YPI Cohort $ WHITE PAPER INTRODUCTION! Cohort IV, a smaller segment of Youth Philanthropy Initiative (YPI), has noticed a problem in the way Tulsa teens view volunteerism:
Many schools or clubs that students are involved in require a certain number of volunteer hours. This forces students who want to graduate with honors or stay involved in a club to go around searching for somewhere to give their time helping others.
Youth Philanthropy Initiative is a youth-led program in which a diverse group of Tulsa teens experience what it means to be a grant maker, change-agent, and leader. The participants are given seed money and the task of making a difference in the teen community. YPI is designed to help youth understand, develop, and implement philanthropy, leadership, self-knowledge, and community building. YPI is funded by the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Foundation. Cohort IV began in the fall of 2009 and consists of 22 students. We spent many months choosing our issue: Volunteerism for Teens. We see the need for volunteers in the Tulsa community and want our generation of teenagers to be the ones leading the way in active volunteering. WHY DO TEENS VOLUNTEER? In the US, fifty-five percent of teens are volunteers, whether regularly or occasionally. According to our survey, only 1% of teens volunteer to learn new skills. We want teens to have an understanding of what they can learn and what wonderful benefits can be obtained! BENEFITS OF VOLUNTEERING Meeting fellow peers
A sense of pride from helping those in need
Opportunities to make your community a better one.
Recognized volunteer organizations can help a resume or application look better
Receiving gratitude from those you have helped
Seeing the before and after effect of what you've done
Learning a new skill POSSIBLE NEGATIVES Volunteer opportunities that have little to no instruction
Lack of friends or people you can relate to
Volunteering that is required VOLUNTEERING: FROM A TEEN'S PERSPECTIVE
To the average teenager, volunteering is but an activity to fill up time, not a serious venture.
In most cases they would be right because, teenagers haven't been taught the value of volunteering! YPI's goal is to take volunteering from “helping someone I don't even know for no reward” to “helping someone I don't even know because I genuinely want to”. In our survey teens listed off what would make them want to volunteer, the following is just some of the most common and prominent answers.A fun experienceFully aware of the benefitsA reward (pizza, free trip to laser quest, etc)Doing something they enjoyPraiseWorking with friends, meeting new people NON-PROFITS Ways to get involved in volunteering!:
Get involved with a non-profit organization. Some non-profits support cancer, animal rights, land conservation, and other interests.
During 2008 non-profits gave $387.7 billion.In 2006, 8.11% of wages were from non-profits.
Right now, 11 million people are employed by non-profits. Throughout 2008 volunteers worked 14.4 billion hours at non-profits, working out to be $260 billion dollars at average wages.In
1998 there were 1, 158, 031 non-profit organizations in the United States. In 2008 that number rose to 1, 536, 134.
If a volunteer experience is not fulfilling, then there are many other opportunities to serve. Volunteering shouldn’t be a chore; it should be enjoyable. GOALS We are primarily concerned with enriching lives through the power of volunteering!
Hopefully, at the end of our endeavor teenagers’ attitudes towards volunteering will have shifted in the Tulsa community. We want teenagers to feel excited about volunteering rather than reluctant.
Because we are comprised solely of teenagers, we have an advantage in changing the teenager’s attitudes.
The potential is overwhelming, considering the thousands of teenagers required to fulfill monthly volunteer hours. The ability to concentrate this workforce is priceless. After finding their passion, the influence of one determined teenager is immeasurable. CONCLUSION Why has teen volunteerism not increased in today’s world more than ever before? With all the opportunities there are, shouldn’t it be at an all time high? The answer is simple:
today’s teens haven’t been taught that what they are doing really does make a difference!
Also, finding the right opportunity that suits a person is very difficult! If more than half of the teenagers in the U.S. volunteer at some time or another, shouldn’t appealing opportunities be easily accessible?
The students in YPI believe that they should!
We sent out nearly 500 surveys and our results showed; that students would volunteer more if they found the jobs interesting and could do them with people they enjoy being around.
We want teens’ attitudes to shift from hesitation about volunteering to willingness to give their time without reward.
There are many benefits to volunteering!
When teenagers do something that they know makes a difference, their self-esteem increases, they build social skills, and it gives them a sense of what they may or may not want as a career. So if all it takes is motivation and the knowledge that one opportunity that could change everything for them, shouldn’t that be provided? 55% OUR PLAN IS TO:
Get students to be excitedabout volunteering, and to get an opportunity to serve their community and be cheerful about completing their volunteer hours! Volunteering by definition is: “to perform a service willingly and without pay.” Today’s teens may not get paid to volunteer, but they are definitely not always doing it willingly.YPI wants to do something about that! We want to inject passion for volunteerism back into Tulsa’s teens!See the full transcript