Teen Program Volunteering

Teenage volunteers make real contributions at Penn State Children’s Hospital while developing their skills and making new connections.

Become a volunteer in the Teen Program

Applications open every February 1, and the link can be found on Volunteer Services.

Our popular Teen Program welcomes nearly 100 teens each summer. Volunteers are placed at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center or the Children’s Hospital.

Our program consists of an eight-week commitment during the summer only. You’ll be scheduled for one four-hour shift per week on a weekday (Monday through Friday only), and you must be able to commit to the same day and time each week.

Why volunteer?

Some teens volunteer to fulfill their school’s community service requirement. Others are considering medical careers and want to gain hands-on experience at a hospital. Many teens tell us that the program helped them decide on a career!

Whatever your reason for volunteering, the Teen Program offers you the chance to do meaningful work, meet new people, and expand your horizons.

Who can volunteer in the Teen Program?

You must be 14 by the time the program starts in June. You’re welcome to participate through the summer after you graduate from high school. After that, you have to apply as an adult.

What will I do as a volunteer?

Volunteer opportunities for teens at the Children’s Hospital include:

  • Working with patients in the hematology-oncology outpatient unit, providing diversional activities while they are getting treatment.
  • Staffing the Ronald McDonald Family Room or cart and providing food, coffee, and other donated items to guests.

What’s the application process?

For summer 2017, the application link will be posted on Volunteer Services on February 1.

The Teen Program is very popular, and positions fills up quickly. If you’re interested in the program, we encourage you to apply early. Applications close when we reach 110 submissions.

  • When you submit your application, a health screening form will appear - please print this out.  
  • If you need to make a change to your application, call our office at 717-531-8278. Please do not submit duplicate applications.

After you submit your application, you’ll attend a mandatory orientation. An interview for acceptance and placement will be scheduled after orientation. Your parent or legal guardian must be present to sign documentation of understanding and consent.

Returning volunteers

  • Please do not submit a new application. 
  • Instead, contact Volunteer Services at 717-531-8278 between March 2 and April 3 to let us know you are returning.  We’ll need to know what day/time you prefer and what service.
  • You do not have to attend orientation, but TB testing is mandatory.

Contact us

If you have questions about the Teen Program, please contact Sue Espenshade at 717-531-6310 or sespenshade@pennstatehealth.psu.edu.