Volunteer Opportunities for Students to Get Involved in the Community

October 21st, 2019 by


Food sorting. Group of volunteers packing donation for homeless into paper bags, working in office, copy space. Most students are focused on school, sports, and socializing, and there is nothing wrong with that. But if you or your students are looking for something more meaningful and productive to do on the weekends or with free time, volunteering is a great idea. There are countless volunteer opportunities for students, and each option comes with a slew of benefits and advantages both for the students and others involved. Take a look at the primary benefits that all volunteer opportunities for students will offer, several ways for students to get involved in their communities, and how to find volunteer opportunities in your area.

Benefits of Participating in Volunteer Opportunities for Students

The best part about students volunteering is that they get to contribute to their community. Whether they’re serving food at a homeless shelter, building homes in a local neighborhood, or spending time with the elderly at a nearby retirement home, it feels good to give back. The community will benefit from having more people loved on and cared for, and students will experience a sense of accomplishment, significance, and joy when they serve others. Additionally, students can gain important skills while volunteering. This might be physical skills like learning how to lay a roof or fix a car, or it may be interpersonal skills like compassion, empathy, and understanding. Students can often take on leadership roles in their volunteer position, allowing them the opportunity to help others and grow as a leader. Volunteer opportunities for students often give them access to a wide network of individuals in their community, some of which may be important individuals within a particular industry or in the community itself. It always helps to have connections, especially for students looking to go into certain fields, and volunteering alongside CEOs and other executives will only benefit the student. Volunteering also looks great on applications, both those for college and jobs. Admissions boards and employers like to see that students care about others and are willing and able to serve others and put their community before their own needs. Another big benefit of students volunteering is the difference it makes in the community. It can build awareness of issues in an area, and it can bring about radical change to a neighborhood or city when people help others and then bring the needs to the rest of their community.

5 Ways for Students to Get Involved in the Community

Help Other Kids

Whether you volunteer at a camp, coach a sports team, or tutor younger students, helping other kids is a great way for students to get involved in the community. You may have had an older student or adult assist you at a pivotal time in your life and know that it meant a lot—you can be that person to a younger child! Use your skills, interests, and hobbies and give back to the community by serving other kids. Just like you, kids of all ages are our future, so the more we pour into them when they’re young, the more our community will benefit in the future.

Take Care of Animals

If you love animals, there are plenty of ways for students to get involved in the community by serving animals. Volunteer at a local animal shelter, foster pets, or become an advocate for no-kill shelters. You may be able to work with a national park or wildlife rescue organization, or you may be able to secure a volunteer opportunity with a veterinarian. Especially if you’re interested in working with animals in a future career, getting involved with animals as a student is a great way to volunteer.

Clean up the Environment

If you are passionate about the environment, get involved in an organization that feels the same. You can start a highway cleanup crew, join an advocacy group for reducing emissions, volunteer with a property conservation organization, or find a group that supports marine wildlife protection. There are countless volunteer opportunities for students when it comes to the environment, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find one near you.

Prepare or Serve Food

Homeless shelters, soup kitchens, food pantries and more are constantly looking for volunteers. Maybe you have a passion for cooking, maybe you think you’d be great at organizing a giant pantry full of food, or maybe you just want to meet the basic needs of those in your community. Several places will take on student volunteers to prepare, package, collect, and serve food, and this is a great way to meet a tangible need of individuals in your area.

Love on the Elderly

Retirement homes are full of people who get very few visitors, and they are always looking for volunteers to come spend time with their residents. Go play a musical set list, join in on bingo night, or simply sit and read with a senior citizen who doesn’t have a lot of visitors. Students may be surprised at what they can learn from the elderly and how their lives can be radically impacted by spending time with an older generation.

How to Find Volunteer Opportunities for Students Near You

If you’re searching for ways for students to get involved in the community, it helps to narrow down your search to what you’d like to do. If you’re not certain, doing a general search can give you some ideas and a starting place to delve deeper into specific organizations and ways to serve. Here are a handful of places for you to start looking for volunteer opportunities for students:

  • United Way
  • YMCA
  • Red Cross
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Local Libraries
  • Food Pantries
  • Animal Shelters
  • Retirement Homes
  • Girl/Boy Scouts
  • Foster Programs
  • Churches
  • Local Hospitals

Students can make a big difference in their communities and they will enjoy many benefits of volunteering in their area. Start with this list to get some ideas of how and where you would like to serve, and we’re confident you’ll enjoy your experience and gain a great deal from it, in addition to imparting change in your city.


How to Effectively Choose the Right Elective Courses to Boost Your Future Job Prospects

October 21st, 2019 by


Happy young woman using laptop computer sitting on couch, smiling teen shopping online, banking in internet, freelance and work from home, running e-business, remote distant working, writing web blog. Gone are the days when simply getting a college degree secured a good job. In times past, any college degree in any field was enough to get you an entry-level position, if not higher, at a good company that offered plenty of room for growth and the opportunity to work your way up the ladder. Nowadays, post-graduate unemployment is at an all-time high, and college grads are struggling to get even the lowest positions in a company that specializes in what they majored in. How can you avoid that? How can you prepare yourself for the best career possible and increase your future job prospects? One way is through the electives you take in both high school and college. Sure, majoring in a field that has a lot of jobs is a great start, but not everyone is suited for a career in the medical field or the world of science and technology. So even if you’re choosing to major in something that’s not considered high-demand in the job market, you can still boost your future job prospects by the elective courses you take before graduation. Here are a few tips on choosing the right electives, along with some suggestions of what electives to register for next semester.

Think Big Picture

According to a study done by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, only about a fourth of college graduates have a job related to their field of study in college. That means that even if you have your heart set on being an art historian and study art history for four years during college, you’re more likely to end up in a completely different field. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t pick a major that lines up with your interests and future goals and plans, but you need to think more about the big picture when you’re registering for classes. You should, of course, take the courses that are required for your major, but consider other alternative career paths as well. Maybe you don’t become an art historian but can land a job as a museum manager. You may need some management classes, business classes, and finance classes to improve your odds of getting that job. Or maybe you can get your foot in the door at an art museum by writing grant proposals on behalf of the museum or working in the museum’s IT department. You need some specific skills to do each of these jobs, and while they aren’t directly related to your specific career goals, they could get you in the door at a place you’d like to work.

Consider Your Skills, Not Just Your Interests

You may be incredibly passionate about art history, but you may also have a natural ability to understand complex mathematics. Or you may be thrilled about the idea of working with computers when you graduate, but you also have a knack for writing. When you’re choosing electives, be sure to think about what your natural skillset includes rather than just simply what interests you. We know you spent years taking classes that you didn’t have a say in, and the freedom to select your own classes in high school and college may give you a whole new level of excitement, but you can’t and shouldn’t ignore what you’re naturally good at either. It never hurts to fine-tune some natural abilities and increase your knowledge base of something you’re already gifted in, especially when it comes to future career prospects.

Push Yourself Beyond Comfort Zones

In the opposite way, don’t be afraid to take some classes that push you outside your comfort zones. If you’re not a “math person,” you may shy away from anything math-related, like economics, finance, statistics, and engineering. But you may be shocked to find that something outside your “comfort zone” is actually really enjoyable and you may discover a hidden talent or inclination toward a particular subject that you didn’t know existed. Particularly when it comes to electives classes, you should really take your time to explore a variety of courses to see what you may enjoy and what you may be good at so that you cover all your bases and get a good well-rounded education.

What Electives Should I Take?

Now that you understand the importance of varying your electives, let’s talk about some specific classes that you should take. Some of your electives will depend on your major, while others are just good choices for anyone. If you are a math or science major, it may be important for you to focus on electives that help you with soft skills and non-mathematical knowledge, such as psychology, communications, and writing. If you’re majoring in something more arts-focused, like English, art, education, and so on, you will benefit from the more technical electives, like statistics, engineering, and computer technology. All students should consider taking courses that will benefit them as a business person (such as economics, finance, business, management, and financial planning), a communicator (classes like writing, communications, psychology), and a tech-savvy individual (courses like computer technology, computer programming, and statistics).

While your degree is going to be specific, your education as a whole should be as well-rounded as possible. The goal is to get a leg up on other prospective employees and show your future boss that you will offer more to the company than someone else. Your well-rounded educational background will also show that you are not just a one-trick pony but that you can excel in a variety of areas and learn a variety of different skills.


6 Misconceptions About Online Learning

October 21st, 2019 by




Serious experienced female coach makes records in notepad, focused at screen of laptop computer, has long red hair, wears transparent glasses, watches webinar online. Business and job concept. Getting an education online has a great deal of benefits associated with it. Whether you’re planning to complete middle school online, high school online, or a college education online, you are sure to experience a number of advantages that traditional students will miss out on. However, even with all the benefits and perks of online learning, there are a number of misconceptions about online learning that make some people hesitant or skeptical to even consider it. Let’s take a look at six common misconceptions about online learning and explore the actual truth behind the misconception.

Misconception #1: Online Learning Is Easier Than Traditional Schooling

This is a misconception that needs to be handled promptly so that students don’t enroll in online school with misguided ideas about what the experience will be like. Many traditional students think that online classes are easier, shorter, and less involved than regular classes, but that simply isn’t the case. Online classes cover the same information as traditional classes, and they have similar expectations and standards for all students. While the physical time spent on an online class may be shorter (although it may not be), that doesn’t mean the coursework is easier or the material is simpler. The standards for each class are the same for every state and school district, whether the courses are taken online or in a traditional educational setting.

Misconception #2: You Have No Peer Interaction with Online Classes

Most people think of online learning as completed isolated time sitting in front of a computer with absolutely zero human interaction. However, online learning environments are actually very stringent about the requirements they set on students for peer interaction. Not only do online students post discussions, respond to others’ comments and questions in writing, and have real-time discussions with peers during class time, but they also take part in group work and collaborative activities quite often. Additionally, many virtual learners choose to participate in extracurricular activities, whether through their school or with local organizations, so that they are regularly interacting with peers and others during the school week.

Misconception #3: You Have to Be a Technological Genius to Take Online Classes

It’s true that you need basic tech skills to succeed in an online class or to complete your entire education online, but that doesn’t mean you need to be a technological genius or even be tech-savvy. You’ll need to know how to connect to the internet, how to navigate a web browser, and how to use basic word processors, plus you will need to learn how to use the software program that the online school uses. Most young people are tech-savvy enough to begin online schooling without much preparation, but even the lesser technologically advanced individuals can be ready for online classes pretty quickly by mastering only a few key skills.

Misconception #4: Online Degrees Aren’t Accredited or Transferable

While some online schools are not accredited, that is not something you have to worry about if you enroll at San Diego Virtual School. Our entire program is fully accredited both nationally and regionally, and our students get real high school diplomas upon graduation. Additionally, if at any time one of our students chooses to transfer to a traditional school in the area, their classes will transfer easily and they won’t lose credits. It was once a mindset that online schools were “less than” in terms of legitimacy and challenging curriculum, but those days are long gone. Especially since SDVS is fully accredited, our students never have a hard time enrolling in excellent colleges or landing their dream jobs after graduation.

Misconception #5: There Is No Timeline or Time Limit for Completion of Courses

It’s true that online students can make their own schedules and work at their own pace. However, our online courses do have deadlines, just like any school does, and there is a time limit for completion of classes. This is to ensure students are kept on track with graduating at a certain time and don’t spend unnecessary amounts of time enrolled in classes when they should be moving on to the next course. We fully support scheduling flexibility and allowing students to work ahead or slightly slower than the standard pace, if needed, but assignments, tests, projects, and more all have deadlines that students are expected to abide by. Additionally, courses are done in semesters and students are expected to follow due dates and make classwork submissions in a timely manner.

Misconception #6: No One-on-One Instruction Takes Place in Online Learning Environments

A lot of people think that online learning is all about self-directed study and that no actual one-on-one instruction takes place at an online school. While we do believe in and encourage personal responsibility, independence, and self-motivation amongst our students, our instructors are incredibly engaged with the students throughout the entirety of every semester. Our teachers lead discussions, present lectures on new information, and work with the students to understand the material being presented. Additionally, if students need additional help or have questions, our teachers are very accessible and easy to reach. One of the best parts of SDVS is our staff, and our students and their parents all speak highly of how involved and helpful our teachers are.

If you have any other ideas about online school and you’re uncertain of their validity, please contact us at San Diego Virtual School. If you have any other questions about online schooling, the virtual classroom environment, SDVS’s accreditation, or anything else related to online learning, please contact SDVS today. We would love to talk with you to answer any questions and address any concerns you may have, as well as discuss your ideas and plans for an online education.




Why Teachers Should Teach Empathy in the Classroom

January 28th, 2019 by

teaching empathy in the classroom

Teachers, parents, and students alike are discovering the importance of learning more than just academic knowledge in school. Real-life education is becoming increasingly important so that students can succeed and function well outside of their school walls. Since it’s not enough for students to just learn math, reading, writing, and study skills, teachers are shifting their focus to teaching resilience, perseverance, self-control, teamwork, and more. Another big focus is empathy. In the classroom, students as young as 5 can learn empathy and how to apply to their daily interactions with others. These lessons are key in helping students develop into kind and caring individuals who will eventually become responsible and productive members of society.


How to Relieve Test-Taking Anxiety

January 28th, 2019 by

test-taking anxiety

Tests of any kind can be stressful and even overwhelming, but some individuals experience true anxiety when taking tests. Whether it’s a simple chapter test, a final exam for a course, or a college entrance exam, students are often intimidated and stressed out by the mere thought of taking a test. Test-taking anxiety goes beyond general feelings of stress about taking a test—it is a physical response and true physiological reaction to the test. Students with test-taking anxiety have more extreme feelings than general nervousness about a test. They often experience stomach discomfort, sweaty palms, an inability to concentrate, racing thoughts, and increased heartbeat, and feelings of dread and an ability to recall pertinent information. Test-taking anxiety can often bring about feelings of fear and uncertainty as well, especially since many students with it don’t perform well on tests and therefore have grades that do not appropriately reflect their academic knowledge or retention of information. If you have students who suffer from test-taking anxiety, there are some things you can do to help them. Understanding why students experience it and why they feel so much pressure to do well on tests is a good start. We’ve then compiled a list of tips to help you relieve test-taking anxiety in your students so they can perform better on tests without the stress, and they can finally have grades that reflect their capabilities.


Time Management Tips for Virtual School Students

August 9th, 2017 by

time management virtual school

Successful time management is a skill that is extremely beneficial for all students, at all levels. However, virtual school students will be faced with a unique set of challenges because the classroom setting will be unique from traditional schools and the courses will be presented online. Virtual students will be more responsible for managing their time and keeping up with class work because scheduling and time will not be measured by bells are handled completely by teachers. The student will have a much larger role in planning their day and keeping up with it, and here we provide time management tips for virtual student to help improve your success.


How Online Students Can Be More Productive

July 31st, 2017 by

be more productive in online school

There are a lot of benefits to being an online student, and there are some students out there that can make it seem like it comes naturally to be productive and achieve everything on their schedule with ease. However, trust that being productive takes effort and thoughtfulness, and all students can achieve this. Here are a few tips to help online students be more productive in their day and more successful in their school work.


How Online Schools Can Help You Succeed in Other Areas of Life

July 16th, 2017 by

The school your child goes to will make an impact on all areas of their life, and as parents, you of course want to see them succeed in everything from their hobbies to their future careers. Online schools have shown to help students succeed in other areas of life beyond academics, as well as to further expand their goals when it comes to further educations. Here we like at the primary ways online schools help you succeed in other areas of life, but trust that you will notice more as you go forward with the curriculum.


7 Myths About Online Schooling

July 7th, 2017 by

myths about online school

Online schooling is an ideal way for students to make the most of their education while also keeping a flexible schedule. Many parents have found this style of schooling to be invaluable because it allows their kids to participate in other academic and extra-curricular activities without the constraints of a traditional schedule. However, even with these benefits and more, there are still some people that shy away from it because of a few myths out there about online schooling. Here we debunk 7 of them.


How to Prepare for a Transition to Online Schooling

June 22nd, 2017 by

transition to online school

Transitioning to online schooling is an experience that more and more middle and high schoolers are going through. Online schooling provides a more flexible schedule and you get access to a sound education that will help you succeed, whether your goals are to go to college, enter the workforce after high school, or simply excel at other activities in your future. However, as with any transition in life, you need to be prepared for the transition. Here are a few ways to prepare yourself for a transition to online schooling.