- 05 March 2012
- by Kevin Beerman
The college application experience was a weird one for me. I had these intentions to write all my essays weeks in advance of the submission deadline. I was going to edit them and change things and sculpt these beautiful answers.I did not do this. I, like most applicants I am assuming, waited until the week before my applications were due and sat down with a can of Coke and a mission. Some of the prompts were easy, some were strange, some were fun, some were hard. But one stands out to me that somehow encapsulates all of these things. It was a short answer question, but one that stumped me for a while.
What is the biggest problem society faces today?
I had to think long and hard about this one. I pride myself in knowledge of worldly issues. So, in my head, I was going through filing cabinets of human atrocities, categorically sorting, looking for the most damaging. Unemployment? Too superficial. Tolerance? Too easy. Economic equality? Too ambiguous.
I was sorting for quite some time when an idea hit me. I realized something that all these things had in common: apathy. These were all problems because there was a lack of genuine care. I mean, sure, there were people acting on these issues’ behalf. But a large majority of the population sat idly by while someone else took the reigns. And that’s society’s challenge: getting people to feel responsible to each other.
That’s what Simone, Jake, Ken, I and everyone else at Volunteen Nation firmly believe. The power of youth--of this generation--is simply immeasurable. There is potential with the young people of this country to make great strides towards solving the problems that plague our society. Volunteering, service to the community--these are things that make a person stronger. Service in the community is the mantra of our civic religion. It’s the idea that we have to leave the world a better place than it was left to us that drives the fundamental function of our country.
When Volunteen started, it was in the name of young teens being able to go out into the community and cause change. It was founded on the idea that every small effort sends ripples through the stitching of our societal fabric. It was founded on the idea that we are responsible to each other, that the change we seek has to be sought by us.
So, this is Volunteen Nation. We’re here to give teens across the nation a chance to be the change they seek. We’re here to make an impact in the lives of anyone we can. We’re here to break the apathy.
Thanks for joining us.