Monday, August 27, 2007

Generational Paradigm Shift?

The Peace Corps saw a 37 percent increase in applications from 2001 to 2006, bringing the total number of applications to over 12,000 last year.

AmeriCorps' Volunteers in Service to America program has had a 50 percent increase in applications since 2004.

Teach for America, which puts new college graduates of every major in urban and rural classrooms, had its applications skyrocket to 19,000 last year, an increase of nearly five times what they were in 2000. Participation rates have climbed from about 900 in 2000 to 2,400 last year.

The above volunteerism statistics from the Associated Press ... which suggests a full-blown trend among college students away from the corporate model of success.

Locally, that altruistic impulse is expressed by ASU's impACT program. Those capitalized initials stand for "Appalachian and Community Together." The program has for years worked to connect ASU students as volunteers with the local non-profit community, to the benefit of both.

Whatever the cause for this shift in personal values among 20-somethings, the community as a whole is strengthened and enhanced by the involvement of its young in a future that transcends "career advancement."

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