Community Service Transforms Students Into Leaders
Check the biographies of many of the country’s elected officials and other leaders, and you’ll find that getting involved with their communities was a path leading to their current position. Serving the community is an important element of REAP’s focus on youth empowerment. Through serving the community, students learn valuable leadership skills and understand that they are the community!
Community service transforms students into leaders
Two signature REAP events include weekly food box deliveries and Elevate the Community, a quarterly event that provides various resources, including food boxes, hygiene products, clothing, COVID-19 information, etc.
Simply put, community volunteering transforms people into leaders by teaching essential leadership skills they can use throughout their lives. Volunteering can help students:
- Develop Teamwork and Partnership
Working as a volunteer automatically places people in a team environment. It requires learning how to collaborate with others to make the project a success. Volunteers also need to eliminate any barriers between volunteers and find solutions to any conflicts that could hinder success. These are valuable leadership skills.
- Build Confidence and Passion
Volunteering can provide a healthy boost to your self-confidence, self-esteem, and life satisfaction. You are doing good for others and the community, your community, which provides a natural sense of accomplishment. It can also give you a sense of pride and identity. And the better you feel about yourself, the more likely you will have a positive view of your life and future goals.
- Learn to Network
Networking is vital in the business world, and community volunteering provides an opportunity to network. A volunteer gets to meet with people from different walks of life—other countries, with different perspectives. Interacting with diverse people enables growth and helps teach us how to get along with people who don’t necessarily think like you or share the same background, which is what leaders do. It’s a wonderful way to form meaningful partnerships.
- Learn the Importance of Having a Vision
Volunteer team members unite behind a shared vision and commit, as a team, to shared goals. Volunteers see how alignment within the team can pay off in the form of rapid results. When people band together behind ideas and trust in a single vision, it is astounding how much they can accomplish.
- Immerse Themselves in Other Cultures
Cultural, political, and racial division is an ongoing and complicated problem. One powerful benefit of volunteering that builds leadership skills is that it allows a person to learn about other cultures. It can open minds, change misconceptions, and help develop better and more effective communication skills, a crucial leadership competence.
- Receive mentorship
Volunteers often give each other support, advice, and guidance needed to ensure success. It gives different people a voice that they perhaps wouldn’t have had, allowing them to step up and take the lead.
- Gain Problem Solving Skills
Students participating in community service are often faced with challenges and challenging problems to tackle. By working through them as volunteers, they learn how to be effective problem solvers and enjoy overcoming a hurdle.
- Increase Their Social and Relationship Skills and Make New Contacts
One of the best ways to make new friends and strengthen existing relationships is to commit to a shared activity together. Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, strengthen existing relationships, reinforce your ties to the community, and broaden your support network. Volunteering provides an opportunity to practice and develop your social skills, which can be especially useful for shy people who may have difficulty meeting new people.
There are also academic and employment benefits to community volunteer service. Studies have shown that students who volunteer in the community perform better academically and may have an advantage when seeking employment.
The world needs good, influential leaders. With a bit of training and encouragement, our young people have the potential to meet—and even exceed—that need. Join our mission to ignite, elevate, and engage the next wave of leaders.