Why is Community Service Important?
This article was written based on the information and opinions presented by Christopher Kilner in a CollegeVine livestream. You can watch the full livestream for more info.
Creating engaged, generous students is a goal of any school. By participating in community service, young people can learn more about the needs of their community and how they can contribute in a beneficial way. This article will take you through the basics of community service, and demonstrate how it can benefit you and the people around you.
What is Community Service?
The most basic definition of community service is that it is volunteer work that helps others. In performing community service, you provide your skills and work to a cause you care about, without getting any kind of immediate material reward, like compensation. Instead, you can feel proud and content, as you know that you’re doing something that will help other people.
There are a variety of ways that you can perform community service. It’s very important that you find something you truly care about. If you enjoy doing this kind of work, you’ll feel much more motivated to keep going with it, and you’ll also learn more about your own passions and interests.
By volunteering, you can help to make positive changes in your community. You’ll also begin to stand out as a college applicant, and later in the job market, as universities care about what you do beyond the classroom, too.
Why do Colleges Value Community Service?
When applying to college, admissions officers obviously want to see that you’re qualified academically, but they also want to find the most committed, thoughtful, and generous students, too. Performing community service as a young person will show that you’re maturing, and that you’re invested in the world around you.
Universities want to find students who will go on to be giving and selfless alumni. All colleges hope to produce people who use their education to make a difference in the world around them.
In your college application, it helps to show that you have experience with community service, as it demonstrates that you’re already committed to helping those around you. It also proves that you take initiative and participate in meaningful activities outside of school.
Moreover, in your college applications, you’ll need to describe the various extracurricular activities that you’ve pursued in high school. If you’ve already done something that’s benefited others, and not just yourself, admissions committees will see that you can continue on this path and contribute to their college community, too.
Community Service in College
Most universities will provide opportunities for you to continue your service work in college. In fact, there are many colleges that take pride in how much their students do for the community.
Tulane University, for example, bears the motto, “Non sibi, sed suis,” or “Not for oneself, but for one’s own.” They are ranked highly by the Princeton Review for their involvement with community service. In fact, they even have a Center for Public Service, which was founded on the belief that public service, originally rooted in academic work, enables students to develop the skills necessary for civic engagement and leadership.
Similarly, the University of Scranton has the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence, which gives students the opportunity to tutor others. There is also the Center for Service and Social Justice, which gets students out into the city of Scranton, where they can serve the homeless, clean up public parks, and engage with the community in other ways.
Tufts University, too, emphasizes community service as one of their key values and defining characteristics. Though they do not require community service of high school applicants, it is a key tenet of their college life, and would only benefit your application.
Universities take pride in the accomplishments of their graduates. By learning the value of community service at a young age, students will go on to make the world a better place. This reflects well on your college, and it will make you feel pretty good about all that you’ve done, too.