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Sarah Moore created SRQ Volunteen, a website that helps students find the nonprofits for which they would like to volunteer. Courtesy photo.
Sarasota Thursday, Aug. 4, 2011 9 years ago

Sarasota teen helps youth get involved

by: Amanda Sebastiano Staff Writer

Sarah Moore, a 17-year-old senior this fall in Riverview High’s International Baccalaureate Program, created a website for teens who want to volunteer. During her freshman year of high school in 2008, she knew that she wanted to complete community service hours for scholarships and colleges, but she didn’t know where to get the information; she knew there had to be an easier way for teens to explore nonprofits.

So, she created SRQvolunteen. The website has tabs organized by topic, where viewers can choose what kind of volunteer work they would like to do. A page will then open featuring nonprofits that fall under that category; the organizations’ contact information is included.

The main requirement for organizations to be listed on the website is that they provide a contact person. Finding the right person to get in touch with was one of the biggest struggles Moore faced when searching for a place to volunteer.

Moore is currently involved with Suncoast Communities Blood Bank, Community Youth Development and its Students Taking Active Roles (STAR) program.

“After I get the website established, I’m going to put together a committee of teens to keep it running,” she said. “I’ve already talked to a lot of teens about taking it over, and after another month or two I’ll slowly teach them how to maintain it.”

The students on the committee were chosen from different schools to help spread the word about the site. Facebook and a blurb on the website were also used to recruit members. Although she isn’t going to be working on the website full-time anymore, the impact of the volunteer work she has done throughout her time in high school has taught her life-long skills.

“I’ve really become more aware of my community,” she said. “I used to think that young people weren’t really needed in Sarasota, but once I explored, I got a sense of pride for this community. It’s really important to get involved young — once a philanthropist, always a philanthropist. It changes your life.”
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