SOURCE: NFTE Greater Los Angeles

November 10, 2008 16:35 ET

Boomer Volunteer Named NFTE Volunteer of the Year for Greater Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - November 10, 2008) - Michael Nicklin, a Los Angeles-based Baby Boomer and self-employed entrepreneur, has been named "Volunteer of the Year" for the greater Los Angeles area by The National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE).

NFTE, which provides entrepreneurship education programs to young people from low-income communities, recognized Nicklin's contributions at a volunteer appreciation event for their 80 local volunteers.

Accepting his award, Nicklin said, "My experience with NFTE this school year was life-changing for me. It has broadened my perspective, taught me invaluable lessons, heightened my compassion and gratitude, and introduced me to several wonderful individuals -- not to mention renewing my faith in the public education system."

Nicklin, 54, represents a growing number of older adults aged 50 and up -- the so-called Baby Boomers -- who are actively engaging in volunteer activities, including skilled volunteering, on behalf of U.S. charities. With the volunteering rate among mid-life adults already more than one-third higher than it was in 1989, and public and private donations to charities stagnant, most experts forecast Baby Boomer volunteering to become one of the strongest growing influences in the independent sector.

According to the Corporation for National & Community Service (CNS), Boomers volunteer today at higher rates than past generations did at roughly the same age. Their volunteer rate per year -- 33.2% -- is the highest of any age group, and 15% higher than the national average. Boomer males in particular volunteer at a higher rate than all other male age groups.

"A growing number of entrepreneurially-minded teens in low-income communities across Los Angeles County has prompted the need for more volunteer coaches at middle and high schools offering the NFTE curriculum," noted Phyllis Rawley, NFTE Executive Director. "Volunteer rates increase as the level of education increases, and are generally lower in high poverty areas."

Nicklin initially discovered this volunteer opportunity with NFTE at VolunteerMatch.org, the nation's most popular Web-based volunteer matching service. Since 2007, the service has improved its systems to make it easier for Boomer volunteers to find opportunities that suit their interests and schedules -- especially in areas of skilled volunteering. According to "Great Expectations: Boomers and the Future of Volunteering," a survey of VolunteerMatch members published in 2007, Boomer users contribute on average 94 more volunteer hours each year than those ages 30 to 39.

"Boomers have already transformed so much of our society in their journey through life. Now they're changing volunteering too," said Robert Rosenthal, VolunteerMatch director of communications. "We're honored to play a role in helping people like Michael find precisely the kind of opportunities that both speak to their passions and challenge them professionally."

"The highest percentage of our inbound volunteer applicants come to us from VolunteerMatch -- and their site provides us with a great and vital service," said Rawley.

Despite the rise in volunteerism nationally and the growing popularity of the NFTE program in schools, the need by NFTE for volunteers in Los Angeles is growing too. According to the CNS the Los Angeles metro area has the lowest graduation rate and the highest percentage of population living below the poverty line, while ranking in the bottom ten for volunteer rates. NFTE hopes to triple their volunteer base by Spring 2009 to meet this increased need.

About The National Foundation For Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE):

The National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, whose mission is to teach entrepreneurship to young people from low-income communities to enhance their economic productivity by improving their business, academic, and life skills. Since 1987, NFTE has reached over 186,000 youth and trained more than 4,200 Certified Entrepreneurship Teachers. Currently NFTE has active programs in 21 states and 13 countries. Additional information may be found at www.nfte.com and http://losangeles.nfte.com

About VolunteerMatch

VolunteerMatch is a national nonprofit that strengthens communities by making it easier for good people and good causes to connect. Its award-winning online service, www.volunteermatch.org, helps visitors find local volunteer opportunities by location, interest area, and/or keyword. The VolunteerMatch network regularly welcomes more than 6 million visitors each year, including millions of participants in employee volunteer programs, and has become the preferred volunteer recruiting service for more than 61,000 nonprofits.

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