Opinion Columns & Blogs

Kansas’ teen volunteers setting example for adults

Here’s something that bodes well for the state’s future: Kansas teens led the nation in volunteerism for 2013, according to a new study. When states were ranked by the Volunteering and Civic Life in America study of the Corporation for National and Community Service and National Conference on Citizenship, Kansas’ 40.9 percent rate for teens’ volunteerism was the highest and Louisiana’s 14.1 percent the lowest. “As states seek to improve civic participation, they should look to Kansas, where volunteers get started young,” concluded the Washington Post’s GovBeat blog. The state also ranked fourth overall, with its 769,200 volunteers and 82.2 million total hours annually giving Kansas a volunteerism rate of 36.1 percent. The state’s millennials ranked third; older and young adults ranked fifth, while baby boomers were seventh. Wichita showed room for improvement among midsize U.S. cities, though, coming in 27th with a 31.6 percent volunteerism rate. – Rhonda Holman