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December 23, 2014

Nine stories made by and about young people making a difference

Giving back to the community is on most people’s to-do list, but it takes time and a commitment. A recent study from the National Conference on Citizenship shows that millennials and teens are more likely to volunteer than other recent generations, and are more civically engaged.

Youth reporters in PBS NewsHour’s Student Reporting Labs program went out into their communities to find and tell the stories of young people making a difference. They found students training to become volunteer firefighters, running pet rescues on Facebook, creating local TEDxYouths, holding math tutoring programs and mentoring peers with special needs.

At Central Hardin High School, students highlighted Trajan Tushkan, a high school sophomore who mentors elementary school children at the Mission Hope for Kids in Elizabethtown, Kentucky.

“Those kids look up to me, and I’m always there for them,” Trajan said.

Connor Morgan volunteers at Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, transporting patients to appointments and delivering lab specimens. Morgan, a high school senior, said the work combines his love of medicine and military history with his desire to contribute to his community.

“Veterans have done so much for us, and most people, I don’t think, truly believe that or appreciate that, so I wanted to do something to help them,” he said.

Student Reporting Labs connects classes with public media resources to teach journalism, digital literacy and civic engagement and is supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. You can find more of their stories from this series here.

By Leah Clapman, Managing Editor of Education

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