This competition will fund institutions of higher education to build on existing research, address gaps in knowledge, and provide new ideas that increase the nation’s understanding about the importance and potential of volunteering, national and community service, and/or civic engagement.
Research links early leadership with increased self-efficacy and suggests that leadership can help youth to develop decision making and interpersonal skills that support successes in the workforce and adulthood. In addition, young leaders tend to be more involved in their communities, and have lower dropout rates than their peers. Youth leaders also show considerable benefits for their communities, providing valuable insight into the needs and interests of young people
Civic engagement has the potential to empower young adults, increase their self-determination, and give them the skills and self-confidence they need to enter the workforce. Read about one youth’s experience in AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC).
“Volunteering and Civic Life in America, 2014” shows that 62.6 million Americans volunteered 7.7 billion hours in 2014 — holding an estimated value of $173 billion. Seventeen percent of respondents reported mentoring youth, and 19% reported tutoring or teaching young people.
The report Volunteering and Civic Life in America, released by CNCS and the National Conference on Citizenship, found that 64.5 million Americans volunteered nearly 7.9 billion hours last year, illustrating the stable and strong state of volunteering among Americans of all generations. The report also found that volunteering among youth ages 16–19 has increased, up nearly 3 percent since 2007.
This report from the National Corporation for Community Service contains up–to-date information on volunteer participation and civic involvement in America. Key findings indicate that the volunteer rate for parents is higher than the national average, and that schools and youth service organizations are the most popular places for parents to volunteer.
The Department of Veteran's Affairs Student Volunteer Program connects young people with opportunities to honor veterans through volunteer service at local VA medical centers. Volunteers have the opportunity to learn new skills and explore careers in the medical field. Students may qualify for college scholarships.