Get Your Teens to Give Back This School Year

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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.”