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All students are expected to participate in at least 30 hours of volunteer service in the Austin community. PSP staff will coordinate 10 of these service hours while students are learning the necessary skills to find and secure independent volunteer opportunities. The remaining 20 hours are to be completed independently by the student to demonstrate his/her acquired skills. Upon completion of volunteer hours, students are expected to complete a two month PSP Internship at a business in the Austin community. The purpose of this internship is for students to gain experience in their vocational field of interest. Students will begin the internship process during their Career Guidance class at Criss Cole.

Students in the program have volunteered at a variety of places in the community, including a food bank, an animal shelter, a children's home, a neighborhood thrift store, and a local nature preserve. To see some of our students in action, click on the photo album.

What should students think about when looking for volunteer and internship opportunities?

Students should consider not only what they are interested in, but also what their vocational strengths are and what skills and abilities they have. In addition, students will work on creating an information sheet and building a resume, and they will be asked to:

  • Gather contact information for individuals that can be used as references, especially those that have known the student for at least one year, and
  • Organize information about past volunteer and work experience, including dates, responsibilities, and contact information for the business or organization.

Many students who come to the PSP have little or no past work or volunteer experience. This makes the volunteer and internship opportunities in the program even more critical.