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Opportunities to Help Others

Every child and youth needs and deserves the chance to make a difference — in their families, schools, communities, nation, and world — through having models of caring behavior, awareness of the needs of others, a sense of personal resposibility to contribute to larger society, and opportunities for volunteering, leadership, and service.


Opportunities to Help Others and give back through community service


It's time to see young people as part of the solution, not part of the problem. Yet even though youth are more likely than adults to volunteer, fewer than half of all young people consistently serve others. A result is that they miss this powerful opportunity for growth.


Giving children and adolescents opportunities to serve others is an important strategy in shaping America's future. Though school-based community service has received the most attention, there are many different avenues through which youth can contribute to their communities. These include:

  • Religious congregations
  • Neighborhood teams
  • Service clubs
  • Family volunteering
  • Youth organizations
  • Schools

Though service by youth is often "packaged" as a single program run by an organization or social institution, promoting service as a lifelong commitment is enhanced when youth participate at many ages and through multiple avenues, and when opportunity is given to reflect on the act of service -- hence, the term "service-learning."


With appropriate training and support, young people can perform hundreds of different types of service in their communities. An emerging body of research suggests that service-learning experiences enhance self-esteem, a sense of personal competence and efficacy, engagement with school, and social responsibility for others. But remember that youth are much less likely to volunteer if they are not asked.


Find out below how you can help America’s Promise fulfill Promise Five: Opportunities to Help Others.


Community service not only benefits society, it enriches the lives of the people who provide it. Young volunteers have higher self-esteem, perform better in school, build leadership skills and learn how to solve community problems. Unfortunately, many youth are rarely asked to participate in community service—even though most will volunteer when asked. America’s Promise Partners are providing numerous opportunities for youth to help their communities.


Ensure that young people have opportunities to give back through community service. Connect with these organizations that can help you fulfill Promise Five: