Volunteers make Georgia Teen Institute the amazing program that it is, and we count on them to help us in many ways. Georgia Teen Institute has volunteer opportunities that encompass a variety of time commitments and skill levels. Our volunteers are a diverse and dynamic group of people who have a passion for youth and prevention, and we’d love to have you join us! See below for what our program means to a few of our volunteers!

If you are interested in volunteering, please see our Volunteer Application page.


Stacy Ray

I volunteered at a GTI event for the first time because a friend asked if I would facilitate some team building on a Saturday morning to help out with the staff interview process. The positive energy and enthusiasm that I saw in every person I encountered that day is still the reason I haven’t missed an opportunity at GTI in 11 years. It is better than any meditation or yoga I have ever done at centering and recharging me.


Vernie Cincotta

I have been involved with GTI for 16 years and on staff for 12 years. I first came to Teen Institute in 1999 with the Benefield Bunch, a Youth Action Team from Benefield Elementary School. Knowing I’m helping cause so much change across the state of Georgia and seeing positive community development is the reason I come back year after year. My favorite part of GTI is the General Sessions – seeing good guest speakers for the first time is awesome. I am constantly inspired here. I feel more open minded because of GTI, and it has made me the person I am today.


Michael Davis

I started out as a participant at GTI and fell in love with the program and the values it stands for. I worked my way up through staff levels from high school, college and my professional life. Additionally, I started to get involved in the other leadership and training programs of GUIDE. The staff and volunteers at GTI and with GUIDE are some of the most inspiring, dedicated and passionate people I have ever met. Everyone at GUIDE and GTI believe in the power of youth and that everyone is able to change our world for the better, and that is why I travel from out of state to come back to Georgia every year to be a part of the program.


Elliott Walker

I have been involved with GTI since the summer of 2003. I come back year after year because I get to meet new people and give back to my community, as well as the entire state! My favorite part is when I get to see the teams continue to grow throughout the year even after they have left GTI.

The Shealey Family has been attending GTI for several years. They came with the Barrow Youth Action Team where Melinda and Tony were Adult Advisors and Quentin was a participant entering 10th grade. Melinda stayed involved with the program and loved it so much that she joined GUIDE as our Training Coordinator in 2015. All five members of the Shealey crew dedicate countless hours volunteering for GTI each year. (Pictured left to right: Tony, Melinda, Brent, Quentin, Trent)

Quentin Ladson

My favorite part of GTI is seeing the growth and change in participants throughout the week. A lot of them come out of their shells and realize they have the power to change their communities. Because of GTI, I have not only shared my volunteer experience and received scholarships, but I also use tools I gained here, like the SPF PIE, in my role in the Georgia Southern University Student Government Association.

Melinda Shealey

I love that the people who are a part of GTI are like family. It feels great to make a difference year after year. Because of my involvement with volunteering at GTI, I have gained new knowledge and skills that have helped me conduct workshops and present at conferences.