Preventing "Failure to Launch": Is Service a Path to Purpose?
Thursday, May. 15, 2008
11:30 AM - 1:30 PM
In his new book, The Path to Purpose: Helping Our Children Find Their Calling in Life, Stanford University’s WILLIAM DAMON reports that only about a fifth of today's youth can express a clear sense of what they are trying to accomplish in the world and why, an important indicator of personal happiness, whereas nearly a quarter expresses virtually no purpose. The remaining 56 percent are in a state of developmental flux. "The stakes of their eventual journeys are especially high," Damon writes. "Our responsibility as adults to help them in their early tentative steps should be clear to all of us."
Many argue that young people may develop a sense of purpose through participation in national and community service. Creating that opportunity is one of the objectives of the Corporation for National and Community Service, which was established in 1993 to engage Americans of all ages and backgrounds in community-based service and foster a culture of citizenship, service, and responsibility in America. (Among its programs are AmeriCorps, Learn and Serve America, and Senior Corps.) Early results of a longitudinal study of AmeriCorps alumni showed that the program had "statistically significant positive effects on participants," particularly with regard to their connection to community, participation in community-based activities, and personal growth through service.
On May 15, 2008, the Bradley Center will host Damon, along with Corporation for National and Community Service CEO DAVID EISNER; SHIRLEY SAGAWA, a primary architect of President Clinton's national service program, now with the consulting firm sagawa/jospin; and JOE STASZAK-RODRIGUEZ of City Year Greater Philadelphia to discuss national service's role in preventing "failure to launch" among our nation's youth. The Bradley Center's WILLIAM SCHAMBRA will moderate the discussion. Lunch will be served. Please join us!