President Mark Gearan was quoted in an article titled “Current Teen Generation Acquitting Themselves Well as Volunteers” published by Newhouse News Service on July 31. The article shows the rise of student volunteers. The article said between 1984 and 1997, the proportion of students in kindergarten through high school who participated in “service learning” grew to 25 percent from 2 percent, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. While definitions of “service learning” differ, it's clear that school curricula have exposed thousands of today's teens to volunteering.
The percentage of 8-to-17-year-olds who report daydreaming about helping other people increased from 31 percent in 1995 to 37 percent in 2000, according to the Roper Youth Report. During that same period, kids' No. 1 dream, being rich, fell from 65 percent to 56 percent. “This is one of the most underreported stories of our time,” said Gearan. “There's a burgeoning service movement in our country that has been evolving over the last decade.”