There are a couple problems with this...
1) I don't know you. Neither does the person you'll be asking to "help." If you do end up in the food service industry, you'll realize that training someone to help you do your job ends up doubling your work load. Not only do I have to keep track of my own tasks, I have to constantly keep an eye on you, solve problems that you have caused, and pay for your mistakes (food cost is ALWAYS something to keep in mind)
2) You're 14. In Colorado, minors aren't allowed to operate mixers, slicers, fryers, robot-coups, even ovens. In some states, until you turn 18, your are a legal liability for the kitchen you're working. You may say that you're responsible, but accidents do happen, and no body wants to mess with child labor laws.
3) You're volunteering. Volunteers have no accountability. If I'm going to go though the hassle of training you, dealing with mistakes, and potentially breaking laws in the process, i want to know you're not going to flake 4 weeks in. I want someone who's going to show up on time, every day, and stay until i tell them to leave. I don't want the person who thinks they're getting free school, and can play hookie whenever they want.
... That said, I started out doing unpaid work. I got lucky. Really lucky. If you can land a job great. If you want to ensure that you're even a candidate, start at the bottom: washing dishes, cleaning, hostessing etc. Anthony Bourdain put it very well when he said (paraphrasing):
"I don't want some stuck up kid who grew up thinking the world owes him a living. Give me a guy who can show up on time every day and do his job. I can teach you what I want you to know. I can't teach character."
Any chef will be more willing to listen to you if you tell them that you're working double shifts at McDonalds while trying to get a better job, than if you tell them that you will work for free.
Edited by Igannon - 6/7/10 at 7:45am