Helping a Teen’s Heart

helping heartFrom the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkley, Vicki Zakrzewski, Ph.D writes about the benefits of adolescents becoming involved in a community service project.  She describes the benefits as not only positive attitudes, but physical improvements, as well:

Compared to the non-volunteers, the students who volunteered showed a steep drop in risk factors for cardiovascular disease, including cholesterol levels and body mass index, at the end of 10 weeks. These benefits were even more pronounced for students whose empathy and altruistic behaviors increased the most and whose negative moods lessened over those 10 weeks. 
happy teenager

Dr. Zakrzewski further describes optimal structures for school-based community volunteering programming.  Direct contact with the population in need provides the adolescent with the best overall positive experience.

For more information, here is her entire article.