Community Service Has a Number of Important Benefits
Engaging in community service provides students with the opportunity to become active members of their community and has a lasting, positive impact on society at large. Community service or volunteerism enables students to acquire life skills and knowledge, as well as provide a service to those who need it most. These are some of the common benefits of participating in a community service program:
1. Psychological benefits: Volunteering increases overall life satisfaction and helps you feel good about yourself because you are helping others. It can also help to decreases stress and ease depression.
2. Social benefits: Volunteering engages students with the community, creates special bonds with the population being served, and increases social awareness and responsibility.
3. Cognitive benefits: Volunteering helps students enhance their personal knowledge, grow from new experiences, and develop better interpersonal communication skills.
Participating in community service not only makes a difference to the organization and people being served, but also makes a difference to every student’s career prospects. Participating in community service activities helps to enhance student resumes by allowing students to obtain work-related skills prior to graduation, builds good references for employers in regards to community involvement, and provides a forum to network with future potential employers. It also helps students develop civic and social responsibility skills and become more aware of what their community needs.
You can also make a positive contribution to your community by earning an online degree in nursing, criminal justice or psychology. Contact us today for more information about our programs where you can learn how to help real people and leave a positive impact on the world.
When I was a teenager, I remember helping the neighbor with her groceries or babysitting for the kids down the street a couple hours for free, but when I was growing up, I don't really remember an emphasis on high school community service. The buzz was largely about getting a job or multiple jobs to pay for the extras that I wanted and my parents would not buy. I worked at Macy's, bussed tables at a local restaurant, and scooped ice cream in the summer. Plus, did a lot of babysitting. Of course, I believe most teens still look for—and appreciate—the benefits of working in a part-time job but also truly understand the personal benefits of worthwhile community service work.
It may be somewhat obvious, but worth noting to remind us all that teens should volunteer as much as they can throughout their teen years. Teenagers who volunteer gain benefits ranging from increased self-esteem to acquiring valuable job skills. And it goes without saying that community service is also a critical component of a successful college application.
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Why Community Service Work is Beneficial for Teens
The Personal Benefits of Teen Volunteering:
- Develops an increased sense of social responsibility—a global view of society and a heart for "giving back" and helping others.
- Exposes teens to diversity and multiculturalism.
- Provides an opportunity to apply academic learning to real human needs.
- Builds relationships and "social connectedness" with peers, adults, and activists sharing a cause.
- Improves communication and critical thinking skills.
The College Admissions Benefits of Teen Volunteering:
- Helps students stand out among other applicants; admissions officers want well rounded co-eds who volunteer; service work is a leading decision-making factor after a student's GPA and SAT scores.
- Provides a topic of interest for college essays; emphasis on "why" and "how" a student has tackled an issue.
The Career Benefits of Teen Volunteering:
- Helps students find their passions and interests that may lead to a career choice they may have not considered.
- Helps develop lifelong interpersonaland communication skills.
Community service is an essential way for students to explore their interests, show colleges what they believe in, and define a possible career path. By engaging in volunteer work, teens have an opportunity to learn experientially. They discover where their passions lie while undertaking "feel good" projects that truly make a difference. These experiences allow them to make more informed choices about college and career options as well as instilling a lifelong interest in giving back.
Even though I consider myself a good person, community service was less emphasized when I was a kid. Today, I am often impressed by the teens I know. They are not just helping their neighbor with the groceries or babysitting for free. They are building houses, delivering meals, singing for the elderly, and more. They realize that community service has the potential to be life changing in more ways than one.