Volunteering to Help Others
An important way that youth demonstrate leadership to others is by helping others in their community. This starts as you begin to think and learn about community issues and problems and then decide which areas you are interested in.
One person may be interested in showing leadership by working on a campaign to discourage other students from using drugs, while another may be more interested in helping the local Center for Independent Living fight to have more wheelchair accessible apartments built in their community.
Teens involved in community service as leaders work to convince others to learn about the issues they are interested in, and to try to recruit new volunteers to the effort.
Check out this story:
Sam’s mom was homeless for a long time, so Sam grew up on the streets. When he was 12, he fell in with the wrong
crowd and twice got caught by the police experimenting with drugs. He had to go to a juvenile detention center, but while
he was there he found out he had a serious learning disability, which explained why he was never very good at reading.
When Sam was in the detention center, all the other guys liked him because he was “a good listener,” and it
made him feel good to help the other guys feel better. Sam started a peer-counseling group at his detention center and
was its leader for six months. Before he left the center, he helped James get ready to be the new group leader after he
left. After he got out of the detention center, Sam went to a foster home and his parole officer helped him find special
tutoring at school from someone who understood his learning disability. More importantly, Sam’s parole officer also
helped him become a volunteer in a program for homeless families. Sam loves helping homeless people find the help they
need, but he especially likes to show his leadership ability by spending time with homeless kids. The kids look up to
Sam because he understands what they are going through and is a nice guy who made it off the streets.
See also Getting Involved here in The Community Center for more about this sort of thing.
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