Why Does Volunteering and Community Engagement Matter?

As a busy high school student, you may feel overwhelmed by the pressure to maintain good grades, make and keep friends, and engage in community service. You may wonder why volunteering matters so much.

Why Does Volunteering and Community Engagement Matter?

The Importance of Community Engagement

In the world of highly selective admissions, we are often asked, “how many hours do I have to contribute for my volunteering to count?” However, community engagement is not that simplistic. It is not just about the number of hours you spend volunteering, but about demonstrating your ability to connect with something larger than yourself, adding value to those you are helping, and adding value to yourself.

College Admissions and Community Engagement

College admission selection committees pay close attention to students’ effort in volunteer activities and community engagement, as they know these activities demonstrate a commitment to service that is likely to carry over onto their own campus community. They also recognize that these activities have a positive impact on students’ personal growth and development.

Benefits of Volunteering

Your commitment to volunteering demonstrates your ability to serve others and adds dimension and depth to your personal story. Additionally, volunteering can help build lifelong skills that will be useful beyond high school and college. Community engagement can foster leadership and teamwork abilities, help you master time management, expose you to different cultures and perspectives, and develop a sense of civic responsibility.

Strategic Approach To Community Engagement

To maximize the impact of your volunteer and community engagement experience on your college application, you should be strategic in choosing the types of activities you participate in and the amount of time you spend on them. Look for opportunities that align with your interests and passions, and that allow you to make a meaningful impact in your community. Your admissions consultant can help you brainstorm ideas for community engagement that are unique and demonstrate your connection to a particular area. You should be prepared to discuss the impact these activities have had on your personal growth and development and how your volunteer work relates to your interests as you write your college essays.

Good For Your Application And Good For You!

Taking a moment in your busy life to step outside of the pressures you face can be impactful. Giving your time for the sake of giving can be surprisingly centering and calming. Volunteering can demonstrate those non-quantifiable characteristics that set you apart from the crowd. Give it a try; you just might enjoy it.

Contact us to Find Out More!

If you need assistance with choosing the right volunteer activities or crafting compelling college essays that highlight your community engagement, contact us today. Our professional admissions consultants are here to help you stand out and make a difference.

Former Associate Director of Admissions at Cornell University

13 Years in Cornell Admissions
20,000+ Applications Read and Evaluated

Carla, with over a dozen years in higher education admissions and program management, is dedicated to helping students achieve their potential. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Washington and has a background in teaching and human services. At Cornell, Carla played a key role in reviewing applications and training admissions readers, offering a deep understanding of the admissions process. Her experience, combined with raising two college-bound children, gives her a unique insight into college admissions.

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