Volunteering as an Extracurricular Activity
So, you are in high school and you want to start collecting community service hours for your college application. This may seem like just another box to check off the list; another thing that you need to do that your parents didn’t for their admission, but let’s look at this differently.
In a life where keeping up with grades, standardized tests, part time jobs, and sports and clubs, plus friends is difficult enough, who has the time or energy to donate more time and energy? Simply find what you are passionate about.
From maintaining hiking trails, to volunteering at homeless shelters and soup kitchens, to setting up your own clothing and toy drive at your high school for children who are pushed through the court system, there’s much help that is needed.
Animal shelters like the ASPCA are always looking for help to care for their often-overcrowded soon-to-be pets. They need help with taking the dogs for walks, and helping with behavioral training, and the cats require some handling as well.
On a local level, maybe an elderly person living on your block needs help with yard or house work, or you can volunteer with a program such as Meals on Wheels which gives older citizens a warm meal and a nice conversation, often the highlight of their day. You will likely make a new friend and learn a lot in the process.
Sports is a tricky one, but if you live in a major urban area like New York, there’s still plenty of opportunity, such as NYC Social, which helps inner city children play in recreational sports leagues. Additionally, with children there is Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and Boys and Girls Club where you act as a big sibling to someone who is not as fortunate and could use a positive role model in their life.
Regardless of what you choose, it will be a fulfilling experience that will look good on college and work applications. Besides learning and becoming friends with the other volunteers, you might genuinely enjoy what you are doing more than video games and Netflix, which is never a bad thing.