How branding national service as an opportunity only for young people does more harm to the movement than good.
In fact, several programs specifically recruit professionals — Experience Corps, Atlas Corps, CUSO-VSO (the Canadian VSO), Volunteers for Prosperity, and United Nations Volunteers just to name a few. Others like Peace Corps and AmeriCorps*VISTA recruit almost entirely college graduates because of the skill required in carrying out service.
And yet when people speak of service they almost always describe it as an opportunity for young people to give back, receive scholarship money, develop leadership skills, and go an an adventure before settling down with a real job.
What difference does it make if most people think of national or international service as a pursuit for the young?
Here are some reasons:
If we assume only young people will enlist in a citizen service corps, we won’t recruit new corps members as creatively Continue reading