Volunteering is one of the best ways to make a positive impact on the world. It’s something that you can do on your own time, and it’s something that you can do for a reason. Volunteering is about choosing to help others, and the more time you spend giving your time and energy to others, the more you’ll be helping yourself.

Youth success is in everyone’s interest. A regular civic-engagement program can improve outcomes for children, young adults, and communities. Young people who volunteer tend to do better in school, work, and become civically active adults. Below, Cindy Imperato, Chairman Board of Directors at American Red Cross Broward County Chapter, discusses some of the many benefits of youth volunteerism, and how young volunteers can make valuable contributions to any organization.

 

Develop Transferable Skills

One of the most important benefits of youth volunteerism is the development of transferable skills. This means that when you leave your experience as a volunteer to go back to your community or organization, you will be able to use those skills in a more meaningful way.

The skills gained through volunteering-such as collaboration and problem-solving-are vital for academic success as well as success at work and in life. No matter whether they collect donations by selling chocolate to their neighbors or spend time reading with the elderly, youth develop citizenship that carries over into adulthood. Volunteering also gives teens real-world experience for their resumes. Colleges and employers look for candidates who are civically engaged and will thrive in team settings.

In addition, youth volunteering can teach kids about important values and how to be good citizens. By giving kids the opportunity to get involved in something they care about, they are more likely to stick around and make positive contributions in their own lives, explains Cindy Imperato from the American Red Cross.

 

Increases the likelihood of finding employment

Volunteering increases the likelihood of finding employment, resulting in a measurable increase in employment among volunteers ages 16-24 who are unemployed and not currently enrolled in school. Additionally, volunteering is an effective way for college students to prepare for entering the workforce; employers are 82% more likely to hire a candidate with volunteer experience and 85% more likely to overlook resume flaws when volunteering is demonstrated.

 

Make a Difference in the Lives of Others

Volunteering provides you with the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others. When you volunteer, you are giving back to society in a way that is meaningful and important. According to Cindy Imperato, board member of the American Red Cross, volunteering can help you connect with others, learn new things, and develop your skills. It also gives you a sense of community and contribution. You’ll be able to see the positive effects that your time volunteering has on other people, and you’ll be motivated to do more.

 

Facilitate Respect

Volunteering builds respectful relationships with those who work with you. When you’re volunteering, you’re putting your trust in someone else to do the right thing – and that’s a valuable lesson for everyone. Volunteering teaches people the importance of giving back, and it teaches people about the value of empathy and social responsibility. Volunteering also teaches people about the power of relationships, adds Cindy Imperato. It strengthens relationships by teaching people to rely on each other – something that is important for both personal and professional growth.

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