Disabled veterans’ lives improved through participation in civic service program, study finds

Post-9/11 disabled veterans furthered their education, improved employment prospects and continued to serve their community through participating in The Mission Continues’ Fellowship Program finds a new study by the Center for Social Development (CSD) at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis. The Mission Continues is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to enable every returning veteran to serve again as a citizen leader. This study is one of the first to focus on the health and psychosocial outcomes of disabled veterans after providing civic service, defined as formal volunteering in a structured program, to nonprofits all across the country.

Graying world population sparks need for policies and programs that support productive aging

Worldwide, people aged 60 and above will comprise 13.6 percent of the population by 2020, and 22.1 percent of the population by 2050. China is the most rapidly aging country with older adults making up 13 percent of their population. “All countries will need to develop policies and programs that support productive engagement during later life,” says Nancy Morrow-Howell, PhD, the Ralph and Muriel Pumphrey Professor of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis. “There is evidence that productive engagement in later life benefits both older adults and society at large. Expanding opportunities for productive engagement may increase the health and well-being of the older population. At the same time, older adults can be a valuable resource for growth in volunteering, civic service, caregiving, employment, and social entrepreneurship.”

International Service and Higher Education symposium at WUSTL March 30-April 1

Leaders in higher education and international service will come together on the campus of Washington University in St. Louis March 30-April 1 for the International Service and Higher Education Symposium. “International service is not new to higher education, but it is at the threshold of a new era,” says Amanda Moore McBride, PhD, director of the Gephardt Institute for Public Service and research director for the Center for Social Development at Washington University.

Peace Corps at 50: Connections can benefit both volunteer and community

“Since the founding of the Peace Corps 50 years ago, international service programs have grown dramatically across the public, private and nonprofit sectors,” says Amanda Moore McBride, PhD, assistant professor at the Brown School and expert on civic service as Research Director at the School’s Center for Social Development (CSD). To date, most research on the field of international service has focused solely on the volunteers themselves. While impacts on volunteers are important, CSD researches not only the impacts on volunteers but also the impacts on the host communities and organizations that they serve. In their most recent study, McBride and colleagues looked at the impact of international service on the development of volunteers’ international contacts and how those contacts, in turn, are used to further host community development around the world.