteer opportunities. If you find an event you’re interested in, you can fill out an application online. Past events have been helping to decorate the library for winter and making cards to spread joy and holiday spirit around the community. For those who like to read, the library offers teen book discussions where you can share about a book of your choosing, and you can be a part of the teen advisory board, where you are tasked with planning future events and brainstorming ideas that would be interesting to fellow teenagers. 

Stay in school kids

If you can’t get out and commute to get service hours, Palm Beach Central offers ample opportunities.  Being a student aide, for example, is a great way to obtain 50 hours per semester. Future juniors and seniors who apply when class requests for the next year are handed out and get accepted, will get assigned to a  teacher. Jobs can consist of going out to copy papers, organizing materials, running errands, etc. Each job helps out a teacher, and being an aide gets you service hours without taking extra time out of your day to go volunteer. 

 “Our student aides are very appreciated,” said Student Services secretary Ms. Hocza.  “We need their assistance daily, they’re always very helpful, and we wouldn’t know what to do without them.”


Another great way to find ways to volunteer is by joining Palm Beach Central’s UNICEF Google classroom. The adviser, Ms. Biferie, is always posting new volunteer opportunities in the stream, some are independent, online events  and others are face to face.   Opportunities range from simple things like donating books and toys to children in need, to sorting through donations at the Homeless Coalition and collecting garbage to keep our beaches clean.    If you choose to join the UNICEF club, their REMIND code is @unicefpbc to 81010 and their Google Classroom code 2vhs6d6. 

“I enjoy UNICEF because it’s a way to get involved with the community,” explained junior Alina Negrin. “When I volunteer it gives me a sense of purpose and being a part of the UNICEF club is interesting because I get to see what goes on behind the scenes.”

All it takes is finding something you like to do and an organization that can help you do it, and then you’re off contributing to the community while also fulfilling your graduation requirements.

“Volunteering is a lot of fun,” said senior and avid volunteer Lourdes Royce. “I’ve made friends while volunteering and you can build community pride by meeting the people who live around the area.”