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Community Service: Enlarging youth’s sense of the public and perspectives on the common good Connie Flanagan University of Wisconsin-Madison YOUTH-NEX.

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Presentation on theme: "Community Service: Enlarging youth’s sense of the public and perspectives on the common good Connie Flanagan University of Wisconsin-Madison YOUTH-NEX."— Presentation transcript:

1 Community Service: Enlarging youth’s sense of the public and perspectives on the common good Connie Flanagan University of Wisconsin-Madison YOUTH-NEX CONFERENCE Preparing Our Youth for the Coming World October 25, 2011

2 Civic Engagement different from other extracurricular “free time” activities Heterogeneous Encounters Question group stereotypes Expand conceptions – Collective (civic) identity We, the people Expand notions of the ties that binds us together

3 ADOLESCENTS’ VIEWS OF ‘OTHERS’ IN THEIR COMMUNITY IN THEIR COMMUNITY

4 What adolescents say they learned from their community service Selection of verbatim responses from – 18 year olds Diverse communities and social backgrounds

5 Basically you get to know people for who they are not what they are I used to be afraid of the elderly. I understand them more and found out they are really nice and have a lot to share. 15 year-old White female from a working class family People are a lot friendlyer [sic] & kinder than they are made out to be. 16 year-ole White male from a middle-class family People are different but they don't have to be an outcast. 18 year-old Puerto Rican female from a working-class family

6 Understanding the Lives of Fellow Citizens ?? Awareness of Public Issues It has helped me to see just how hard it can be for some kids & some adults with disabilities. 17 year-old white female from an upper middle-class family Some kids have more & bigger problems than others. 17 year-old Puerto Rican male from a working-class family I see what people get angry about. 14 year-old White male from a middle-class family

7 Social Responsibility – Ties that Bind You should always give help, because it probably will be there when you want it back. 18 year-old Arab-American male I was able to grow closer to people at school and realize that team efforts make a difference. 16 year-old White female who volunteers with the Environment Club Volunteering helps me bond with others and they help me see myself. 16 year-old Native American female who does school programs to help others learn about “my people” That there are nice considerate people out there that could still believe someone after they have done wrong. 18 year-ole Mexican-American male who volunteers at an ex-convicts rehabilitation center

8 Adolescents’ Perceptions of their Community Caring If someone in my community has a problem, they can usually count on others to help them out. Open When someone moves here, people make them feel welcome. Effective Every town has some problems. In general, people in my town work together to solve our problems.

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10 ADOLESCENTS’ VIEWS OF ‘OTHERS’ IN THEIR COMMUNITY IN THEIR COMMUNITY

11 Collective Identity Solidarity and Civic Engagement.

12 Solidarity/ Sense of Community Reflect/ Change My Beliefs Teams from Diverse Backgrounds AmeriCorps: Program Elements That Increase Civic Behaviors.298 ***. 414 ***. 161 *. 248 ** Civic Behaviors (Year Two)

13 Democratic societies rely on persons with democratic dispositions People prepared to work with others different from themselves toward shared ends. People with a sense of individuality and a commitment to civic goods that are not the possession of one person or one small group alone. - Jean Bethke-Elshtain, 1990

14 From Thomas Jefferson Equal rights for all, special privileges for none. Peace and friendship with all mankind is our wisest policy, and I wish we may be permitted to pursue it. Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.


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