The importance of community service

 

Community service is an important way for you to demonstrate your commitment to helping people and bettering the world around you. It is not just limited to students—it may be something you choose to continue well into your career and adulthood.

 

As it relates to applying to college, community service is a broad term that can encompass various ways of helping your community. Your community itself can encompass many different associations; it could refer to your school, neighborhood, region, ethnic group, members of your religion, causes that concern you, and really just about any area or group of people with whom you identify.

 

While it is not necessarily required for your college applications, performing community service can be very helpful for the many organizations that rely heavily on volunteers and donations to function. Plus, it will show colleges that you are invested in the wellbeing of your community and willing to help people others. To learn more about the benefits of community service, check out Do I Need Community Service for My College Applications?.

 

Some organizations may have age restrictions for volunteering or performing certain tasks—for instance, an animal shelter may not allow minors to work with animals for liability reasons—but many allow teenagers to participate in other ways. Read Can I Volunteer if I’m Under Age 18? for community service ideas for minors.

 

When thinking about projects to undertake, you should focus on what the community needs, not just what you enjoy doing. However, if you are an artist, there are plenty of ways to use your skills and passion for a good cause. Read on for some of CollegeVine’s ideas on how to use your artistic passion to improve your community.

 

Fundraising for good causes

 

To start, try using your artistic skills or performances—whatever your particular passion may be—to raise funds for a particular organization or event. For instance, you might sell your artwork to benefit a specific cause, or hold a performance and donate proceeds to a charity of your choosing. Wondering how to hold a successful fundraising event? Check out How to Plan and Execute an Effective Fundraiser for High School Extracurriculars.

 

You could recruit friends from an arts group you’re a part of, such as drama club, to participate in a fundraising activity to raise money for a particular cause. For instance, you could hold a more generic fundraising event, like a bake sale or car wash, or do something more related to the arts, like having a benefit performance, auctioning off a piece of art, and so on in effort to raise money for a charity of your choosing.

 

Using arts skills for practical purposes

 

Another approach is using skills that you’ve developed through your artistic pursuits, but aren’t specifically arts skills themselves, to help your community.

 

A few ideas include:

  • Painting a community building, school, or other space
  • Using speaking skills you have honed in performance arts to make phone calls on behalf of an organization
  • Using construction skills you’ve learned from building sets for theater performances to help Habitat for Humanity.




CollegeVine Mentorship

Direct arts engagement

 

You can also try using the specific skills in the arts you have studied as a form of service to your community. For instance, you might:

 

  • Donate your time and expertise to coach or teach younger kids in your art field
  • Volunteer at a community arts center
  • Paint a mural to brighten up a space
  • Donate your specific skills, such as visual design, performance, video editing, or whatever your talent may be, to create advertisements for a good cause

 

More tips for volunteering as an artist

 

As a creative person, you have plenty of ways to use your talents to improve your larger world. For more tips on turning your passion into an activity, check out How to Turn Your Interest or Hobby Into an Extracurricular Activity. Also try brainstorming with peers and friends who share your interest. You may think of great ideas for group community service projects.

 

To learn more about the importance of community service and for community service project inspiration, check out these posts:

 

Do I Need Community Service for My College Applications?

How to Plan and Execute an Effective Fundraiser for High School Extracurriculars

Community Service, Reimagined: MCC’s Recommendations for High School Service

Community Service Projects for Music Majors

Can I Volunteer if I’m Under Age 18?

 

Looking for help navigating the road to college as a high school student? Check out the CollegeVine Mentorship Program. Our mentors drive significant personal and professional development for freshmen, sophomores, and juniors. Combining mentorship with engaging content, insider strategies, and personalized analyses, our program provides students with the tools to succeed. As students learn from successful older peers, they develop confidence, autonomy, and critical thinking skills. The ultimate goal is for college admissions to just be the next step in series of successes driven by the student.

 

Laura Berlinsky-Schine

Laura Berlinsky-Schine

Senior Blogger at CollegeVine
Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University, where she majored in Creative Writing and minored in History. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, and works in publishing. She also writes, dreams of owning a dog, and routinely brags about the health of her orchid.
Laura Berlinsky-Schine