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A group of volunteers surround a table looking through scrapbook paper.

*This is part 2 of 9 from The Urban Difference: Report 2018

Volunteers Make a Difference

Volunteers learn valuable skills that enable them to solve societal problems and to become great leaders of change.

Urban communities face many challenges from improving the health of its citizens to preparing young people to be tomorrow’s leaders. While Alabama Extension at Alabama A&M University addresses societal issues through its staff, programs, and services, it is the work of volunteers that enables the organization to reach wider audiences and to make even greater impacts. In return, Alabama Extension volunteers can fulfill educational requirements. They also learn valuable skills and strategies that positively impact communities, such as promoting tolerance and diversity in Alabama neighborhoods.

In 2018, 534 new and 216 returning volunteers enrolled in Volunteer in Urban Programs (VIP), devoting 11,900 hours of service across the state at a value of $260,848. These VIPs learned about Alabama Extension at Alabama A&M University and used new knowledge and skills to become better leaders, to improve their community, and to strengthen their technical and office skills. In addition, they enhanced their life skills such as negotiation or conflict resolution, effectively communicating with diverse audiences, and managing emotions when working with people. These skills are readily applied on the job, in the community, or at home when interacting with family and friends.

Put a Stop to Bullying

Educating youth about bullying helps to reduce bullying incidences and the risk of victims being diagnosed with a mental illness later in life.

Bullying is a very common tale in America whether on school playgrounds, buses, classrooms, hallways, or cafeterias. Young people have been physically, emotionally, or verbally insulted based on what they look like, their race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation. The National Center for Educational Statistics (2017) estimates that 20% of youth ages 12-18 reported being physically or emotionally bullied and 17% reported being bullied electronically during the past year. Unfortunately, youth that are bullied throughout their childhood are more likely to suffer from some form of mental illness as an adult or exhibit violent behaviors.

Through the Helping Youth to Promote Empathy (HYPE) program, Alabama Extension at Alabama A&M University now works to educate students and parents about bullying, its adverse effects, and effective ways to address harmful behavior. Last year 878 urban youth completed the program. As a result, 817 (93%) of these youth are able to identify bullying behavior, 729 (83%) believe they could stop a bully, and 500 (57%) believe that bystanders can help a victim by hanging out with them or by disagreeing with negative behavior. Educating youth is the first step to ending the cycle of bullying.

Continue to:

Part 1 – The Urban Difference: Report 2018, From the Administrators
Part 2 – The Urban Difference: Report 2018, Urban 4-H Youth Development & Volunteerism
Part 3 – The Urban Difference: Report 2018, Animal Science & Forages
Part 4 – The Urban Difference: Report 2018, Consumer Sciences & Personal Financial Management
Part 5 – The Urban Difference: Report 2018, Economic and Community Development
Part 6 – The Urban Difference: Report 2018, Family & Child Development
Part 7 – The Urban Difference: Report 2018, Forestry, Wildlife, & Natural Resources
Part 8 – The Urban Difference: Report 2018, Home Grounds, Gardens & Home Pests
Part 9 – The Urban Difference: Report 2018, Human Nutrition, Diet & Health

Download the complete pdf file publication: UPN-2155 The Urban Difference: Report 2018

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