Cook County Community Center Announces Youth Volunteer Program for Summer 2023

 By Steve Fernlund

The Cook County Community Center is looking for young people, aged 11-14 years, to volunteer at various places throughout the county. Currently there are nine locations that offer volunteer positions and mentorship. 

Volunteers are expected to commit 25 to 50 hours of time to the site of their choosing during the summer months. To reward these young people, they will earn an Exchange Credit Certificate to participate in a cultural or recreational activity of their choice after completing the number of hours they commit to.

Youth volunteer applications are online at the Community Center website and they must be submitted by Tuesday, April 25. Following application there is an orientation meeting for volunteers and their parents/guardians held at the Community Center on Wednesday, April 26 from 630 to 7:30 pm. 

The program has openings for 30 young people. If there are more than 30 applicants, a lottery system will select 30 lucky volunteers.

Cultural or recreational activity rewards might include a discounted ski pass, golf pass, music lessons or other activity within Cook County.  

Locations where volunteers are needed are called Exchange Sites and so far they include:

  • WTIP:

  • Cook County YMCA

  • The Senior Center (HUB)

  • SHIP office (Statewide Health Improvement Partnership)

  • The Grand Marais Playhouse

  • Cook County Soil and Water

  • Cook County Historical Society

  • Cooperation Station

  • Kids Explorers Club

Additional Exchange Sites are welcome and interested organizations should file an application that is available on the Community Center website. Exchange Sites that are accepted will  mentor a youth in their first volunteer job experience, giving them the opportunity to learn the value of reliable attendance,  the importance of work records, and the value of community service. 

To participate, the Exchange Site must be a government or non-profit organization.