It’s almost cliché to say that most of what constitutes hard news these days is depressing and disheartening (or inanely celebrity-focused, in this writer’s opinion). The economic, health, political, environmental issues around the globe taken together can feel overwhelming. Resolution can seem daunting.
But it is no cliché to say that to keep our world safe, healthy and peaceful, we must live IN it with intelligent curiosity and clear purpose. We must listen to and be willing to try to understand different points of view.
Service is a powerful means to enhance our ability to listen and increase our capacity for understanding. The intent and the content of a VISIONS summer helps prepare young people to make a difference if they choose to do so “through service, authentic experience and active exploration.” Service is a powerful teacher and a powerful bridge to understanding.The April 22-24 issue of USA WEEKEND contained its 18th annual Teen Survey in an article entitled “Generation Give.” The news was neither depressing nor disheartening. 22,000 students in grades 6-12 participated in the survey. Some of the results:
Over half the students surveyed volunteer at least 20 and up to 60 hours and more per year.
93% of students surveyed reported that they will continue to volunteer as adults.
Well over half say that their volunteering efforts are rewarding and over half belong to a volunteer organization.
Overall, USA WEEKEND reports, “(Today’s teens are) smart, teaming up, doing well—and volunteering at a level and intensity we haven’t seen since the 1940s… (They) are destined to be a political powerhouse of a generation in our not-too-distant future.”
Now that’s good news! We are proud of VISIONS alumni, and we applaud those who will be serving communities across the globe this summer with VISIONS.