By Ferah Aziz, April 4, 2020

The following is a list of links to help you enjoy building your skills and resume.  Scroll all the way down to see volunteer ideas, along with virtual cultural tours and performances.

Learning Opportunities

  • Take college courses for free from world’s top universities (test drive your major of interest, learn a new language and maybe earn a certificate):

Learning Platforms: CourseraedX, and MOOC.

Get Creative

Surf YouTube or the net to learn how to draw, photograph, film, paint, sew, embroider, arrange flowers, woodwork, build a computer, dance (i.e. Irish step dancing) to name just a fraction of the possibilities.

Become an entrepreneur by selling your creations on Etsy. Consider donating part of your sales to a non-profit organization or those with need (a good way to market).

Write poetry, short stories, screenplays, novels or blogs (maybe your work can get published). Tools follow:

Arts & Humanities: check out khanacademy’s Arts & Humanities partners (lots of great content)

Music: Learn about music on khanacademy.org (even how to play band instruments)

Perform online through TikTok, YouTube or Facebook live (you might become a star).  Or just share your or your group’s talents at #Sunshine Songs or #HeyJenLookAtMe

Create a photo journal, short films (i.e. do it yourself, cooking, storytelling or comedy acts). If you are good with a camera,offer to take family front porch photos (keep safe distance).  If you want to charge for your photos, consider donating part of the sales to a non-profit.

Garden or build structures such as sheds, chicken coops, or bird houses.

Create a website or portfolio to highlight your creations, photos, and to share who you are.

Create a family tree or write about your family history.

Get Active: try online ballet, Yoga or taekwondo classes to name just a few options.

Enjoy the Arts/Museums/Zoos

Here is Good Housekeeping’s massive List of virtual museum, zoo, and theme park visits.

Enjoy  Beethoven’s 9th virtual concert.

The National Theatre will stream a live play every Thursday night!

The National Student Drama Festival will take place online.

Volunteer/Service Opportunities

Be careful and set clear boundaries, expectations and schedules that you can keep! Get your parents’ guidance and permission first.

Reach out to parents of  younger kids and offer to help ease a kid’s boredom or to give parents a break  by reading stories (or ask them to read to you to improve their reading skills), playing games (i.e. guessing games) or by becoming a virtual tutor or study time monitor.  Tap family, friends, neighbors (or post an ad in Nextdoor). You can read-aloud remotely through an organization like Quarantutors.

 Reach out to a senior citizen to help them feel less lonely by visiting with them on the phone (or virtually via Facetime or Zoom etc.).  You can ask them about their lives or read to them.  This  organization uses volunteers to make “Social Calls” to the elderly.

Send emails or make calls to raise funds for organizations (fighting effects of Covid-19 or other causes).

Make masks (many how to videos with and without sewing machines are online). Here’s one  link to help you donate PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), whether home-made or factory made, to the places that need them the most:  #GetUsPPE.

Check out the American Red Cross and learn about donating blood and other ways to support this “do-good” powerhouse.

Students with programming skills can do home-based coding for nonprofits that need help through organizations such as Code for Social GoodBenetech, or DonateCode.

Remote Political Volunteering

During the Covid-19 crisis, our 2020 Election political process continues. Students can volunteer to increase voter turnout through organizations such as Rock the Vote, and Postcards to Voters, which can be written at home. Volunteer opportunities for both sides of the political aisle: Fox News listElizabeth Warren’s list.

Special thanks to HECA and CCC colleagues who provided a few of the links above.