Community involvement is not just for adults. For those who are applying to selective colleges, community involvement can make a difference between acceptance and rejection. Of course, what a student does in the classroom and in school is important, but colleges are looking to build community, too, and admission committees want to know its future students will be part of their community effort. Also, select colleges are looking for students who will graduate as well-rounded citizens and community contributors; it’s a feather in their caps and, quite frankly, means a good possibility of successful alumni making monetary donations to their alma maters!
If you want to demonstrate that you are better than average on your application to a top college, part of distinguishing yourself should include community accomplishments. Below are some suggestions for you to think about that you have done or should do during your four years at your high school to help you create an impressive college application.
• Volunteer to work at a local polling place during an election.
• Volunteer at the office of a local, state, or federal politician whose work you admire and support.
• Work on a campaign for a politician; they are always looking for people to go door-to-door, call potential voters, or distribute materials.
• Get involved with local issues by attending public meetings and agreeing to work on Save the School or lower taxes or re-route traffic from the neighborhood activities; you might get on television!
Your Place of Worship
Don’t just attend services; also…
• Assist in teaching a religious class.
• Attend evening religion classes of interest, such as Hebrew classes or Bible study.
• Be part of the choir.
• If you play an instrument, play as backup to the service or the musical offerings.
• Become part of your religious community’s service groups and activities, from serving community meals to hosting visitors to helping out with family functions.
• Help organize and post signs for neighborhood yard sales.
• Suggest doing a neighborhood beautification project, like planting plants between the side walk and the street or having a neighborhood clean-up.
• Organize a neighborhood picnic or block party.
• Keep a watch on neighborhood pets and children, and help out whenever you can.
• Mow or clear the snow for an elderly or handicapped neighbor’s yard all on your own.
• Work with a literacy volunteer group.
• Collect used books for the library.
• Join Big Brothers/ Big Sisters.
• Work on Boy Scout or Girl Scout projects for the community.
• Ask to help out with Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.)
• Help out with after-school community activities.
The Business Community
You can be involved directly with local businesses by working, job shadowing, and apprenticing. You could also be a junior member of the Kiwanis Club or the Rotary Club, but one of the best ways to be part of your business community would be to start you own business:
• Walk dogs while their owners work.
• Deliver groceries for the elderly or for those that work all day.
• Help your parents’ peers set up the new television, computers, iPods, etc. They need it!
Take some time to sit and consider what service you have offered or could offer your community while you attend high school. It could be a great service to yourself and propell you on to college admission.