Thursday, July 3, 2014

What is Community Service? Planning and Documentation

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Community service is investing time in the community through many different activities as a volunteer. Such volunteering can include service in a local hospital, nursing home, Red Cross, clinic, community projects, Teen Court, mentoring, neighborhood cleanups, youth work, coaching youth teams, tutoring, reading to younger children, and countless other possibilities.
How Can Students Benefit from Doing Community Service?

Community service can change young people, helping them find a purpose, plan and a direction in life and helping them see life from a totally different perspective. Volunteering in the community gives students much to share in a winning scholarship essay as they relate real-life stories, characters, events, dates, and personal experiences which have built character and changed them and those around them. “It is not about me anymore, but making a difference for others in the direction I follow for my life.” A young person finds something that brings true meaning and satisfaction. With the impact of community service, combined with writing down ideas, goals, and dreams, a momentum begins that sets in motion the purpose and passion that drives a student to a life-calling, not only a career.

Community service is defined as investing time and serving others outside the family as a volunteer. Community service allows us to develop character, build self-esteem, and instills a life-long lesson of how to give back, while allowing us an opportunity to explore possibilities that may lead to future careers. A majority of scholarships require community service. However, community service scholarships exist as a category all on their own. Young children as young as five years of age can begin applying to community service-based scholarships! Documentation is crucial.

Research Career Interests Before Planning Community Service
  • U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics is a source for career information! This website covers hundreds of occupations and describes: What They Do, Work Environment, How to Become One, and more. Each profile also includes BLS employment projections for the 2010-20 decade.
  • U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration search tool, My Next Move; What do you want to do for a living? Search for careers with key words, browse careers by industry, and/or answer questions about the type of work you might enjoy.
Planning Community Service
After career exploration and research students should volunteer in career interest areas.
  • Some volunteer jobs available for students include: bilingual interpreter, neighborhood cleanups, tutoring, reading to younger children, collecting goods, youth work, coaching youth teams, mentoring, and countless other possibilities.
  • Record all community service and update regularly.
  • Complete no less than a minimum of one hour per month. Set a goal for at least an hour per week or more.
Community Service Needs to be Documented in the Following Manner: 
  1. Person/Group/Organization
  2. Brief description of activity (2-3 sentences)
  3. Date and hours served
  4. Signature and telephone of a supervisor (Non-family members only)                                             
Community Service is About Quality of Service Over Quantity of Hours.
Show a commitment over time, with a minimum of one hour per month over four months. If you can serve more, that is even better. Get involved with helping others. Most scholarships require community service. Be sure to document your time.
Community Service Scholarships Want to Know the Following Information:
1.  What was your commitment over time? (Hours: daily, weekly, monthly)
2.  What difference did you make?
3.  What leadership role did you have?
4.  Were you a role model?
5.  How did community service make you feel? 
Some community service scholarships provide certificates and recognition of accomplishment instead of money. These awards can be added to the student's list of awards and recognition received.

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  1. One of the best summer jobs for college students is writing or how it is called now - content management. E.g., you can work as a biography writer or any related job.

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