Volunteen Program

The Volunteen program strives to provide a rich well-rounded experience of service. It offers the opportunity to develop team building as well as leadership skills and fosters self-awareness. The program is highly demanding, as each teen works closely with patients, siblings and parents. Volunteens are able to explore possible career paths as well as gain an understanding of how our unique facility has completely changed how the world treats children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. Teens choose from the two tracks and sessions as described below.

Program Description

We are excited about all our program has to offer including many interactive experiences and the daily opportunities for service through engagement with patients and families. Volunteens will:

  • Provide fun-filled activities for our patients and siblings each day
  • Explore health and research related careers
  • Gain an understanding of and build a connection to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

The Volunteen Program is a two-week program offered two different times during the summer. Each session will consist of 16 new Volunteens and four returning Volunteens serving as program assistants in a leadership role. Teens will participate in one of the two tracks described below.

Many of the activities will be experienced by the group as a whole. At times, Volunteens will break into smaller groups according to their assigned track to participate in more focused activities.

Specialty Tracks

  1. Research is a critical mission piece at St. Jude. Volunteens in this track will be exposed to both clinical and basic science research occurring broadly across the institution. This track will include experiences such as:

    • Laboratory tours
    • A laboratory activity
    • Interviews with scientists
    • More
  2. This track is for teens who may be interested in clinical based careers such as nursing and medicine. These careers include:

    • Nursing
    • Physicians
    • Child Life
    • Pharmacy
    • More


To qualify for admission into the 2017 program, you must be at least 16 years of age and no older than 18 years of age by May 15, 2017 (born on or after May 16, 1998, but before or on May 15, 2001). Returning Volunteens may apply the year immediately after the summer they served as a Volunteen.

Please note that this program is in Memphis, Tennessee. Volunteens must provide their own housing and all of their own transportation.


The application deadline for Summer 2016 has passed. Notifications for the 2016 Summer Sessions will be made by April 18. Please check back with our website in February 2017 for Summer 2017 information. For questions or additional information, contact the Volunteer Services team at volunteers@stjude.org.

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