According to the Child Trends Databank, approximately one-third of high school students volunteer at least once a month. Older high school students have higher volunteer rates than younger ones with 37 percent of twelfth grade students, 34 percent of tenth grade students and 29 percent of eighth grade students. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 22 percent of those age 16 to 24 volunteer.
Issues and Actions
Studies have found that there are unexpected benefits of volunteering. While it seems counterintuitive, a study by Wharton professor Cassie Mogilner found that volunteering makes volunteers feel like they have more time than less. In addition, a Corporation for National & Community Service report showed that volunteering is paired with better health, lower mortality rates and lower rates of depression. Volunteering also gives the opportunity to improve your skills which can be helpful for your career.
The voter turnout for 18- to 29-year-olds in the last Presidential election was 19.9 percent, which is the lowest turnout for this age group in history. Why is it important to turn this trend around?
- You're the only one who will vote for your demographic. Senior citizens come out to vote en masse and represent their interests, not yours.
- There are 44 million eligible voters in your generation so know that your vote can make a difference.
- Your generation is the most diverse. More than 70 percent of baby boomers are white while only 50 percent of Millenials are white.
- While you may not own a house, be married, have children or have a job now, in a few years you will and what you vote on now will affect you in the future. And even though Social Security is long in the future, it will eventually come.
- You can affect issues that affect you today such as foreign policy and environmental issues.
- Many have sacrificed in the past for your right to vote including Civil Rights leaders and members of the military.
A national study found that high school students care more about freedom of speech and the first amendment than adults. According to the study by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, 24 percent of students versus 38 percent of adults agreed that the first amendment does too much to protect the rights of religion, speech, press and petition. Of those students who look at the digital news, 65 percent strongly agree that others should be able to communicate unpopular opinions.
According to a recent report from OnlineColleges.net, there are several issues that college students care most about:
- LGBTQ equality. While the Supreme Court has legalized marriage nationwide, there are still strides to make for LGBTQ equality.
- Healthcare. College students care not only about maintaining health insurance for themselves but also about making sure that all people have health insurance.
- Abortion. College students are both supporters and opponents of abortion but care deeply about the issue.
- Student loans. An issue close at heart, policy about student loans is critical to college students.
- Jobs and the economy. Students know that policies concerning jobs and the economy will have a direct impact on their future.