Most teenagers who worked as volunteers, consider this work to be a rewarding experience and plan to continue it in the future.
Several researchers have suggested that the work of high school students is not a risk factor (National Research Council, 1998); in fact, it helps them with job placement after graduation. In addition, working while studying in school increases the chances on the better earnings after graduation. This is partly due to the fact that working teenagers from low-income families are more likely to graduate from high school than non-working (Carr, Wright, and Brody, 1996). Poor working teenagers often go on to college than non-working (Leventhal, Graber, and Brooks-Gunn, 2001). It can be concluded that the work of low-income teens while studying in high school gives them an opportunity to get better in their life.
Over the past 30 years, the number of teenagers working for a salary has increased as well as the participation of adolescents in unpaid activities. Fifty-sixty five percent of teenagers every year take part in volunteer work (Niemi, Hepburn, and Chapman, 2000). And taking into account the benefits of volunteer work for the community, the students of the program of socially useful work enjoyed considerable support. The federal government in 1993 allocated $ 30 million for the financing of volunteer community service programs and volunteer work of young people was discussed at the Presidential Summit on the future of America in 1997, led by General Colin Powell. Many schools are now attracting students to a particular type of socially useful work.
Studies have shown that adolescents from intact families, especially those where a mother does not work, often engaged in volunteering (Raskoff, and Sundeen, 1994). Teens often involved in socially useful work, if their parents are also involved in them, if they come from well-off families and do well in school (Hart, Atkins, and Ford, 1998; Keith, Nelson, Schlabach, and Thompson, 1990). Some studies have shown that girls are more likely to engage in socially useful work than boys while others have not confirmed any gender differences.
Socially useful work has a number of advantages. Taking into account that many students lose interest in studies, order essays for money without even trying to think out of the box for a bit, this point is very essential. Volunteers gain knowledge and experience. Determination of place in society, moral values, and social role have a positive effect on personal development. Volunteering has a positive effect on self-esteem and reduces the risk of problem behavior. Being engaged in socially useful work, teenagers begin to show an interest in politics and political discussions. It is also important that the volunteer teaches teens to help others. One study showed that 90% of teens believe that participation in socially useful work has gone to their advantage, and would like to engage in volunteering in the future.
Studies of the effect of social labor in the teens have been initiated. However, it is clear that some of the opportunities provided by a socially useful activity are more significant than others. While some teens filled envelopes for a political candidate, others communicate with different people. Metz, McLellan, and Eunice compared the teenagers participating in charities (such as grocery shopping for the disabled elderly), with ones, participating in more familiar types of socially active gigs (such as helping peers in school and office work). While almost all volunteers enjoy their work, and they plan to continue to deal with it, public consciousness improves only in those who are engaged in charity work, helping those in need.
In any case, the school can promote the use of socially useful work for teenagers, preparing them for such work and providing an opportunity for further reflection.
The first real job for many teenagers become work in...fast food spots. Monotony of the work and low wages may affect the attitude towards work of some teenagers while for others, such work provides an opportunity to continue their studies and get a better job in the future.
Youth and Unemployment
One of the most pressing social problems in the United States is unemployment among young people.
The number of young unemployed
In 2002, 12.7% of white teens aged 16-19 were unemployed. The indicators were higher among minorities: 29% of adolescent blacks and 17.7% of adolescents of Hispanic origin (U. S. Bureau of the Census, 2003a). Figure 16.5 shows the approximate figures for young people 20-24 letEti data suggest that 2.6 million young people were unemployed in 2002.
The highest unemployment rate is noted among black teenagers, regardless of whether they are in school or not, and these figures truly reflect the real situation. In addition, the unemployment rate among Hispanic young people is higher than among whites but is significantly lower than among blacks. It is possible that these statistics do not reflect the true extent of the problem because many young people, desperate to find a job and stop their quest, are not included in the lists of the unemployed. This high unemployment rate means an increase in crime, drug use, social tensions and a decrease in the incomes of poor families.
Causes of unemployment
Why such a high rate of unemployment does exist among young people? One reason is that young people do not have sufficient knowledge and expertise, and many of them during their studies at the school worked only a few hours. That is, their ability to work is limited with low skills and admitting part-time employment. High school graduates have a better chance in the labor market than their peers who have not completed school, as evidenced by lower levels of unemployment among graduates. In such situations volunteering may help students out and show them that they are significant and a lot of people from diverse countries need their help.
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