Get Your Teens to Give Back This School Year
According to an issue brief released in June 2010 by the Corporation for National and Community Service, 63.4 million Americans volunteered to help their communities in 2009, a significant increase from 2008 and making it the largest increase since 2003. Community service is a great way for teenagers to sort out their future college and career goals while giving back to their neighborhood. Studies also show that those who volunteer after-school or on the weekends tend to perform better in school. Volunteering provides many other benefits to teenagers, including improving self-esteem, confidence and acquiring new skills.
Community service is also an important part of scholarship and college applications. This is an area where teens have a lot of control over that will help distinguish them from other applicants. Projects can be self-created such as organizing your own food drive or volunteering to walk dogs for the elderly or disabled. Teens can volunteer in:
- Homeless Shelters (helping to prepare and serve meals)
- Food Banks
- Hospitals (great if considering a medical career)
- Senior Citizens Centers
- Animal Shelters
- Political Campaigns
Researching databases online such as Do Something.org can help teens realize the opportunities that are out there for them.
Additional comments from Vito Interrante, Division Director of City & Country Branches at The Children’s Aid Society:
“Community Service can help teens in their social-emotional maturation by offering an avenue of self-expression while developing an area of competency for the betterment of their neighborhood.”