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Neuroscience and Transformative Volunteering: How Civic Engagement Changes the Brain

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When human beings have new experiences, new synaptic pathways forge in our brains. We become alert to new ideas and we can be guided to new understandings and different behavior.

In this e-Volunteerism feature, Angela Parker – the co-founder of a global agency called Realized Worth that specializes in employee volunteer training, program design, and employee engagement – describes how participants who integrate a few basic concepts into civic engagement and volunteering activities can be guided to challenge assumptions, become alert to new ideas, orient to what those ideas mean for them, and take action toward new behaviors. And when these new behaviors are rooted in inclusivity, equality, compassion, and empathy, Parkers argues that civic engagement and transformative volunteering can result in better employees, better organizations, and better communities.