Volunteers are a vital part of our institution!

Thank you for your interest in helping Cincinnati Museum Center provide quality services, programs, and education for the community! Without this special group of dedicated people, Cincinnati Museum Center would not be able to fulfill its mission to “inspire people of all ages to learn more about our world through science, regional history, and educational, engaging and meaningful experiences.”

Join us to find out how you can become part of our team! No prior volunteer experience is necessary—just enthusiasm and an avid interest in the activities and programs we offer.

Adult Volunteers

Our adult volunteers fulfill operations duties, including greeting, wayfinding, and coverage of the museums across all gallery spaces. Our volunteers work collaboratively and aid the Cincinnati Museum Center collections teams, office team members and exhibits teams. Click here to find out more. Ages 18 +

Teen Volunteers

Our teen volunteer fulfills a visitor experience role by helping to greet guest at the fronts of our museums and ticketing lines. They also assist in the museum by helping guest find their way around. Click here to find out more. Ages 16-17.

Youth Programs Volunteers

Our youth volunteers fulfill operations duties, including greeting, wayfinding, and coverage of the museums across all gallery spaces. Our volunteers work collaboratively and aid the Cincinnati Museum Center collections teams, office team members and exhibits teams. Ages 13-18.

  • Being a part of a FANTASTIC Cincinnati Museum Center team
  • Becoming involved in an environment of life-long learning
  • Free admission to all permanent CMC exhibits and access to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
  • Free parking
  • Discounts at food locations
  • Invitations to select exhibit previews, special events and lectures
  • Professional development, training opportunities and work experience

* Please note: for all positions, volunteers must attend a general orientation and participate in additional departmental training. Volunteers are provided with the necessary tools and resources to be a successful part of the Youth Programs.

  • Fulfill floor operations duties, including gallery interpretation and programming, coverage of the museums across all gallery spaces.
  • Represent Cincinnati Museum Center and Youth Programs with credibility, curiosity, and a sense of radical welcome. Model and uphold the highest standards of customer service and inclusion, so that all Cincinnati Museum Center guests, staff and other Youth volunteers feel welcome and engaged.
  • Deliver a suite of programs that includes but is not limited to multi-disciplinary gallery programs that support experiences across the gallery spaces and a variety of topics such as science, history, early childhood development, and art. Ensure program presentations are credible, insightful, inspiring, and fun experiences across the lifelong spectrum of learning.
  • Partake in specialized training for delivery techniques and exhibit and program content.
  • Maintain a safe environment for staff, volunteers, guests, and exhibits. Being involved in safety training to ensure knowledge.
  • Work collaboratively with other Cincinnati Museum Center team members, adult volunteers, teen volunteers, youth volunteers and interns to create a cohesive and comprehensive visitor experience for Cincinnati Museum Center guests.
  • Work collaboratively with and aid to Program Development, School & Teacher Partnerships, Community Engagement & Programs, Guest Engagement, and any other Cincinnati Museum Center team. As needed, provide delivery support for community events and museum programming.
  • Actively pursue information related to events, programs, guest service delivery, special exhibits, museum exhibits, and any other activities.
  • Take initiative to recognize opportunities for improvement in processes or procedures and work with management to make necessary changes.
  • Actively participate in initial and ongoing trainings for consistency and improvement of service delivery, hospitality, team building, and messaging to guests with goals of delivering a world-class service experience and creating a culture of exceptional service.
  • Deliver excellent guest services and provide guidance and assistance to guests, through general information, pricing information, programs/events schedule, etc.; help them plan their day for the most meaningful experience possible.
  • Other duties as assigned.
Additional Requirements & Working Conditions:
  • Must have reliable transportation.
  • Position is 22 hours per month during the school year, 42 hours a month during the summer. Each shift is approximately 6 hours.
  • The workday is Saturday and Sunday during the school year, and Thursday thru Monday during the summertime. A minimum of 270 hours is required per year.
  • Flexibility is required to meet business demands including working evenings, weekends, and holidays.
  • Some days will require fast-paced movement and may be mentally and physically demanding.
  • The majority of time is spent on the museum floor facilitating educational programs, interpreting exhibits, and providing excellent customer service moments to a variety of guests.
  • Must be able to stand or walk for long periods while presenting programs or assisting visitors.
  • Must be able to lift 25 lbs.
  • The team environment is one where all input for improvement is appreciated and all team members support one another.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities gained through the experience:
  • Self-motivated and proactive; curious and able to learn new information quickly.
  • Ability to remain calm and react in a balanced manner in times of stress.
  • Ability to manage time to meet personal and career deadlines.
  • Collaborative, flexible, and quick to adapt to changing circumstances.
  • Confidence and ability to speak to and interact with large and small groups of people from a variety of racial, cultural, ethnic, gender, and generational backgrounds with sensitivity and active listening.
  • Passion for working with guests; able to coach guests to explore their questions and make their own discoveries; comfort with operational details and ensuring safety through procedures.
  • Able to effectively communicate with staff, community partners, and guests of all ages and abilities through oral and written communications in an understandable and pleasant manner; able to learn and explain scientific and/or historical concepts in ways that are easy for guests and colleagues to understand.
  • Excellent attention to detail and commitment to safety.
  • Will receive training in History, Science, Art, Early Childhood Development, theatre, customer service, or other related fields.
  • 3+ years of experience presenting programs, teaching, or performing.
  • Ability to work both independently and as a team member. Ability to complete multiple tasks in an energetic environment and work well under pressure with periodic heavy workloads, constant demands, and frequent interruptions. This will help to prepare for college, job and career.

Youth Programs offer a wide array of learning opportunities and hands-on, practical experiences.

Academic success

Student academic success is the foundation of Cincinnati Museum Center's Youth Programs. While there are no grade requirements to be accepted into the programs, it is stated that each participant will be in good academic standing. Students must meet academic requirements to be accepted on many field experiences and to obtain a paid position in the programs. Through constant communication, Youth Programs staff is kept aware of each student’s academic achievements. While the staff often becomes aware of academic struggles from the student, staff is often made aware from speaking with the student’s parent or guardian. Maintaining positive relationships with the families of our students has allowed us to be a constant force in all areas of their lives.

Why Youth Programs?

History at a glance
  • 1989: Established with two students at Cincinnati Museum of Natural History.
  • 1993: Establishment of the YouthALIVE! program; focus turns from youth volunteer program to youth development program.
  • 1998: Expanded into The Children’s Museum.
  • 2000: Introduced into Cincinnati History Museum.
  • 2001: Reached a participant level of 150 students per year; renamed from the "Lab Rat" Program to Cincinnati Museum Center Youth Programs.
  • 2005: Received “Best Place to Work Out Teenage Angst” award in the Best of Cincinnati edition of Cincinnati CityBeat.
  • 2006: Reached an alumni level of more than 1,500 students.
  • 2014: Celebrated 25th anniversary.

Cincinnati Museum Center’s Youth Programs began in 1989 when two teens started volunteering in the Cincinnati Museum of Natural History & Science. Hundreds have gone through the program since then, developing the knowledge and confidence it takes to greet visitors, interpret exhibits, and mentor others. An outstanding 99 percent of Youth Program graduates go on to enroll in a 4-year college, 80 percent receiving scholarships or financial aid.

Museum Center's Youth Programs are designed to enhance the creativity, confidence, and success of its members. Through participation in workshops, field trips, college visits, volunteerism and other learning opportunities, participants in Youth Programs are well-prepared for success in high school, college and beyond.

Students may begin volunteering at age 13—well past the age of early childhood educational needs—and are trained to have an impact on Museum Center’s youngest visitors. Youth Programs participants are taught early childhood theory, developing, and presenting educational demonstrations to the visitors. By training our students how to interact and teach our young visitors, Museum Center is excelling in its role as an “investor in community early childhood education.”

Youth Programs academic success by the numbers
  • 100%: Participants who have graduated from high school
  • 99%: Participants who have enrolled in a four-year college (the other 1 percent have enrolled in technical school or military service)
  • 80%: Participants who have received some form of scholarship, several with full rides
  • Three: Participants named National Merit Scholars

The most influential resources for academic success we have in Youth Programs are the museums themselves. The students receive in-depth training in all areas of the museum, therefore supplementing—and often exceeding—the lessons and expectations in their classes. We have the unique opportunity of introducing students to leading professionals in science, history and child development. The exposure to these professionals and the constant support of Youth Programs staff clearly provide a setting for each youth’s academic success.

College preparation

One of the principal goals of Youth Programs is to encourage participants to seek admittance to an institution of higher education. Many of the programs' participants are first-generation college students. Youth Programs staff work with the youth to support and empower them to attend the college of their choice, despite cost, past grade record and any other obstacles. This dedication to higher education is reinforced through the work of the YouthALIVE! group at Cincinnati Museum Center which offers extra opportunities to develop work skills, explore career and college options, and improve academic achievement. Activities are open to all participants but designed to address the unique needs of underserved youth, including those with financial, emotional and family-related issues.

In addition to the standard requirements of Youth Programs, YouthALIVE! participants attend additional workshops once a month. These workshops include college and scholarship essay writing, money management and budgeting, goal setting and cultural diversity discussions. Youth also participate in three day-long college campus visits, a spring break experience that visits at least four colleges in three days, and a week-long college and career expedition to a regional location during the summer. A student may visit anywhere from eight to ten colleges each year they are in the program. This works out to as many as 32 to 40 college visits before they graduate high school. These trips are offered at no cost to the student and all students are encouraged to attend.

Application Information



For more information, please contact Youth Programs at

Recruitment for youth volunteers happens from January to March.

Youth Programs was financially assisted by the Stillson Foundation, Fifth Third Bank, Trustee