FARMINGTON — Farmington High School's first volunteer fair Wednesday aimed to help put at-risk students on the right track and keep high-performing students there.

"Research shows that volunteering is a way to keep students out of trouble," said Principal Tim Kienitz.

More than 1,000 students attended the fair, where 17 organizations from the San Juan County Sheriff's Office to the Red Cross shared information on how youths can give back to their community by volunteering with their programs.

"Ever since I was little, I've wanted to be a doctor," said Sonali Patel, 15, who is considering volunteering at San Juan Regional Medical Center after attending fair.

Other students looked into donating their time and effort at the Sycamore Community Center, nursing homes or animal shelters.

"So many places," said Chance Hartsfield, 16. "We got that energy. We can do some of that work that other people may not be able to do."

Organizers heralded the fair as a success and said they expect to continue offering the volunteer fairs into the future.

"We got together to gather agencies that could use volunteers 14 and older," said Lucy Haber, assistant director of the Community Learning Center at San Juan College. "They don't have to do it as individuals either. They can do it with friends."

Organizers said volunteering is a big help to the community, but can also help the students. Along with building character, volunteer work can help a student get into the college of their choice, score an internship or even a job.


"You can learn a lot about yourself," Haber said. "There's a lot of potential here."