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You Say I Should do what Now? Print E-mail
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Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 27 July 2017 00:00

Today exists the largest generation of young people ever known.  Technologies like  mobile phones  and social media have created a generation that is better connected than ever before, awakening in us a new sense of power and potential.  Young people are providing the energy, creative ideas and determination to drive reform and create a world that we want to live in.

But young people also face challenges.  Social exclusion, lack of rights, poverty and many other issues must be overcome before we are able to fully exercise our potential.  Volunteerism is one powerful way for us to gain a strong sense of civic engagement and stake claim in our communities, our countries, our world.

Lets talk about how to use the tool of volunteerism effectively.

When it comes to service work, it’s important to realize that, similar to an actual career, not all volunteer positions fit everyone. It’s one thing to just log hundreds of hours for the sake of impressing a future employer, but the actual goal should be maximizing your utility. Let’s face it: We’re students and individuals with responsibilities. We’re busy; even if we’re procrastinating, we’re busy. Volunteering isn’t exactly at the top of anyone’s priority list, so finding an organization that clicks with you is the first step to enjoying volunteering and all its benefits.

1. Gaining New Experiences and Insights

Volunteering allows you to get involved with new things and develop technical, social, and academic skills that couldn’t be learned in a classroom environment. Whether you’re helping out at your local library or tutoring underprivileged kids, volunteering allows you to experience different environments and situations. Volunteering brings out new interests, hobbies, and opinions; moreover, volunteering expands one’s horizons.

2. The Joy of Giving Back and Helping Others

Admit it: you’re pretty lucky. You assumedly have a roof over your head, food to eat, and clothes to wear. Even if you don’t have the “best” of those, you’ve got them. Volunteers create better environments for others; they create healthier communities, and they brighten lives.

3.Creating Connections with People

No matter the age, building relationships with people is crucial. Not only does the volunteer work you do show who you are as a person, but it reflects many positive character traits that potential employers and admissions officers want to see. Volunteering allows you to meet a wide variety of people from all walks of life.

Networking is an amazing benefit of volunteering. Students and young professionals learn professional skills and gain access to a breadth of knowledge from their co-volunteers. A friend of mine, volunteers at her local clinic. She boasts that some of the doctors and volunteers there have become her mentors, letting her shadow them. They give her general life advice about interacting with people and education. Interacting with new types of people has developed her people skills. Through her volunteer work, she’s not only become an integral part of the clinic itself, but she’s gained a lot of valuable insights, skills, and experiences.

4. Building Career Options

Charity work gives young people opportunities to test out a desired career path. Concurrently, it gives them an edge on their resume.

Getting involved with an organization that shares similar ideals and interests is an important step for youths. At a young and pretty inexperienced age, volunteering is an excellent gateway to the workforce.

By gaining new experiences and creating new connections, volunteers are able to better visualize themselves in that field and explore the daunting question: can I see myself doing this for life? And, even if the organization you do get involved with has nothing to do with your intended career path, it might end up surprising you.

While I wasn’t such a fan of my early high school summers of volunteering, I was still able to make the most out of my situation by learning how to problem solve, work more efficiently, and deal with unwanted environments. Even though I know that I don’t want to follow a similar career path, I strengthened a lot of skills necessary for my own future career. So, take a chance by getting outside of the beloved comfort zone through volunteer work.

Volunteering, while it won’t raise your GPA or your test scores, will give you a plethora of other things, like experiences, connections, and most importantly, a voice.

So, get out there and get involved. Stop stressing about the number of hours, and start having fun. Yes, volunteering can be fun.  Don’t let something as vital and constructive slip through the cracks. Use the tool of volunteerism to make an impact and strengthen your voice in your country today.