Scarleteen Volunteer Application

Would you like to volunteer for Scarleteen?

We'd love to consider you for our team if you have time and energy to commit and a burning desire to help us continue our long tradition of providing the best sex education online. Most of our staff are volunteer staff: we couldn't do this without them!

Peer education has always been a fundamental part of Scarleteen; we particularly welcome applications from our younger users.

We ask two things of you before you apply:

  • please carefully consider your schedule and your existing commitments. Are you realistically able to give 8 hours a week, for at least six months, to this volunteering commitment?
  • if you aren't an active member of our message board community already, please create an account on our message boards, and get your feet wet in a few threads as a community member over a period of at least a couple of weeks. This isn't an audition: just be yourself and follow your own interests. This is to help you get a clear sense of if this is a right place for you, and for us to be able to get to know you a little bit, too.

Application procedure

Here's how this all works: we consider volunteer applicants through a peer-review process. We share your application with the whole team of staff and volunteers (your street address, contact details and ID are removed from this stage), and everyone makes a vote. Our executive director stays outside that process until the whole team is done, and only participates if they've got any major objections to the team decision, or a tie needs be broken.

We are deeply committed to serving our diverse, global userbase as well as we possibly can. We need and love the breadth of our team, and we particularly appreciate applications from people whose experiences, perspectives and skills expand that diversity.

If your application is approved, we'll first have you lightly work the message boards as a community member for a month, while you work through some guided foundation training. If you follow through with that month and all goes well, then we'll finish all of this up by getting you set up with everything you need to be a volunteer full-stop, start training you into the areas you want to work, and get you all going!

From the date you apply, we'll usually need around two to four weeks to get back to you about your application.

When marking the amount of time you want to volunteer on the application below, be sure to take the waiting time, that first month on the boards, and then a couple weeks of basic training into account.

All applicants will receive a response via email. Please be aware that some email providers occasionally automatically mark email from a Scarleteen email address as spam, so you may need to look in your spam or junk mail for our communication.

General information

Previous experience is welcome, but not required. You should, however, be familiar with Scarleteen's materials and methods. Training will be provided, and team support, guidance and close co-working is ongoing. Volunteers have a large amount of freedom in individual work schedule and areas of particular interest; in return, volunteers must have a high level of personal responsibility in keeping work commitments, contributing to the team, and pursuing knowledge and skills as a volunteer.

All volunteers will usually need to do some work in one or more of our direct services (that's our message boards, live chat, SMS service and/or in-person outreach services).
Interacting with the people we serve from the front, and responding to their expressed needs, is an essential part of Scarleteen's user-directed educational model: all staff always need to be current and familiar with our users' expressed needs and realities in order to do any of the work we do, from working in those direct services to creating static content, design and more. Everything we do is in response to the expressed needs of our users, and done in ways we learn, in direct interactions with them, work best for them.

Volunteering for us is a primarily unpaid position. We do compensate all volunteers at the end of every fiscal year with a stipend based on what we have available in our budget, and on a person's number of active hours and tenure. Yearly stipend amounts currently range between $100 and $500. Volunteers are also offered opportunities for short-term paying freelance work at Scarleteen when it is available.

Please ONLY apply if you are available to work at least a couple hours on Saturdays or Sundays. Weekends are often our busiest time in direct services, and also the time when we often have the fewest available staff. At this time, we do not need any more volunteers who can only work weekdays.

Please cut and paste this application into an email, fill it out and return it to feedbackATscarleteenDOTcom. Please include a scan or good-quality photograph of a current photo ID.

Today’s Date:

Full Name:

Preferred Name:

Message boards username:

Date of birth:

Street Address:

City, State, Zip:



Email address:

How long have you known about/ been using

Have you volunteered for Scarleteen in the past? If so, please list the dates of your volunteer service and what duties you performed:

Are you looking to volunteer for Scarleteen as an internship for school credit? If so, please detail what your internship requirements are, and who we should contact to discuss or verify your internship.

How many hours per week/month do you want to volunteer (volunteers are asked to do an average of 8 hours per week)?

How long can you commit to volunteering for Scarleteen at this time?
__ Six months
__ One year

What days and times (PST) will you generally have available for volunteering?

Please confirm that you wish to do some direct service work as part of your Scarleteen role:

Please mark the volunteer services you would be interested in performing at Scarleteen:

  • be sure to choose at least one of our direct services
  • mark with "1" the services that you are enthusiastic about
  • mark with "2" the services that you are happy to do
  • mark duties with an "x" you do not want to do or know you cannot do or learn to do

__ Direct service: the message boards
__ Direct service: live chat
__ Direct service: the SMS/text service
__ Direct service: in-person outreach
__ Advice Columns (must have previous writing experience and include samples with your application)
__ Writing/Updating articles or site features (must have previous writing experience and include examples with your application)
__ Editing/Cleanup
__ Research/Data
__ Social Media
__ Administrative support
__ Volunteer co-management
__ Public relations
__ Donor relations/fundraising
__ Design/layout
__ Site development/Tech (must be Drupal-proficient)
__ Translation (must be a native speaker in the language you're translating into, must have some formal translation training or personal experience)
__ Other:

Why do you want to volunteer at Scarleteen?

Are there any sexuality/sexual health topics you feel you would be or are uncomfortable with?

Is there anything in your life history or your life currently which would make you someone potentially unsafe or inappropriate for working with young people, including sexual abuse/assault survivors, LGBTQ young people or other additionally vulnerable users? Please also disclose any crimes you have committed and/or been charged with as an adult (over 18).

Please list previous work, school or life experience you feel would be of benefit to Scarleteen (or attach resumé):

Can you tell us a little bit about your own adolescence and what that was or is like for you? What were your biggest challenges? What did you need help with the most? What really got you through?

Favorite Movies or Television Shows:

Favorite Books:

Favorite Websites or Magazines:

If you were a method of birth control, which one would you be and why?

Please list the name, email and phone of at least one professional reference (if you do not have a job reference, a teacher or professor is fine) and an emergency contact:

Reference Name:

Reference Name:

Emergency Contact:

If you are under 18, have your parent or guardian email us a letter of permission to volunteer at Scarleteen with a phone number we can reach them at, if needed.