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10 volunteering ideas for high school students
Looking for volunteer opportunities? We have you covered

We've heard it before. Every June, three weeks before graduation, a student contacts us desperately looking for a volunteer position to fulfill their 40-hour requirement--don't let it happen to you! Earning your hours can mean the difference between accepting your high school diploma or putting your employment and post secondary plans on hold. Avoid stress and start thinking about your hours early. 

The Ministry of Education requires Ontario high school students to complete 40 volunteer hours in order to earn their Ontario Secondary School Diploma. You can start as early as the summer before you begin grade 9. While it is important to choose a meaningful position, be aware of eligible and ineligible opportunities. To get the most our of your volunteer experience, think about your areas of  interest, skills you can bring to the position and the realistic time commitment you can provide.

Not sure where to begin? We have you covered with a helpful list to get you started. Be sure to check out our available volunteer positions regularly. Your meaningful role is just a click away!

Youth Teams

Make a difference, meet new people and build your skills by joining the StepUp Ambassadors who promote volunteerism. But there are other great teams of youth giving back to their communities, including the Studio.89 Youth Social Justice Team and the Conservation Youth Corps.

Special Events

Want to gain some hours but can't do a long term commitment? Event volunteering is a great way to get your hours while helping a local cause. Many organizations host weekend events. Whether it is a walk or cultural festival, there are lots of opportunities, some with minimum age as low as 16.


One of the most pressing issues of our time and commonly cited by youth as an area they are most passionate about is protecting the environment. Ecosource, Riverwood Conservancy and Credit Valley Youth Corps are great places to start. 

Food Banks

Food banks such as Knights Table and Seva Food Bank welcome student volunteers. Lend a hand, contribute to your community and nourish your soul.

Seniors homes

Interested in the health care field? Hospices, seniors homes and long-term care facilities are always looking for volunteers. Heart House Hospice, MICBA Forum Italia Seniors Residence, and Victorian Order of Nurses to name a few.


Not just a place for quiet study, the library offers volunteer positions assisting staff with in-house and outreach programs. Check out positions with the Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon libraries.


Interested in working with children? Many organizations have child minding  or youth leadership opportunities. EarlyON Centres, Boys and Girls Club of Canada, Big Brothers Big Sisters and many more!


William Osler Hospital offers volunteer opportunities, in a variety of service areas, year round at their three hospital sites. Summer Program applications are due between February 15 and April 15 each year. Minimum age is 15 or older at the time of application. 

Arts & Theatre

If you enjoy the arts, check out the numerous youth volunteer positions at The Living Arts Centre or join The Rose Theatre's Teen Volunteer Team. Paint scenery, prepare props and costumes and more! Minimum age 16. 

Virtual Volunteering

The perfect volunteer opportunity can be right at your fingertips. Lend your talents virtually from the comfort of your own home. 

Written by MarComm
Written by MarComm