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.  

Program Description

We are excited about all our program has to offer including many interactive experiences and the 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.

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

2019 Dates for Each 2-Week Session

First Session:

  • Monday, June 10: 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday - Thursday, June 11, 12, & 13: 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
  • Optional Basic Life Support training, Monday, June 17, 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday - Thursday, June 18, 19, & 20: 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Second Session:

  • Monday, July 15: 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday - Thursday, July 16, 17, & 18: 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
  • Optional Basic Life Support training, Monday, July 22, 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday - Thursday, July 23, 24, & 25: 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

All Volunteens must be able to attend every day of their chosen session. Note that this program is in Memphis, Tennessee. Volunteens must provide their own housing and all of their own transportation. (Returning Volunteens must be able to attend training during the week before their session.)

Age Requirements

To qualify for the 2019 Volunteen Program, all applicants must be 16 years old by June 1, 2019, and no older than 18 years old by that same date.

Tips for Completing a Successful Application

The program attracts many applicants each summer. Each teen must complete an application including an essay and/or short answer questions. A committee reviews the application and scores each candidate using a point system. Read the tips below to obtain your highest score possible.

Tips to help you complete a successful application:

List your volunteer experience
Perhaps you have volunteered at church, helped a neighbor or participated in a project through an organization you belong to at school. These are just a few examples of volunteering. A volunteer is one who gives, without compensation, of his/her time and/or talent. Please think of a time you have done this and include the information in the spaces for volunteer experience.

List your work experience
Work experience includes any activity that you provided for compensation. These activities can range from babysitting to lawn maintenance to food service. The work could be for an individual or a large company. Don’t forget to include your work experience.

Essay & short answer questions
Writing skills are important, however it is also important to read the directions for the essay very carefully and be sure to include everything it asks for. Seek useful feedback by having a teacher, other mentor or parent read the directions and review your essay to be sure you have addressed all points in the instructions. The ability to follow directions is important to your success in our program.

Flexibility and the ability to mark multiple choices for sessions and tracks increases your chance of admittance.

Answers to all of the questions on the application are sources of potential points towards your overall score. Be careful to answer all questions thoroughly.

Applications are open

Submit your application and essay. The deadline for submission is 6:00 p.m. on Friday, March 15.

All applicants will be notified of acceptance or decline by late-April, 2019. If you have additional questions regarding the Volunteen program contact our team at volunteers@stjude.org.

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