Completed Theses of M.S. Urban Education Degree Earners

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Alexis May

TITLE:  Volunteer Activities Based on Student Motivations


This thesis explores the topic of youth volunteerism through the lens of motivation, both intrinsic and extrinsic. Research on volunteerism has largely focused on adults with altruistic intentions, but youth trends reveal a tendency towards actions to enhance career development. Therefore, the central research question to be addressed is: What types of volunteer activities encourage a positive interest in urban high school students, based on intrinsic and extrinsic motivations? Approximately fifty urban high school students were asked to complete the Volunteer Functions Inventory, an instrument developed by E. Gil Clary and Mark Snyder (1998) that monitors six motivations for engaging in volunteerism. As a follow-up, students were asked to provide examples of activities that align with their strongest identified personal motivations. All surveys and reflections were analyzed for trends in motivation. The trends revealed in this research may serve to help students make more informed decisions about volunteer activities during their teenage years, benefitting themselves as well as their communities on the whole. Research trends may also serve to assist recruiters for volunteer organizations, by providing the most effective incentives to attract desired volunteer pools at different age levels.


Author: Urban Teacher Program Manager
Last modified: 1/13/2023 3:40 PM (EDT)