In Term 3, Senior Boys will be looking at Service as a wellbeing theme.
This year we have moved through the stages of self-monitoring, to noticing things that impact ourselves and others and now finally service is mainly outwardly focused, looking at what we can give to the world around us.
None would argue that this is important to the future – and no-one points this out more clearly than Admiral McRaven in this video the boys have all watched this week:
You might wonder though, how service contributes to our wellbeing, but it has remarkable positive influences, and many young people mention that the community service elements of the Year 9 Odyssey program is a highlight for them when looking back on their years of school, and one that later links them up to our unique Certificate of Global Responsibility that sits alongside the VCE.
The incredible benefits in getting involved in making the world better for others include:
Increased self-esteem and self-efficacy
Setting a goal, working towards it and making it happen are incredible ways to reinforce to young people that they are capable. Making a difference makes a difference to how we see ourselves, increasing confidence and autonomy.
A sense of being able to make a change or make a difference
This sense of making a difference has never been more important. The world can be a frightening place at times, and many children of a junior school age find watching the news a disturbing experience. COVID has certainly highlighted this, as talk of pandemics, health risk and lockdowns have become daily occurrences.
Chances to work for the benefit of others dispel the idea that the future is full of doom and gloom and reminds them of the kindness of the world around them, and that they too can contribute to the happier world they want to live in.
Sense of responsibility for the future
The world will soon be in the hands of our youth – and introducing them to key issues that will impact them as adults and encouraging them to work towards making a difference leads to a better future for us all.
Fosters a lifelong sense of community awareness
Community Service at a young age helps young people to understand the need and the beauty of working to help others. It creates a lifelong pattern of giving and helping in whatever way they can. And how much better will the world of the future be for this?
Teaches empathy and awareness of the situation of others
Exploring community and global issues reminds us all – the young and the more experienced – that not everyone is able to live in the same level of comfort that we are. This is a really important lesson – and we know that empathy is crucial to understanding the world around us as well as our place in it.
Sense of connection
Working for others helps us feel that all-important sense of connection – we feel a part of the school, local and global communities. This in turn helps us feel that we matter and belong – which research tells us are crucial elements of wellbeing for us all.
Creates hopefulness and positive emotions
When we help, we realise we can make a difference. This colours the world and the people in it in a more positive light.
Develop a lot of transferable skills and real-world experience
The kinds of work we do when undertaking projects such as these are the kinds of skills we use in the world beyond school – making our young people more future ready. There are many real-world skills a young person might need to demonstrate to make these goals happen – things that may not be called for in schools, but will be called for in the world beyond school.
The Senior Boys’ exploration of service and what it means will culminate in a final fundraising day, lead by our Year 12 Captains, at the end of the term. The wider community will have an opportunity to get involved in this.
While I firmly believe that service has incredible benefits for all young people (no matter how young!), service is incredibly important in terms of Growing Good Men, the mission of our Senior Boys Campus.
A recent survey from South African organization Father of a Nation found that 43% of young men have no sense of pride in being a man. In a society in which “bad news stories” about young men are regularly shared, one way to help young men focus on their positives is to tap into their strengths and show them how to use them for good. This also reminds the community of how many wonderful, thoughtful, giving, aware young men are out there, and also in our school.