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Benefits for Youth

  • Youth who volunteer are more likely to feel connected to their communities and, do better in school, and are less likely to engage in risky behavior (Corporation for National and Community Service, 2005).
  • Research has shown that when disengaged youth are involved in quality volunteer opportunities, their level of social trust increases and the likelihood that they will engage in risky behaviors decreases (Flanagan et al, 2005).
  • Youth are not only more likely to volunteer if their entire family is involved in the effort, but the shared experience can result in strengthened familial bonds (Corporation for National and Community Service, 2010b).
  • According to a recent study, students who performed voluntary community service were 19 percent more likely to graduate from college than those who did not (Dávila & Mora, 2007).
  • Participation in civic engagement activities can help youth become better informed about current events. For example, according to the 2006 National Civic and Political Health Survey, approximately a quarter of youth who had not participated in civic engagement activities within the last year did not answer any questions regarding current politics correctly (Dávila & Mora, 2007).
  • According to Troppe and Michel (2002), volunteering while young provides lasting effects, including:
    • Two-thirds of the 44% of adults who volunteered began volunteering while they were young.
    • Adults who volunteered at a young age, regardless of income, donate to and volunteer more at charitable organizations than adults who did not volunteer.

References

Corporation for National and Community Service. (2005). Building active citizens: The role of social institutions in teen volunteering. Brief 1 in the Youth Helping America series. Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://www.nationalservice.gov/pdf/05_1130_LSA_YHA_study.pdf (PDF, 24 Pages)

Corporation for National and Community Service. (2010b). Engaging families in service: Why it matters. Retrieved from http://www.presidentialserviceawards.gov/yes/how_engage.html

Dávila, A., & Mora, M.T. (2007). An assessment of civic engagement and educational attainment. College Park, MD: The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning & Engagement (CIRCLE). Retrieved from http://www.civicyouth.org/PopUps/FactSheets/FS_Mora.Davila.pdf (PDF, 4 Pages)

Troppe, C., & Michel, J. (2002). Engaging youth in lifelong service: Findings and recommendations for encouraging a tradition of voluntary action among America’s youth. Independent Sector. Retrieved from http://www.independentsector.org/uploads/Resources/engaging_youth.pdf (PDF, 40 Pages)

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