Many adults know that giving simply feels good; kids can experience those same good feelings through volunteering. When children volunteer, they develop a sense of compassion for others and begin to feel part of a bigger community.
Kids learn About their community’s needs and specific topics such as the environment and hunger. Important Skills via the work the do, such as counting or reading cans of food, determining the number of scoops to make a pound, gardening and painting. Critical thinking skills are developed by engaging in the selection of the volunteer opportunity, and discussing what happens next. Often times there is Reflection, which brings lifelong benefits by building compassion, leadership and critical thinking.
Empowerment comes When they are involved in the decision about where to volunteer helping them to feel appreciated and providing opportunity for adult-child dialogue. In knowing that a kid can make a difference, their work is valued by others, and they have something to contribute builds self-confidence.
DCF and OAS continue to remain committed to Youth Engagement in all adolescent related initiatives.
Please be advised that there are exciting part-time employment positions available statewide through AmeriCorps regarding a NJ Mentoring Partnership Initiative. AmeriCorps is specifically trying to recruit DCF involved youth so please share this information with adolescents on your caseload. Please see the attacheddocuments Info Sheet AmeriCorps Mentoring and AmeriCorps Brochure Mentoring.
In addition we are reaching out to youth for their valuable and critical feedback, insight, and ideas and asking them to partner with us by participating in important initiatives across and outside of the Department that will help youth across the state of New Jersey. The attached 1 page documents outline the initiatives where we need youth involvement.
These initiatives include:
Youth involvement in these initiatives will not just help other youth, but can also help develop leadership skills, their social network, and are great volunteer positions and experiences that can also be included on their resume!
Please share with the young people you work with so they can have their VOICES HEARD and GET INVOLVED!