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Top 6 Facts About Youth Volunteers

2012 August 9

The most recent data about young people and volunteering shows that in 2010, 4.4 million teenagers gave 377 million hours of volunteer service to communities across the country (Volunteering In America). That comprised 26.1% of youth age 16-19.

An earlier national study, conducted by the Corporation for National and Community Service, with the U.S. Census Bureau and Independent Sector, found the following facts about young volunteers.

Millions of Young People Volunteer

15.5 million youths between the ages of 12 and 18 contributed more than 1.3 billion hours of service during 2004.

Young People Volunteer More Than Adults

Young people volunteered at twice the rate of adults with 55 percent of young people volunteering, compared with only 29 percent of adults.

Volunteering Helps Young People Succeed

Youth who volunteer are less likely to engage in risky behavior, are more likely to feel connected to their communities, and tend to do better in school.

Altruism Is the Driving Motivator

Youth who volunteer do so out of altruism, strongly agreeing with statements such as “I would like to help make the world a better place,” and “It’s important to do things for others.” Only 5% of students became involved with volunteering through a school requirement.

Adult Role Models Are Crucial

A youth who has a parent who volunteers is nearly three times more likely to volunteer on a regular basis.

They Need Flexible Volunteer Opportunities

Thirty-nine percent of teenagers volunteer on a regular basis; 35% do so occasionally; and 27% are episodic volunteers.
Published in Guide
HandsOn Suburban Chicago provides numerous opportunities for youth to engage in volunteer opportunities.  For a full list of current volunteer positions, please visit

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