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Fernbank Youth Interpreters

The Fernbank Youth Interpreters volunteer program, also known as the FYI program, is an opportunity for youth ages 13-17 to be directly involved in public events and education at Fernbank Museum. FYI volunteers must commit to the program for a minimum of one year and provide a minimum of 45 hours of service to the museum. The FYI Program runs from June 1 through May 31 of the following year. 

FYI volunteers use interpretive carts, sharing information about biology, archaeology, paleontology and more with visitors of all ages. They also help with Fernbank’s camps, Discovery Days, Animal Care, and other special projects. FYI Volunteers also have opportunities to tour and visit behind the scenes.

Application Details

There are three parts to the FYI Volunteer application:

  • Online application
  • Essay written by the teen applicant
  • Two reference forms

Selected individuals will be invited to interview. The FYI Program is very competitive and we are unfortunately not able to accept everyone who applies or interviews each year. Candidates who are not accepted into the program are encouraged to reapply next year.

Applications are no longer being accepted for the 2024-2025 program. Information on the 2025-2026 program will be available in February 2025.

Program Requirements

  • Volunteers must be a minimum of 13 years old by September 1 to apply. New applicants should be a maximum of 17 years old by June 1. Volunteers who turn 18 during the FYI year (June 1 – May 31) remain in the program until the end of the season.
  • FYI Volunteers commit to one year of service, June 1 through May 31 of the following year. FYI Volunteers must dedicate a minimum of 45 hours or service throughout the year. Once accepted into the program, FYI volunteers can continue volunteering in following years, so long as they are meeting program requirements.
  • All new FYI Volunteers must attend a new volunteer orientation session. Additional trainings may be required for some opportunities including interpretive carts.
  • New volunteers must pay a one-time $50 fee to participate. This fee is collected after acceptance into the program. This fee may be waived for those who qualify.
  • FYI Volunteers are required to wear the FYI t-shirt and nametag while volunteering.

Have Questions? Contact the Volunteer Department at 404.929.6360 or