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Persuasive Speech Outline: Volunteering

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Introduction (Attention): One hundred percent: an all encompassing, nonexclusive percentage. It is also the very percentage of the people in this classroom who have done some type of volunteer work in their lives. Furthermore, it represents the percentage of individuals here today who found the volunteer work they did beneficial. Many of you additionally stated that volunteering made you mentally feel good about yourselves because you were able to reach out and help others. I personally have volunteered at numerous events and locations such as Snowflurry, an anti-drug and bullying program for fourth and fifth graders, and my local elementary school. I too have experienced this ‘warm fuzzy’ feeling that you get after you help others. However, contrary to some people’s beliefs, these temporary good feelings are not the only benefits of volunteering. Volunteering has social benefits, physical and mental health benefits, and career benefits as well. College students lack many of these benefits in their own lives but can easily fulfill their need for these elements through volunteering. This is why all college students should participate in some type of volunteer work.

I. (Need): College students often have social, physical and mental health, and career problems. A. Socialization is crucial for the development of college students yet it is frequently hard to obtain.

1. Antonio Lising, in an article in the Journal of Higher Education, states that “interpersonal interactions are a primary contributor to [students’] overall development in college.”

2. However, almost half of the class indicated that, as college students, it is hard to connect with others and make friends outside your normal social groups.
3. Therefore, this difficulty in socialization and finding new friends can
harm our personal growth.
B. Additionally, college students often battle with health problems.
1. Twelve out of seventeen people in the class believe college students are more prone to developing physical and mental health problems than other groups.
a. Many of you indicated your concern with physical health problems such as easily becoming sick, using drugs, drinking, smoking, getting little sleep, and having poor nutrition.

b. Others stated college students struggle with mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, and stress. 2. According to www.healthyminds.org, a 2004 survey done by the American College Health Association revealed that “nearly half of all college students report feeling so depressed at some point in time that they have trouble functioning, and fifteen percent meet the criteria for clinical depression.”

C. It is also difficult for college students to obtain skills for future careers and find jobs once they graduate college.
1. An article on website life.familyeducation.com, written by Susan Shelly, claims that “for many new graduates, figuring out what to do after college is the biggest initial challenge.”

2. Shelly explains that “studies show that most college graduates do not make a seamless transition from student to employed person” and “it can take a while to find a job.”

Connective: Students in college evidently face many challenges; however, these challenges can be alleviated.

II. (Satisfaction): College students can eliminate many social, physical and mental health, and career problems by simply volunteering.
A. Students reap social benefits through volunteering.
1. In a journal article from Parks and Recreation, Caty Roland and
Marieke Van Puymbroeck claim that “volunteering provides an important opportunity for social connectedness,” it creates a “vital social support network,” and it increases “new relationships and social ties.” 2. Furthermore, Preston Gralla, who wrote The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Volunteering for Teens, reveals that “one of the best ways to meet new people and make friends is to volunteer” and that volunteering is “a great way to meet people you otherwise might never meet.”

3. As a result, volunteering can help increase socialization among college students, including several people in this class, who find it difficult to connect with others and find new friends outside of their normal social groups.

4. Volunteering will also increase students’ overall development that was linked to socialization in college in Lising’s article that I previously mentioned.
B. College students can improve their physical and mental health through volunteering. 1. According to Ian Wilhelm in a journal article in the Chronicle of Philanthropy, volunteering can add years to your live, lower rates of depression, and help you recover faster from illnesses than people who do not volunteer.

a. Therefore, volunteering can help decrease the high prevalence of depression found amongst college students.
b. Volunteering can help college students recover quicker from the germs that are spread around dorms and college campuses.
2. In The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Volunteering for Teens by Preston Gralla, it additionally says that volunteering “gives you a greater sense of self-worth and independence.”

a. The book also states that volunteering makes you more optimistic and “can give you a new outlook on life.”
b. This boost in college students’ mental health can further aid some of the health problems the class indicated that college
students possess such as stress and anxiety.

c. Since volunteering also helps increase students’ sense of self-worth, it may decrease the number of students who adapt unhealthy habits, such as smoking, drinking, and using drugs that the class identified as other college health problems.

C. Volunteering has many positive career benefits for college students. 1. Many people believe that having volunteer experience does little to influence an employer’s decision to hire individuals; however, this is not the case. a. Preston Gralla, in The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Volunteering for Teens, claims that if a potential employer sees that you have already spent time volunteering in an area related to your career, you are more likely to be hired.

b. Gralla also says that even volunteer work not related to your career can help you get a job because it shows “that you have real-world experience, and that you’re willing to work even if you’re not getting paid.”

2. Gralla further mentions that “volunteering is a great way to try out different careers” and can help you decide on what you would like to do with your future.

3. An article in the journal Black Enterprise, edited by Sonia Allyene, additionally reports that “volunteering gives professionals the opportunity to network with peers, share existing skills, learn new ones, and add to their portfolio of work experience” which can lead to career advancement.

Connective: After looking at how college students can ease these problems through volunteering, it is important to imagine how volunteering can personally affect our lives.

III. (Visualization): College students can greatly improve their lives through volunteering.
A. Many people claim they do not have time to volunteer and it is too much work for the small gains they receive from it.
1. I have already explored how there are a vast number of social, mental, physical, and career benefits you receive though volunteering.
2. It is true that, as college students, it is very hard to find extra time between classes, studying, homework, jobs, and clubs. a. However, there are probably times in your schedule where you find yourself extremely unproductive or with an hour or two to spare.

b. Looking at it this way, you can probably find a few hours at least every month to volunteer.
B. Keeping the previous point in mind, now imagine your life and what you will be doing this Saturday.
1. Many college students will clamor out of their beds halfway through the day.
a. After fully waking up, perhaps you will feel a bit stressed about your enormous work load with finals and end of the year projects coming due.
b. Maybe you also have some troubles with your social life that are causing you anxiety.
c. Seniors will most likely be anticipating graduation and worrying about how they will manage to secure a job or position in a graduate program after college.

2. After you spend most of you day trying to distract yourself from the menacing pile of work in the corner to your room and other personal concerns, you finally sit down to get some homework done.

3. However, you don’t even get halfway through the first paragraph of that research paper that is worth twenty percent of your grade before putting down your pen with a big sigh and letting feelings of depression and worthlessness sink in.

4. Instead, you decide to go to bed early and hope that your fairy godmother will complete the rest of your assignments with a magical flick of her wand.
C. Now imagine your life this Saturday with the addition of a service project. 1. You are a bit annoyed by your alarm clock going off at 8:00 am but once you get out of bed you find yourself wide awake and ready to go.

2. After getting dressed and having breakfast, you head out to volunteer at a hospital, school, or whatever other site that catches your interest. 3. After getting back around lunch time, the time in which many college students are just waking up, you feel rejuvenated and more optimistic about your life and stressful workload.

a. While volunteering you got a much needed socialization break from your long school week and even meet a few new people.
b. You also feel good knowing your hard work and dedication now may help you secure a job in the future.
4. Feeling less anxious, you decide to head to the library and work on that huge research paper.
a. You spend most of your evening working on the paper but are extremely relieved it is now complete.
b. Now you will not have to worry about producing a low quality paper that blatantly displays that you rushed though it Sunday night.
5. You now have the rest of the night to relax and enjoy watching a movie and making pizza and popcorn with your friends.
D. Clearly, involving volunteer work in your life can make a huge difference.

Conclusion (Action): Overall, many college students have problems on a social, physical and mental health, and career-centered level that can be relieved though volunteering. Therefore, all college students should do some form of volunteer work. I am providing everyone with a list of websites that you can go on to easily find volunteer work in an area that interests you. I challenge everyone to visit at least one of these websites in the next week and search for a volunteer project or program you can sign up for. With summer break quickly nearing us, we will have much more time in our schedules to make volunteer commitments.

Furthermore, I challenge you to redefine how you think about volunteer work. For example, if you feel like it is too hard to go somewhere and volunteer over the school year, why not consider volunteering your time by becoming a pen pal with a soldier overseas? By simply setting aside enough time to write out a weekly letter to your pen pal you can brighten a soldier’s day and perhaps whole week. I have included the email of the Adapt-A-Soldier Club at Benedictine for anyone interested in this particular volunteer option. Finally, I would like everyone to recall the last question I asked you on my questionnaire. It asked if you would be likely to volunteer if you were provided with websites you could look up volunteer opportunities on. Thirteen out of seventeen people in this class replied yes. I am now hoping this number has changed to seventeen out of seventeen. Here is that list of websites and here is your opportunity. Now there is only one question: Will you stick to your reply?

Works Cited
Allyene, Sonia, ed. “Volunteering Helps You, Too.” Black Enterprise 37 (2007): 74. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Benedictine University, Naperville. 2 Apr. 2008. Keyword: volunteering. “College Mental Health Fact Sheet: Depression.” Healthy Minds. Healthy Lives. American Psychiatric Association. 2 Apr. 2008 . Gralla, Preston. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Volunteering for Teens. Indianapolis: Pearson Education Company, 2001. 1-224. Lising, Antonio. “The Influence of Friendship Groups on Intellectual Self-Confidence and Educational Aspirations in College.” Journal of Higher Education (2004). Goliath: Business Network on Demand. The Gale Group. Naperville. 2 Apr. 2008 . Roland, Caty, and Marieke Van Puymbroeck. “Research Update: Seniors Benefit From Volunteerism.” Parks & Recreation 42
(2007): 26-29. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Benedictine University, Naperville. 2 Apr. 2008. Keyword: volunteering. Shelly, Susan. “Getting Started After College.” Family Education. 2008. Pearson Education, Incorporated. 2 Apr. 2008 . Wilhelm, Ian. “Volunteering Leads to Longer and Healthier Life, Report Finds.” Chronicle of Philanthropy 19 (2007): 33. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Benedictine University, Naperville. 2 Apr. 2008. Keyword: volunteering.

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