What makes a good volunteer?

Try this short quiz to find out if you have what it takes:

  • I like teenagers.
  • I know what texting is.
  • I'm able to text (or willing to learn).
  • Sometimes I laugh at situations that make others walk away in frustration.
  • I can remember doing at least one dumb thing when I was a teenager.
  • I want to be part of a community of people who are committed to teens and who support each other.
  • My family sometimes looks more like Ozzy Ozborne than Ozzie and Harriet.
  • Part of the reason I want to get involved is I know about the terrible outcomes for many teens 'aging out' of foster care, and I want to be part of the solution.
  • I like surprises.
  • I honor my commitments.
  • I don't give up.
  • I know how to say 'no' in the face of extreme pressure. Often I say 'yes.'
  • I know what Guitar Hero and Wii are. Bonus points if you have played either.
  • I have a network of friends and family who will support my plans to make a commitment to a teen.
  • MySpace, Facebook, IM, LOL, POS do not look like a foreign language to me. Bonus if you are already someone's 'friend.'
  • I have been called stubborn or pushy.
  • I know I will need help if I work with a teen and am not afraid to ask for help or to accept it.

Thinking about adoption? Add these questions:

  • It's okay if my kid keeps her last name.
  • It's okay if my kid doesn't call me 'mom' or 'dad.'
  • I'm intrigued at the idea of getting to know my kid's birth family.
  • I have the stomach (or know someone who does) to teach a teen to drive.
  • I know that adopting means unconditional commitment. That means I will be their parent forever, whether:
    • he goes to college or struggles to finish high school;
    • she finds a fulfilling career or changes jobs frequently;
    • he gets arrested and goes to jail, or becomes a police officer;
    • she is ready to live 'on her own' at 18...or 26;
    • he makes someone pregnant, or she becomes pregnant before being ready to parent;
    • she becomes addicted or mentally ill;
    • he wins the lottery and buys me a new car...or crashes the junker I drive;
    • she leaves home to live with birth family...and then wants to come back;
    • his friend steals my favorite piece of jewelry, or accidentally breaks a family heirloom.

If you agree with most or all of these statements you might be the right person to mentor or parent a Family & Youth Initiative teen.