TeenLife Media to Host Fourth Annual Community Service Fair for Teens

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On February 13, 2011, TeenLife Media will bring together more than 40 local non-profit organizations willing to engage teen volunteers for the 4th Annual TeenLife Community Service Fair. The annual event will take place at the Mall at Chestnut Hill from 12 noon to 4 pm. This free event will bring together more than 1000 students, parents and teachers from more than 150 public and private schools across Greater Boston with non-profit organizations, sponsors and supporting exhibitors.

“By engaging in volunteer work, teens have an opportunity to learn experientially. They discover where their passions lie while undertaking meaningful work,” said Marie Schwartz, president and founder of TeenLife.

From increased self-esteem to acquiring valuable job skills, teens today are experiencing the benefits of volunteerism. Many middle and high school students in Greater Boston are required or strongly encouraged to spend a certain number of hours outside of school volunteering for non-profits. However, many students do not know where or how to find meaningful opportunities that match with their needs and interests, and most parents and educators do not have the time or the resources to keep up with all of the interesting options.

On February 13, 2011, TeenLife Media will bring together more than 40 local non-profit organizations willing to engage teen volunteers for the 4th Annual TeenLife Community Service Fair.

The annual event will take place at the Mall at Chestnut Hill from 12 noon to 4 pm. This free event will bring together more than 1000 students, parents and teachers from more than 150 public and private schools across Greater Boston with non-profit organizations, sponsors and supporting exhibitors.

“By engaging in volunteer work, teens have an opportunity to learn experientially. They discover where their passions lie while undertaking meaningful work,” said Marie Schwartz, president and founder of TeenLife. “This allows them to make more informed choices about college courses and career options as they continue on in life.”

TeenLife is a unique resource that helps families and schools to connect students to all sorts of meaningful educational and experiential learning opportunities. The first TeenLife Community Service Fair, modeled after similar events held by colleges for incoming students, was held in the winter of 2008 to help families and educators find volunteer opportunities for teens. It has quickly established itself as a “go-to” event in the area, attracting hundreds of students, parents, and educators annually from a wide variety of private, public, and parochial middle and high schools.

“As a high school student with a community service requirement, I had no idea what was really involved in volunteering. I assumed community service would be drab and boring. Instead, the Community Service Fair showcased a diverse group of volunteer opportunities,” said Andrew Miller-Smith, a senior at Buckingham Browne & Nichols. “As a dedicated tennis player, I was drawn to Tenacity, a non-profit organization that teaches tennis and literacy to children in the Greater Boston area. It was a life-changing experience and one I look forward to continuing.”

Exhibiting non-profits at the 2011 fair will include The American Red Cross of Massachusetts Bay, Boston Cares, Challenge Unlimited, Combined Jewish Philanthropies, Cradles to Crayons, DoSomething.org, The Food Project, Hale Reservation, Horizons for Homeless Children, New England Aquarium, People Making a Difference, Roots & Shoots, Tenacity, United Way, and many others.

“In the past two years, our presence at the TeenLife Community Service Fair has resulted in numerous school group visits, new staff and volunteers for our summer programs and a host of inquiries from individuals who want to know how they can help,” said Jay Walsh, environmental resource manager at Hale Reservation. “We are looking forward to being part of this year’s event and continuing the groundswell of results.”

As part of the event, Bristol Recording & Voice Studios will host a high school a cappella Sing Off at the Fair. The winners will be announced by Billy Costa, Boston radio and television personality, and host of WGBH's High School Quiz Show! Pitch Slapped, a coed a cappella group representing the Berklee College of Music on NBC's hit show The Sing Off, will also make a special guest appearance. Participating high schools include: Wayland High School, Milton Academy, Nobles and Greenough, Brookline High School, and Winchester High School.

Sponsors of the 2011 Community Service Fair include American Camp Association, Bristol Recording & Voice Studios, Internship Connection, Maine Arts Camp, Middlebury Monterey Language Academy, Princeton Review, REI, United Planet, Veritas Tutors, and Visions Service Adventures. High School Quiz Show on WGBH-TV and WickedLocal.com are the media sponsors and the Mall at Chestnut Hill is the venue sponsor.

“We look forward to hosting the fourth annual Community Service Fair again this year at the Mall at Chestnut Hill,” said Laurel Sibert, regional vice president of marketing, Simon Malls in New England. “The event provides a wonderful forum for young teens to engage with non-profit organizations, and we are thrilled to be able to provide a venue to support this volunteerism,” she added.

The 2011 TeenLife Guide to Community Service, generously sponsored by global education leader Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, will be distributed for free to all attendees at the Community Service Fair as well as to middle and high school students attending public and private schools in the Greater Boston area. This year’s guide, published in conjunction with the non-profit People Making a Difference, showcases more than 200 non-profit organizations that are willing to engage teens in a variety of volunteer activities. To request copies, contact info@teenlife.com.

Parents, students, and educators are encouraged to pre-register for this free event in order to expedite check-in and receive important pre- and post-event information. To register for the fair, visit http://www.teenlife.com/CSFair2011.

About TeenLife Media, LLC
TeenLife Media helps families and schools to connect middle and high school students with all sorts of meaningful opportunities, such as summer programs, community service, after school and weekend activities, and gap year programs. We also list extensive resources on how to find a job or internship and gain admission to college. Our goal is to become the "go to” online destination for students, parents and educators nationwide who are seeking programs, products and services geared to college-bound teens, aged 13-19. For more information on TeenLife Media, please email info@teenlife.com, call 617-868-5848, or visit http://www.teenlife.com.

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