Woodrow Wilson, a wartime president, once said, “If you would be a leader, you must lead your own generation, not the next.” That’s what teen volunteers do every day.
Over the years, researchers have examined many of the positive effects of community service on teens. They include:
- Teens who volunteer learn to respect others and themselves. As they work to solve problems, they gain new skills. They see the results of their work. They gain the respect not only of their peers, but also of adults and community members.
- Leadership skills. Teens who participate in community service learn how to organize others. They know how to work in teams. Those are skills they can use in the classroom today and in the workplace tomorrow.
- Other teens think that those who volunteer are cool. They respect them as leaders and look up to them.
(Source: Volunteering: Indicators on Children and Youth, Child Trends Data Bank, niswc.com/teen_volunteering.)
The April edition of Parent Connection’s Parents Make the Difference newsletters include more articles for families. Editions for elementary, middle and high school parents are posted monthly on vbschools.com.