Trumbull teens trend toward volunteering

Gone are the days when summer was a time for teens to unwind from a rigid school schedule and relax. Or so it seems.

Rather than spending their 10 weeks of vacation binge-watching shows and partying with friends, more and more teens are pursuing creative endeavors, taking college courses to get ahead, or - perhaps most commonly - volunteering.

Whether it be serving at the library, tutoring kids, or working at local camps, Trumbull teens are using their spare time to give back to their communities.

According to Chelsie Labrecque, Teen Librarian at the Trumbull Library, 42 individuals volunteered to aid with this year’s summer reading program.

“We have a strong, core group of volunteers who assist year round because they enjoy helping out at the library,” she said.

And it’s not just to fulfill a community service requirement, Labrecque said.

“I know the high school has a program where they need a certain amount of hours to graduate, but these volunteers go above and beyond that,” she said. “Whenever there is an opportunity to volunteer here - be it for summer reading, the book sales, or some other unique program where we need additional help - slots fill up fast.”

Amanda Shipman, a rising high school junior, said volunteering just made her feel good. She volunteered at Calvary Evangelical Free Church’s annual Summer Spectacular earlier this month.

“I love working with children,” she said. “Because it was hard work, it was especially rewarding to see it all come to fruition by the end of the week.”

Shipman said she remembered the impact that teen volunteers had on her when she was younger.

“This summer, I worked in a classroom with fourth graders, supervised them, played games with them, but mostly just talked and built relationships,” she said.

Shipman is also spending time this summer working on a school mural.combining her interests with her passion for volunteering.

“Art is something I enjoy doing anytime, anywhere. While I’m painting, I don’t see it as work.” Shipman said. “I can’t see any better way to fill up my summer than with doing something that I wholly enjoy andbenefits others.”