The students and parents need to know “Why Community Service is important to their or children growth.” Why is it important to care about their fellowman and how they can make the world a better place? The students need to know what a recruiter or college looks for in the selection process for students to attend their school. The students need to know the meaning of Community Service and not say I do it because I was told to. Many students lose valuable points needed in the college/scholarship selection process because they didn’t perform any or enough community service hours or didn’t become part of a volunteer entity. A volunteer entity can be describe as belonging to an organization or program that concentrate on providing community service opportunities for youths or students. An example is Youth United Way, NAACP Youth Program, Girl/Boy Scouts, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, etc.
Parents need to know what it takes to prepare their students for college and how others parents achieve the task and what they did for their children in the process. Many times the “we” process are left out in college preparation and the finger is pointed at the “child” or “guidance”. I beg to differ and say that “you” as being the parent/child, because no one should have control of your destiny but you. If you put the time and energy that it takes to be on a proper timeline and obtain knowledge, you should be more than equip to handle the “Road of College Preparation and Acceptance”.
One of the key words in Community Service is that it leads to “Diversity”. Why is Diversity important in Community Service you may ask? It is because Diversity brings about a change in how we interact with other races/cultures. It is important to come out of your safe environment and mingle with other racial and ethnic groups. In the end the hope is to make the world better and to stop looking at stereotypes but rather individuals. Also a college wants to know that if you are place in an environment that is not what you are use to, how will you react? Will you be able to cope or will you be a problem student? The answer is that you should be able to adapt to your environment regardless of where you are from. We must learn to accept each other differences and not assume a person character is solely base on the myths of what is said about a particular race or ethnic group.
Community Service is not something that a child does every 3-4 hours every blue moon, but is a commitment that he/she will give back to the betterment of the community. Students normally perform Community Service hours from the 9th – 12th grade and if mature enough can start earlier. It is important that when students write their essay for college or private scholarships that they can provide the essence of what Community Service has meant to them. The essay should not be a summary of what hours he/she has accumulated. Also when the student selects a person to provide a reference letter to the scholarship/selection community, he/she should be able to write an award winning letter on his/her character and accomplishments. If the reference doesn’t know you, then they can only write a form letter. As an fyi, competing for a scholarship is similar to a “beauty pageant” without the beauty. It is very demanding and competitive and they look at essays, personal statements and references closely. Sometimes Community Service can be the deciding factor in a person getting accepted or a scholarship.
Overall it is very important to take Community Service seriously. How much you put in is going to determine what you get out.
Below is an idea of what is involve in writing or providing community service feedback for a scholarship. (Please note every child has a different contribution and it is up to them to express it in a meaningful way.) The personal statement below allowed my daughter to be a recipient of the 2005 Chevrolet Excellence in Education Award.
After high school, I will attend college and major in Psychology with a concentration in Pre-Law. I also plan on attending graduate school where my career goal is to become a lawyer. As a lawyer, I plan on using my skills to provide free legal services to the needy and low-income by offering myself to the community. I would like to also set-up a GED program that will allow inmates to seek their high school, equivalent diploma and to train them for jobs and to enroll in college. The way that my school experiences, academics, extracurricular activities, outside activities, and work experience are shaping my educational and career goals are as follows:
I am currently a member of Youth United Way and Bridge Builders. In Youth United Way, I am the Community Service Chairperson along with serving on the Board of Directors. My responsibilities as the chair are to create/lead community service projects for the volunteers of Youth United Way and to oversee that they have sign-up/register for volunteer opportunities. I also volunteer to work at Soup kitchens. I will be the student project lead for the Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners at a local church soup kitchen. One of my responsibilities is to register student volunteers for the event. I will be the lead person over the student volunteers during the event. I also will have to make sure that the dinners are flowing properly and that the people are served and make them feel welcome. In addition, I am also a member of the Bridge Builders program its goal is to bring youth from different backgrounds together to promote understanding. It also promotes to develop a group of future leaders that could work together to address common problems. Bridge Builders has team builders to help teach diversity, some of the volunteering consists of soup kitchens, boxing foods for the needy/homeless, programs held to get the youth community involved, etc.
Because of my dedication to giving back to the community, I would like to develop a service project that I would implement, to better the lives of Memphians. The project would be a GED, literacy, and mentoring (GLM) program. This program is necessary for that child or adult that cannot read, the teenager that dropped out of school because he/she did not meet graduation requirements, or the person fresh out of jail that wants to take the GED and make a difference in their life. There are not a lot of programs that offer these types of services, but if I can be a pioneer, hopefully others will follow in my footsteps. In performing my communities’ services duties, I have witness many situations where if only the student/child had the proper education, maybe their path would have gone positive instead of negative. It is my goal to give hope to all people. I think that if we all took a part in the process that the world would be a better place to live.
Overall, being so involved in community services has allowed me to see that what I do has an impact on others. I can not blame those who didn’t make it totally, but in order to ensure that they don’t suffer from the negative of society that I must also assist in teaching them the proper way to treat each other and for them to value life. Also, by me giving back to my community, I will show that I care about my fellowman and want life to be better for everyone and not just those who made it. It is my hope that this will cause a chain reaction throughout the world and that the future will be full of happiness.