How does volunteering benefit teens?

A study by University of Nevada, Reno indicated that 61% of American adults are convinced that today’s youth face a crisis in their values and morals, look at teenagers with misgiving, and view them as undisciplined, disrespectful, and unfriendly.

Volunteering is one way that teens can shape adults’ perceptions of them.  When adults see teens engaged in supporting the community in which they live, they can start to develop a different perception of teens.

Teens who do engage in volunteering reap benefits beyond shaping perceptions of them.

  • Teens who volunteer just one or more hours per week are 50% less likely to abuse alcohol, cigarettes, become pregnant, or engage in other destructive behavior.
  • Teens say some of the benefits they learn include:
    • Learning to respect others
    • Learning to be helpful and kind
    • Learning to understand people who are different
    • Developing leadership skills
    • Becoming more patient
    • Developing a better understanding of citizenship
  • Teens who volunteer are more likely to do well in school, graduate, and vote.
  • Teens who volunteer are more likely to have a strong work ethic as an adult.

What do you learn from volunteering? How do you benefit, and how are you shaping others’ views of you?

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