In the information age, teenagers in the materialistic societies of Europe and America have access to more disposable monetary funds to buy the things they want than previous generations. Many experts in field of education feel that there is risk that many of these youngsters may grow up with impractical expectations when have to leave home and look for a job to support themselves. They say the question that these societies need to answer is whether these adolescents are able to show empathy to plight of others less fortunate than they are and go out of their way to help them. This is why it is important to teach these young people value of volunteering at a young age.
Selim Zherka , an American individual with a passion for volunteer work, says teenagers can benefit from learning the importance of voluntary work and serving the community in the following ways:
- Enhances their self esteem as they can make new friends
Volunteering allows teenagers to make new friends with people of their age groups, their families and other adults in their community. This enables to forge new ties with members of society they live, expands their social network and acts a catalyst in improving their self-esteem.
- Be an instrument for positive change
Adolescents who take out some time to do volunteer work quickly learn the difference they can make in the lives of other people and children in their community. This shows them that they are valuable members of the community and have to ability to bring about a positive change in their societies.
- Awareness of the problems plaguing the community
Volunteer work can teach teenagers important lessons about diversity in their community. They became aware of other people of their age group who having to deal with problems that are out of their control. This makes them more empathic to their plight and gives them the opportunity to go out of their way to help such individuals and their families.
- Spreads happiness
Teenagers who undertake volunteer work in help other people in whatever way they can usually feel good about themselves. This goes a long way in boosting their self-worth in the communities they live in.
- Developing skills and work experience
In many cases, teenagers doing volunteer work whenever they get the opportunity do not realize they are discovering their inherent talents and skills. In the long run, this goes a long way in helping them find a lucrative career.
- Helps them with their college admission
Colleges in Europe and United States give preference to students who do volunteer work for their community in addition to their school-leaving grades when it comes to admissions.
Selim Zherka says the most important benefit for volunteer work for teenagers and youngsters is the realization that they can make a positive difference in their communities as individuals. Moreover, this type of endeavor brings them closer to people for various age groups who benefit from their selfless service. This makes them feel better about themselves and boost their self-worth.