AmeriCorps as Gap Year

<p>I'm a high school junior with a strong academic record. I'll likely get in somewhere I like next year, but...
1. I'm not sure if I can go straight into another four years of school.
2. I feel that I've never had enough time to give back to the community.
3. I think I can be self-centered and naive. </p>

<p>I've been considering what to do about these various concerns and I'm wondering if taking a year for AmeriCorps service would be a viable option. It would be a change of pace and I have always gotten a lot out of community service, but haven't had the time with school and extracurriculars. I have no ideas of grandeur about AmeriCorps- I understand that my stipend will provide for very bare living circumstances and completing almost 2000 hours of community service isn't going to be easy and I'll be challenged in ways I never have been before. But that all sounds like an adventure-one that also has the benefit of helping communities in need.</p>

<p>Has anyone taken this option or considered it and decided on a different route?</p>

<p>Thanks!</p>

<p>I'm a junior in high school also. I work for City Year, which is an affiliate of AmeriCorps, and find it to be a huge waste of time. If I took a gap year specifically to work for them, I would probably go insane. But maybe other people find it more fun to do. My experience has been that its not organized very well and they mismanage time, especially considering what they have to work with in terms of funds and volunteers. This might not apply to other AmeriCorps things or even other City Year organizations, but thats my two cents.</p>

<p>^^^</p>

<p>I'm thinking about doing a Gap year to either study abroad or do Americrops and I really liked City Year...</p>

<p>I'm going to send you a PM santeria, but thats not the first bad thing I heard about City Year. Although I have heard some good things.</p>

<p>Each Americorps operation is run by local staff, so it's hard to compare them. You can do a Google search for, e.g., Americorps blog, and you can find some candid commentary.</p>

<p>If you decide to pursue Americorps as a gap year, please be sure you have a Plan B. Because of the economic downturn, all of the service organizations have more applicants than positions, so they can be selective, and our local Americorps focused on placing college grads who could not find jobs--which is appropriate, but left no place for high school grads interested in doing a service gap year.</p>

<p>You probably know this already, but if you are interested in taking a gap year, you will want to go through the senior year admissions cycle and then, if you get into a school you love, ask for deferred admission, most schools will grant it (most schools have info about their gap year policy on their website). </p>

<p>Good luck!</p>

<p>^^^^</p>

<p>Yep, thats basically what my plan is. Seems like most of my schools are ok with deffering, a couple aren't though. </p>

<p>Not sure if I'd rather do a Study Abroad or Americorps, but I'm leaning towards studying abroad. </p>

<p>I'm also looking into Congress-Bundestag, that looks really cool, and Rotary is a good way to go too.</p>