October 06, 2015
Is community service part of your child’s high school experience?
Many educators think it should be, and with good reason. Research shows that teenagers who volunteer are more likely to pursue higher education, feel better prepared for their careers and make social responsibility a lasting part of their lives.
According to a 2007 study by the The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning & Engagement (CIRCLE), “Civic activities undertaken during high school are related to significantly higher odds that individuals graduate from college in later years.” Researchers found that high school students required to participate in community service were, on average, 22 percent more likely to graduate college. These students were also more likely to have higher scores in reading, math, science and history.
Beyond the classroom, volunteerism encourages character development and teaches problem solving, teamwork and leadership. OnlineCollege.org reports that “community service is somewhat of a missing link for students, giving them the chance to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom to real human needs.”
At the YMCA of Metro Chicago, we host hundreds of service projects every year. We engaged 457 individuals in 1,827 hours of service in June 2015 alone.
Are you or your teen interested in giving back to the Y? We’ve got programs for all ages, interests and abilities. Volunteer solo and keep score at a youth sporting event, or grab some friends to tackle a painting project together.
Visit our volunteer page to learn more about opportunities at your center!