High School Volunteers

Each summer the High School Volunteer Program runs for a period of eight weeks. We offer volunteer positions for high school students at the UNC Medical Center in Chapel Hill and at the UNC Health Care Hillsborough Campus sites. Student volunteers will be impacted through meaningful experiences and gain valuable job skills right here in our community.

The UNC Medical Center offers exposure to a large academic hospital environment; the Hillsborough Campus maintains a community feel while having the same quality of providers and care. Both programs offer an excellent opportunity for students to discover new interests, meet new people and learn to be a leader while volunteering!

Some examples of volunteer areas include:

  • Gift Shop
  • Central Distribution
  • Nursing Units
  • Outpatient Clinics
  • Medical Engineering
  • Newspaper Delivery

Students are able to apply to one program; at UNC Medical Center or the UNC Health Care Hillsborough Campus. Please read the requirements and information carefully as some details may differ according to the program location.

This program is open to students who are at least 14 years of age and have completed their freshman year of high school. Due to the intensive nature of our training process, applicants are accepted for the entire summer program; we are unable to offer short-term volunteering.

2018 Summer Junior Program Dates

June 18 - August 10

      • High School applications are accepted January 2 - March 1.
      • Interviews and placements will be conducted April 1 to May 1
      • All Junior Volunteers must attend orientation. Dates and times to be announced.


  • Must be 14 years old and have completed Freshman year of high school by program start date.
  • Applicants must be available one full day a week (Monday-Friday) from 9am-4pm to volunteer. Limited weekend opportunities available. Summer volunteering at the Hillsborough Campus is 9am-12pm OR 1pm-4pm.
  • Summer volunteers must be able to commit to volunteering on their scheduled day for at least seven out of eight weeks during the summer session.
  • Applicants will need to comply with the dress code which includes a purchase a volunteer polo shirt for $10 to wear with khaki pants.
  • Applicants will need to attend a mandatory orientation session.
  • Applicants must submit all required paperwork, including immunization records and TB skin test results at orientation

Application Process and Required Forms

Applicants need to complete all of the following steps in order to volunteer at UNC Medical Center or at the UNC Health Care Hillsborough Campus. Please note that the steps needed to become a volunteer are listed in the order that they must be completed.

  1. Make sure that you meet all of the requirements for High School Volunteers and read the UNC Medical Center Introduction Letter or the UNC Hillsborough Campus Introduction Letter.
  2. Complete the application online. The application includes several short answer essays. One sentence per question is not sufficient. If all questions are not answered, your application will not be considered.
  3. You will be required to provide contact information for two professional or academic references in the online application. This means a teacher, counselor, employer, etc. Family members, neighbors, and family friends are not appropriate references. These references may be contacted in the spring to determine your placement in the program.
  4. After your application is received, you may be contacted for a personal interview to be scheduled in April. Unfortunately due to the volume of applicants we are unable to interview all candidates.
  5. If you are selected for an interview, please come prepared with what day(s) of the week you are available to volunteer for the summer. Chapel Hill interviews are held at Volunteer Services, ground Floor, N.C. Memorial Hospital. UNC Hospitals Hillsborough Campus interviews are held at the 430 Waterstone Drive of Hillsborough in the Volunteer Services office on the ground Floor.
  6. Once you are selected to volunteer, complete your Immunization and Tuberculosis Review Form to be turned in at the volunteer orientation.
  7. Obtain a current TB Skin Test. It can be done at your local health department or family doctor. It takes 48 hours to read the results, so plan ahead. This must be complete prior to orientation.
  8. Complete parent permission form to turn in at orientation.
  9. Complete our online compliance test and turn in confirmation results at orientation.
  10. Attend orientation and begin volunteering!

General Questions

  • Where is the Volunteer Services office located?
    • Chapel Hill: We are located on the ground floor of the Memorial Hospital behind the escalators and dental clinic. You can ask any information desk how to find us if you need to.
    • Hillsborough: We are located on the ground floor at 430 Waterstone Drive, Hillsborough.
  • How do I become a volunteer?
    Applicants need to complete all of the following steps on our Application and Required Forms section in order to volunteer at UNC Medical Center. Please note that the steps needed to become a volunteer are listed in the order that they must be completed.
  • How old must I be to volunteer?
    The Junior Volunteer program is open to high school students ages 14-18 that are enrolled in the 9th grade or higher (not rising 9th graders).
  • How many hours do I have to volunteer per semester?
    For the summer session, you must volunteer 7 weeks of the program and complete a minimum of 45 hours in Chapel Hill and 21 hours in Hillsborough to remain in good standing. For the academic year program (only previous summer program volunteers are eligible) you must commit to one 2-3 hour shift a week for both the fall and spring in Chapel Hill or either the fall or spring in Hillsborough.
  • Can I start volunteering at any time? Are there short-term opportunities?
    Unfortunately, no. We also only offer orientation once at beginning of the summer session, which is mandatory before you may volunteer. Because of the time and cost it takes to register/train volunteers, commitments are long-term.
  • What is the volunteer commitment?
    Volunteers commit to complete a minimum number of hours each semester (2-3 week in the academic year and 45 in Chapel Hill or 21 in Hillsborough total in the summer) and to be prompt, courteous, and in good attendance each week for the duration of the semester; you are not expected to work over certain breaks or holidays. Our volunteers are committed to being friendly, willing, and go-getters each shift, so we hope you are too!
  • What do I do about parking?
    High school volunteers may park free in the Chapel Hill hospital parking deck and will receive a parking hang tag.
    Parking is free and no hang tag is needed at Hillsborough.
  • I am graduating from High School, should I be in the High School Volunteer Program or College Program over the summer?

    Graduating Seniors are placed in the High School Program.

Registration Questions

  • How long is the registration process?
    For the summer session: applications for new volunteers are accepted from early January to early March or until we receive our capacity of 300 applications, with rolling interviews in April/May, and orientation the beginning of June. Be sure to check the main page for High School Volunteers for deadline updates. Only returning summer volunteers are able to volunteer during the academic year.
  • Can I mail in my application?
    No. Your application must be completed online.
  • What is this TB test that I need?
    The TB test is required of all volunteers before they may begin volunteering. Once you are accepted into the program, you will need to get the test done and read (it will take 48 hours) and bring the results with you at orientation. You can also get the QuantiFERON TB Gold test. The TB test needs to be less than a year old as of the day you start.
  • I have the BCG Vaccine; do I still need the TB test?
    Yes, proof of BCG Vaccine is not sufficient. Applicants must have a TB test result less than a year old or a chest X-ray within the past few years.

Requirements and Process Questions

  • I can’t make orientation, what I can do?
    The dates are listed above so you can plan ahead and arrange your schedule to be there. It is imperative that you attend an orientation before you begin volunteering. It is a mandatory requirement of the Joint Commission of Healthcare Organizations.
  • Does it cost anything to be a volunteer?
    We ask that volunteers pay $10 to purchase the required uniform polo shirt to help defray the costs to the Medical Center.
  • Is there a required uniform?
    Yes. There is a required uniform polo shirt which you purchase in our office for $10. Additionally, Junior Volunteers must wear khaki pants or skirts longer than knee length and closed-toed shoes.
  • What about training?
    Before you begin your assignment, you'll receive training at orientation for general hospital protocols, safety, and infection control. Each area has a job description that outlines the duties and expectations. Once in your area you will be given further details about your job duties; some have a separate training and others are on-the-job.
  • What are the interviews about? Does everyone get one? Why are they done?
    This is a popular program, and there are limited spaces available. The interview gives us an opportunity to meet each other and for you to see the medical center environment. It might help you decide if this is the right place for you to volunteer, and we can be assured that we are accepting students who will be well-suited and committed to the program. Unfortunately, not everyone will be contacted for an interview due to the amount of applications we receive. Additionally, not every applicant who interviews will be accepted into the program. If you don’t receive an interview or position, we encourage you to reapply the next summer.
  • What if I don’t know my family vacation dates when I submit my summer application?

    You need to make sure you are available for at least 7 weeks during the summer session. If you are planning a family vacation, trip to the beach, sports camp, etc. that will not allow you to meet your obligation, please apply to volunteer when you are able to make this commitment.

Questions about Opportunities

  • I want a position that is hands-on, what can I do?
    Although High School Volunteers are not given the option of choosing which position they would like to be assigned, placement is a collaborative process. The Volunteer Services staff will place you in a position that we believe will best suit your interests and also the needs of the service area.
  • Can I do more than one volunteer day at a time?
    We are unable to assign more than one volunteer day. This allows us to let as many interested young volunteers experience the hospital setting.
  • Do I always get the volunteer position I want?
    We will try our best to place you in an area that you are interested in and hope that you are open to helping us out where we need it most. While the position is assigned, we will take into consideration your interests and preferences.
  • Are there volunteer positions on the weekends or evenings?
    Our time frames are as follows: One day a week (Monday-Friday) to volunteer with very limited weekend opportunities.
    Academic Year Volunteers: Immediately after school (by 4:30 at the latest) until 6/6:30 p.m.
    Summer Volunteers: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    Summer Volunteers in Hillsborough: 9 a.m. to noon or 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • What if I volunteered last summer and I want to come back?
    You will receive an application in January from the Volunteer Coordinator about registering for summer volunteering. We want you back!
  • Do you offer the opportunity to shadow physicians or observe in a clinical setting?

    Volunteer Services does not arrange shadowing. Interested parties must contact Hospital Departments individually to set up shadow experiences. View shadowing forms and guidelines. Volunteers must be 18 years of age or older to shadow.

Current Volunteers:
Submit Your Hours Online

In case you forget to log in your hours at the Volunteer Services kiosk or if you volunteer off-site, you may submit your hours online.

Junior Volunteer Applications

UNC Medical Center


Volunteer Stories

  • Sock Monkeys

    After decades crafting sock monkeys for pediatric patients at UNC Hospitals, Nidia Scharlock was honored in November with a ceremony at the Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill and the dedication of a cow named Mookie.

    Read More

  • A Second Chance

    By rescuing Whiskey and giving her a second chance, Silvia Kreda, PhD, lung researcher at the School of Medicine, and Preston Parker are helping patients and families during illness and recovery.

    Read More

  • Elaine Hill Awards 2016

    Volunteer Services honored Ann Kennedy with the 2016 Elaine M. Hill Distinguished Volunteer Service Award. Kennedy has volunteered with UNC Mammography since 1991 -- and with UNC Hospitals since the mid-1970s.

    Read More