There is a supervisor at my company who works hard all day and then leaves to voluntarily oversee a soup kitchen, serving hundreds of people. On top of that, she hosts a weekly lunch for seniors so they have a venue to eat together and socialize. (more…)
Establishing a strong sense of belonging and purpose, both on campus and in the larger community is essential to engaging and retaining students. For many students, college represents their first taste of true independence, away from parents, teachers and other authority figures. Their actions are their own, and the decision whether or not to get involved is up to them. For college and university administrators, it is imperative that they establish an environment, on campus and beyond, that fosters a sense of belonging so students have the best opportunity to succeed academically, socially and civically.
“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”
― Winston S. Churchill
Giving back to our communities and to those in need makes our lives more meaningful. Not only do we encourage our kids to do community service while they’re in school, but many people spend weekends doing volunteer work, often through an organized group or a religious institution.
“Every generation blames the one before, and all of their frustrations are beating on your door.”
The Living Years, Mike & the Mechanics
Idealism is the defining characteristic of youth and it has many expressions. Many young people yearn to do something meaningful to help others and to fix society’s myriad problems. The Peace Corps is an example of a successful effort aimed at channeling young Americans’ passion and energy to create positive change in our world. There are many other programs, like Teach for America and City Year, that provide the opportunity for young Americans to do service, but the U.S. has never developed a major nationwide initiative or campaign that has truly transformed how we think about national service in our country and how it can improve the quality of life for both U.S. citizens and people globally. Until now.