Volunteering — it’s a win-win!

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You’ve probably been encouraged to volunteer, whether it is to boost your transcript or just boost your morale. But while it may seem to some to be an obligation, there are great benefits to volunteering, both for you and the organizations you are servicing.

In support of its mission to encourage youth volunteerism, The Prudential Spirit of Community Initiative conducted a study among 1,200 teenagers in the U.S. to better understand the motivators and differences between youth volunteers and non-volunteers. Compared to 20 years ago, when Prudential first surveyed teenagers about their attitudes toward volunteering, the number of teens who see volunteering as important has increased (from 62% to 76%).  See Figure

  1. Perhaps the reason why is because teen volunteering is a virtuous cycle. While teenagers cite “helping others” as a top reason for wanting to volunteer, they acknowledge benefiting from the experience, too. Nine in 10 volunteers say that volunteering makes them feel good about themselves because they feel like they made a difference, felt needed and built self-esteem and confidence.Compared to non-volunteers, teens that volunteer have a more positive perception of themselves. Across a variety of traits – including independence, leadership, dependability, confidence, and optimism – volunteers rated themselves an average of 15 points higher than non-volunteers.The increased confidence extended to their perception of their skill sets. Analyzing their own skills in areas such as technology, communication and teaching others, volunteers rated their skills significantly higher than non-volunteers on every measure. Volunteers reported that they actively developed a number of skills through their service activities such as social skills, leadership and networking.Find out how you can start volunteering in your community! Talk to your teachers and counselors, or do your own research to find an opportunity that will help you give back. You can also check out the Prudential Spirit of Community project ideas at https://spirit.prudential.com/volunteer-ideas/volunteer-project-ideas
    The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, sponsored by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals, represents America’s largest youth recognition program based exclusively on volunteer service. Since 1995, the program has honored more than 115,000 youth volunteers at the local, state and national level. Spirit of Community programs are also conducted by Prudential subsidiaries in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Ireland, India, China and Brazil. Learn more at http://spirit.prudential.com.
    Figure 1: Source: The Prudential Spirit of Community https://spirit.prudential.com/resources/teen-survey-on-volunteering
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