Building Empathy and Social Responsibility in Teens & the Role of Charity Involvement

Danielle Herschitz

Today’s life is lived on small screens, with “followers” and “friends,” but no real, tangible connection. Now more than ever, it’s crucial to nurture empathy, social connectedness, and social responsibility to the younger generation.

This is where charity involvement shines, offering adolescents a unique avenue to experience personal, educational, and professional growth while contributing to the betterment of their communities.

Danielle Herschitz takes a look at the wealth of benefits that charity involvement can bring to teens, molding them into empathetic and socially responsible members of society.

Personal Growth

By serving others, teens gain first-hand experience of working with diverse people. This helps their social awareness to develop at a deeper level, learning empathy and fulfillment as they see how their presence directly contributes to betterment of the community.

Studies show that empathy correlates to:

  • More classroom engagement
  • Higher academic achievement
  • Better communication skills
  • Lower likelihood of bullying
  • Less aggressive behaviors and emotional disorders
  • More positive relationships

Everyone has the capacity for empathy, but it’s something that doesn’t develop without nurturing it. As adolescents grow, they observe and copy social cues from their surroundings, and all these small, repeated interactions contribute to the development (or lack thereof) of empathy.

Seeing and feeling empathy is a start.

It’s all too common to care about someone, but do nothing to help them. Getting involved in charity eliminates this empathy-action gap because it’s an environment that is built on empathy.

And empathy can be the foundation for a successful path in life.

Danielle Herschitz

Charity as an Educational Pathway

The impact of charity doesn’t end at personal and emotional growth–it extends into education.

Another study found that students who volunteered had better academic performance and found it to be an enriching activity. It’s an outlet to exhibit skills, or to learn skills that can be applied in the future.
While volunteering is mostly for personal fulfillment or the benefit of the community, it’s also a way to gain an advantage in college admissions or scholarships.

As adolescents transition from educational institutions to the professional world, past involvement in charity continues to open up more paths, and skills cultivated during volunteering become assets sought after in the job market.

Being Involved is an Edge in Employment

Just as volunteering can be a boon during applying for higher education, it can also be an advantage as one embarks on their career journey.

Volunteering hones skills that aren’t emphasized in the classroom, skills that are highly valued in the professional world like communication, teamwork, and time management. In a phenomenon dubbed “experience inflation,” entry level jobs are no longer entry level. They require years of experience to qualify, and most fresh graduates don’t have that–unless they’ve put the time in volunteering.

Skills learned through volunteering in a related field easily transfer over to a job, and employers do consider it, boosting the likelihood of landing a job by 27%.

Due to the interconnection of empathy with education and professional success, charity involvement serves as a catalyst for teens’ growth and development.

Through volunteering, teenagers not only expand their empathy, but also live a rich academic life, and set the stage for a successful professional journey.

Danielle Herschitz
Danielle Herschitz