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How Volunteer Connect can help you with Bright Futures

Maybe you’re hoping to instill a love of community service in your little one. Or maybe you want your big one to conquer the volunteer (service) hours required for a Florida Bright Futures Scholarship. No matter your reason, if you’re looking for the right volunteer opportunity, Florida has a new, easy way for you to find it!

It’s called Volunteer Connect, and it’s the state’s official volunteer opportunities platform that launched in November 2019.

“Something we find is a lot of people want to serve, and they just don’t know where to start,” said Savannah Kelly, External Affairs Director for Volunteer Florida, the state agency that operates Volunteer Connect. “This offers a really great opportunity for students, parents — really, everyone — to get involved in their local communities.

Volunteer Connect makes it simple to find a meaningful volunteer opportunity. You can put in a keyword, location and distance for a basic search, or use advanced filters to search by time availability, interest (such as the environment, arts and culture, disaster services, education and more) or age of the volunteer.

New opportunities and organizations are being added to the site all the time, so Kelly encourages potential volunteers to check back often — especially as word continues to spread statewide about the new platform.

According to the Journal of Adolescence, teens benefit psychologically from spending time helping strangers. And studies show that altruism can help people connect socially, which may prevent loneliness and alleviate mental health concerns, such as depression.

Kelly said volunteering is also linked to better chances of being employed and civically engaged.

“It’s a really great way to give back,” she said. “It brings people together.”

Interested in learning more about the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program? In addition to meeting academic requirements, Florida Medallion Scholars will need to log 75 service hours. Florida Academic Scholars need to log 100.

Check out our popular blog post for some important tips about Bright Futures!

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