As we look at ways to engage young people in our programs, one area that's ripe with possibilities is connecting them to purpose-driven activities. We know from research on motivation that all humans want to feel a sense of purpose in their lives, and that they are more engaged and motivated when they are connected to causes they care about.
DoSomething.org connects young people to social causes in their drive to "make the world suck less." With over 3.9 million members world-wide, they focus on providing young people with a variety of creative opportunities to make a difference in the world by connecting them to other global campaigns and giving them a platform for starting their own.
Young people can browse available campaigns or use the search option on the main page to find campaigns that fit a cause that interests them, the time they have available and/or the type of activity they'd like to engage in, such as hosting an event, making something, sharing something, etc.
Students can do things like:
Each campaign includes resources and tips for implementing the idea. In some cases, students can also sign up to be entered into scholarship competitions related to the cause.
To participate, students must create a DoSomething.org account. When they are logged in, they can then sign up for the causes they want to support. If they want to compete for scholarships or get credit for completing their campaigns, they will also need to submit photos of their event/activity.
You could integrate DoSomething.org into your program by:
- Using DoSomething.org causes as Genius Hour individual projects
- Having students work in teams to implement one or more of the causes
- Using the DoSomething.org causes as a way to run a program or module on the value of service and volunteering or as part of developing youth voice.
- Working with students to develop and submit their own ideas for a member campaign
There are tons of creative opportunities to use the DoSomething.org campaigns to build student engagement and passions. Let us know if you use the site and what happens as a result!