According to service organizations such as Teach for America and the Peace Corps, the floundering economy, coupled with President Barack Obama’s call for service, have resulted in a major jump in applications, The Associated Press reports. Teach for America had received a record 14,000 applications by November, an almost 50 percent increase over the previous year, while Peace Corps applications rose 16 percent from fiscal year 2007 to 2008, with a big spike around the time of Obama’s inauguration.Michael Brown, co-founder and CEO of Boston-based City Year, said the current economic downturn and lack of jobs have contributed to a boost in volunteerism. His organization, which places young adults as tutors and mentors for school children, has seen applications more than triple in the past year.
“It’s not just a matter of needing employment, which I think is still important, but there’s something in a declining economy that clarifies all our values,” Brown said. “Young folks are saying, ‘I’m needed more than ever because I’m needed in this economy. Now is the time I should go do this.’ “
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