Volunteering: How Helping Others Helps You
Volunteering has a positive effect on your community -- and it's good for you too. It's a "win-win" situation.
Reasons to Volunteer
Giving back to your community is valuable in itself, but helping others also offers many benefits. For example, it can help you learn more about yourself and even put you on a path to your future career.
- Gain Valuable Life Experiences and Skills - By volunteering, you can experience the real world through hands-on work, and you can explore your major or career interests at the same time.
- Meet Interesting People - Both the people you are helping and your fellow volunteers can give you new insights. No matter what groups of people you're working with, you'll find that they have information and ways of looking at the world that can broaden your horizons.
- Show Colleges You're Committed - Your volunteer work illustrates your interests and character. When you list your volunteer work on your college applications, you show admission officers the value you'll bring to their campus community.
- Make a Difference - It's eye opening to realize that doing even small things can have a big impact on others.
Benefits of Volunteerism in High School
- Impress Admissions Officials - Volunteerism is a great way to show admissions officials that you not only care about the community, but are able to manage your time well enough to balance a volunteer job with your other commitments. This doesn't mean you should volunteer all of your time, or spread yourself thin by volunteering for several different organizations. But a sustained commitment to a cause throughout your time in high school or a volunteer position that you have been able to maintain for a longer period of time will look impressive to admission officials.
- Get Involved Outside of School - If you're one of those high school students who already know what your intended field of study will be once you're in college, try finding volunteer opportunities in those areas. For example, if you like the idea of becoming a lawyer, find a legal aid clinic to work for.
- Scholarships - You may already know community service scholarships are one of the more common scholarship categories out there. If you have a history of volunteerism, make sure you consider that in both your scholarship search and scholarship application process.