Beginner Environmental Leadership Program

Get Involved:

Have you ever wondered how many pounds of food the biggest fish in the ocean eats in a day, how one of the world’s largest aquariums works, or how our actions on land impact the ocean? If so, Georgia Aquarium’s Beginner Environmental Leadership Program is for you! Open to all high school students aged 15-17, this program is dedicated to empowering teens to become tomorrow’s leaders in environmental conservation.

The Deal:

The Beginner Environmental Leadership Program runs three times a year and will last for four months. Teens may volunteer on any day during the summer and on breaks and weekends throughout the school year. Sessions are broken down below:

Sessions

Spring

Summer

Fall

January-April

May-August

September-December



Teens who volunteer during the summer will be expected to complete 130 hours in four months. Teens who volunteer during the fall or spring will be expected to complete 85 hours in four months.

The Details:

Volunteers will begin in the Gallery Guide position in the following areas:

  • One full week assisting with Camp H2O (Summer Only)
  • Event Craft Tables
  • Birthday Parties
  • Touch Pools
  • Guest Engagement
  • Gallery Interpretation

After eight months of full participation and good performance, volunteers will have the opportunity to apply to volunteer in a wider variety of areas.

All teens will also take the skills they’ve learned at Georgia Aquarium and apply them elsewhere through the completion of a collaborative community project.

Throughout the summer, teens will get to assist our Education Department with Camp H2O! Dates will be listed on the application. Please ensure you are available for at least one consecutive week.

Please note that there will be no behind the scenes positions available to teens.
We do not offer court-appointed or school service opportunities.

How to Apply:

Register for one mandatory Information Session by emailing vsmith@georgiaaquarium.org. This is your chance to learn more about our program and ask any questions you may have. One parent or legal guardian must attend. In order to accommodate as many people as possible, only one adult will be permitted to accompany each teen.

Information Sessions will be held during the Morning of November 18th and the Evening of December 2nd. Registration will close at 5 p.m. on November 16th and November 30th. 

After the session, an application will be emailed to you—be sure to check your spam folder! You must attend an information session in order to receive an application.

Submit your online application! A list of due dates for applications are listed below. Late applications will not be accepted.

Application Deadlines

Spring

Summer

Fall

December 9th

To Be Announced

To Be Announced


Applicants selected for an interview will be notified within one week following the application deadline, and will be expected to write a two-page essay from a list of provided topics.

Interview days will last for four hours during which, teens will learn more about the Aquarium, participate in team building activities, and take part in a brief interview.

Dates for interview days are listed below. Please ensure that you are available.

Interview Dates

Spring

Summer

Fall

December 16th & 17th

To Be Announced

To Be Announced



Accepted applicants will be notified within two weeks of their interview date. Accepted volunteers will be expected to bring a $45 Administrative Fee in the form of check or money order to volunteer orientation. Late fees will not be accepted and will result in removal from the program.

Applicants must be between the ages of 15 and 17 at time of application. (Anyone 18 years & above is eligible to become an adult volunteer by applying online via the adult volunteer page. If you will be turning 18 during a session, please wait and apply as an adult volunteer.) 

Due to the volume of applications and the limited number of teen volunteer positions, not all who apply will be contacted for an interview.

What We Expect—Teens Must:

  • Be currently enrolled in high school or home school
  • Confirm and secure all necessary means of transportation before applying
  • Be available to volunteer at Georgia Aquarium for a four-month time period
  • Provide a copy of their birth certificate to verify their age at interview
  • Provide current government or school-issued photo ID
  • Pay a $45 Administrative Fee at least one week prior to the start of their program
  • Be available to attend one interview day at Georgia Aquarium
  • Be available for and attend one full day of training at Georgia Aquarium – January 6th
  • Report on time for all training and volunteer positions in proper attire
  • Provide all Aquarium guests, staff and volunteers with respect, accurate information, and assistance within the Aquarium guidelines
  • Maintain a strong work ethic and positive attitude
  • Demonstrate care & concern for wildlife and support for Aquarium’s mission
  • Abide by Aquarium policies, procedures and code of conduct as set forth by the Georgia Aquarium Volunteer Program

What We Provide:

  • All necessary training
  • Aquarium uniform shirt and name tag
  • One Volunteer Pass valid for length of service
  • “Dip Days” to educate teens about our research and conservation efforts
  • Free parking during volunteer shifts
  • Discounts in the food court and gift shop
  • Free Behind the Seas Tour - for volunteer only and based on availability
  • Discounted Behind the Seas Tours for family and friends
  • Invitations to exclusive events
  • Invaluable job experience
  • Opportunity to meet the Aquarium staff and other volunteers
  • Opportunity to learn the ins and outs of Aquarium operations

Upon successful completion of the teen volunteer program & return of their Aquarium ID, teens will receive five one-time use daily tickets.

Important Dates

November 16th

Last day to sign up for 11/18 information session

November 18th

Morning information session (must attend one)

November 30th

Last day to sign up for 12/2 information session

December 2nd

Evening information Session (must attend one)

December 9th

Application Deadline

December 16th/December 17th

Interview Day (must attend - no make-up dates will be provided)

January 6th

Orientation (must attend - no make-up dates will be provided)