What is Youth Volunteerism?


The following is a Research Paper I did in 8th grade. I worked very hard on it and I would like your feedback!!

With the U.S. economy not at its highest, more kids and teenagers are starting to volunteer for people in need. Youth volunteerism is when people of a young age go out and do things for their community, other people, for animals, or for their natural landscape without pay. They sacrifice time, money, and energy. Volunteerism in youth should be required because it has many benefits to the youth and to the community.

There are many positive benefits to volunteering. “People have time. They want opportunities to learn new skills, network, or just give back to the community.” Says Amanda Reel, a program coordinator for the Volunteer Center of Greater Kalamazoo, Michigan. She says that children under 18 come in at 30.6 percent of their volunteers, the highest percentage of all of the people that volunteer at their center (Amanda Reel). Volunteering not is only a good way to give back to their community but it is a good way to boost the volunteer’s self-esteem because they know in their head that they are doing something good (A. Fox Western Herald). Also, it helps the youth develop good work habits that will affect them in the future because if they are already working without pay, they will be looking more forward to working with pay (Kathryn Plath).Because a teen has volunteered, they are more likely to get accepted into college. Another benefit of volunteering is that the volunteer gets to explore the world around them. For example, a teen may volunteer at a homeless shelter and get to see what life is like for a person that may not have a house. This will prepare them for when they turn 18 and have the right to vote. They will realize the need for government provided housing and possibly vote for a candidate who supportsgovernment funded housing. A teen that lives in a city suburb that does not volunteer may never see what is going on around them because they will be isolated in their community where there isnot very much crime (Kathryn Plath). Some people may say that they would want to be a doctor but one day they may volunteer at a hospital and they figure out that they do not like the antiseptic smell of the hospital or that they are grossed out by blood. This free volunteering opportunity can save thousands of dollars in education costs! (Kathryn Plath)Volunteering can also help with one’s social life as it allows the volunteer to talk to other people and make new friends.

According to a survey done by Youth Helping America, volunteering is one of the things teens consider ‘cool’ (Youth Helping America).According to a survey done by the The Corporation for National and Community Service, 55% of all U.S. youth volunteer. That is about 15.5 million children. This is almost twice the amount of adults, which is 29%. Teens and children that volunteer are three times likely to volunteer as an adult (The Corporation for National and Community Service). Youth volunteers have contributed $34.3 billion dollars to the U.S. economy. This is money the U.S. has saved from the youth volunteering. Also, teens who volunteer are 50% less likely to abuse drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes. It has also been proven that children who volunteer do much better in school (Youth Service California). Emma Ward volunteered at a children’s hospital in Sydney, Australia. She got to visit kids in the hospital and also got to help out a little bit and see what it would be like to work at that hospital. She said that it felt good to see the children smile when she walked into the hospital room to see them. “Through participating in this program I have realized how fortunate I am and how much my help, as well as others, is truly needed. Many of the children and families at the hospital are in need of a helping hand in this difficult time in their lives; however there is a shortage of people willing to give up their time for a good cause. The help is not only appreciated by the patients and their families, however the staff whose time would be better spent looking after their patients than doing administrative things.” (The Centre for Volunteering).Some people say that teens may get overwhelmed with putting too much time into volunteering, but it is very easy to consult to a person to ask about changing hours to meet the volunteer’s needs (Kathryn Plath).Volunteering helps a teen develop new skills, make new friends, view the world differently, make them feel good about themselves, and help out their community. This is why it should be mandatory for teens to volunteer.

Works Cited

Fox, A. “Herald Editorial: Where Are All the Student Volunteers?” Western Herald. N.p., 12 Nov.2009. Web. 13 Feb. 2011. <http://www.westernherald.com/ opinion/ herald-editorialwhere-areall-the-student-volunteers/>.

Grimm, Robert, et al. “Youth Helping America.” Youth Helping America. Corp. forNational & Community Service, Nov. 2005. Web. 13 Feb. 2011. <http://www.nationalservice.gov/ pdf/ 05_1130_LSA_YHA_study.pdf>.

Lussier, Nathalie. “Why Should Teens Volunteer, Anyways?” World Village. World Village, 16 Oct.2005. Web. 13 Feb. 2011. <http://worldvillage.com/ why-should-teens-volunteer-anyways>.

OzGreen, Alex. “A Trip to Oz(GREEN).” Youth Volunteering. The Centre for Volunteering, n.d. Web.13 Feb. 2011. <http://www.youthvolunteeringnsw.com/ youth-volunteers/ youth-volunteerstories/all-stories/ trip-ozgreen>.

Plath, Kathryn. “Volunteer Teens: The Pros and Cons.” Helium. Helium, n.d. Web. 13 Feb. 2011.<http://www.helium.com/ items/ 957397-volunteer-teens-the-pros-and-cons>.

T. de Guzman,Maria Rosario. “Volunteerism: A Tool for Positive Youth Development.” Universityof Nebraska Lincoln. University of Nebraska Lincoln, 2006. Web. 13 Feb. 2011. <http://citcms5.unl.edu/ c/ document_library/ get_file?folderId=221677&name=DLFE-3252.pdf>.

“Volunteering in the United States – 2010.” Bureau of Labor Statistics. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 26Jan. 2011. Web. 13 Feb. 2011. <http://www.bls.gov/ news.release/ pdf/ volun.pdf>.

“Why Youth Service Matters.” Youth Service California. Youth Service California, n.d. Web. 13 Feb.2011. <http://yscal.org/ ysmatters/ stats.html>.“Youth Helping America: The Role of Social Institutions in Teen Volunteering.”

YouthHelping America: The Role of Social Institutions in Teen Volunteering. The Corp.for National and Community Service, 2005. Web. 13 Feb. 2011. <http://www.polkfl.net/ community/ volunteers/ documents/ servicelearning/ FactSheet_ROSITV.pdf>.

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