The belief that youth and young adults gain important benefits from their first jobs or volunteer opportunities is nearly unanimous. Developing skills, gaining valuable work experience and building confidence are seen as top benefits gained in those first jobs. Parks and recreation provide that first employment opportunity for many young people. Learning lifesaving skills as a lifeguard, teaching and leadership skills as a camp counselor, or environmental stewardship as a junior ranger are lessons teenagers and young adults will carry with them for the rest of their lives. 

Key Findings:

  • Ninety-six percent of U.S. adults agree there are important benefits that teenagers and young adults gain from their first jobs and volunteer opportunities
  • Developing skills, gaining valuable work experience and building confidence are seen as top benefits gained in those first jobs
  • Additional top benefits of a first job include earning income, exploring career possibilities and contributing to the community
  • Women (56 percent) are more likely than men (48 percent) to see career exploration as a benefit teens and young adults gain from first jobs and volunteer opportunities


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