(Newswire.net — May 20, 2016) — There is a common misconception that today’s youth are an apathetic, digitally addicted horde, lacking goals and ambition, when in fact, this is categorically incorrect. While most of these young people are more interconnected than ever before, the vast majority are committed and engaged to their schools, communities, cities, not to mention to our planet’s long-term sustainability and longevity.
Through innovation, public service and volunteering, today’s youth are proving that they have been falsely labeled indifferent.
Worldwide, the number of young people who are working on helpful innovations, such as assistive apps and technology, or volunteering in their communities has and continues to steadily grow. Each year over the last decade, more than 15.5 million young people volunteered at least 1.3 billion hours of their personal time.
According to Statistics Canada, “In general, younger Canadians are more likely to volunteer than older Canadians and the youngest demographic 15-24 participate in more volunteer activities than older demographics.” According the 2010 federal report, 58 percent of people aged 15 to 24 reported doing regular volunteer work. These numbers were 15 to 20 percent higher than those of pre-retirees and seniors and higher than all the remaining groups as well.
Skeptics have attributed the increasing number of youth volunteers with the introduction of mandatory volunteer requirements implemented by school boards for high school students. However, in a 2006 article for World Volunteer Web, Joanne Fritz wrote that of the 55% percent of global youth that reported volunteering, “only 5% of students became involved with volunteering through a school requirement.”
Instead, Fritz found youth volunteer rates were being spurred on by the true spirit of philanthropy. “Youth who volunteer do so out of altruism,” she wrote. The young people she spoke to agreed strongly with statements like, “I would like to help make the world a better place,” and “It’s important to do things for others.”
It’s no surprise that today’s youth aren’t only thinking locally, they are also thinking globally when it comes to offering their services. Through volunteerism, young adults are traveling across the globe to teach, build schools and hospitals, dig wells and perform any other task that may be needed.
To accommodate the vast number of people who want to volunteer abroad, tourism providers are offering volunteer tourism focused trips. Canadian student tourism provider S-Trip!, for example, found that students on their #Tripofalifetime grad trips were responding favourably to the integration of volunteer opportunities.
Throughout their website, S-Trip! reviews from travelers repeatedly recall how enriching and gratifying the volunteer excursions are. As a result of these reviews S-Trip! now provides volunteer initiatives in local communities on every trip.
This year, S-Trip! plans to facilitate and lead more than 6,000 student travelers in over 18,000 hours of volunteer work. This is just one example of how today’s youth are giving their time and energy to making the world they live in a better place, even while on vacation.
Whether it’s volunteering at a local food bank or flying to Cuba to help restore a school, the younger generations are proving they are engaged, interested and committed to working to improve the lives of those around them.