Community Service? What to do this summer

<p>I know you can't just have good grades and volunteer at the local food bank (like myself). Great schools want to see all the community service abroad and experience and all of that. I'm wondering if anyone has experience with good summer programs? I don't want to do a long summer camp for one thing I would like to be able to do a few things this summer, I'll be a junior this fall. I'm up for anything; engineering, law, science/medicine, humanities, etc. If you know of any good opportunities please share! I wanted to do a mock trial or something in the medical field somewhere abroad, I know sometimes you can help children with clef lip or typhoid? tuberculosis? I'm not sure but it's like screening or something. I just have no idea which programs to look into or if they are any good. So please help thank you!</p>

<p>“Great schools want to see all the community service abroad and experience and all of that.” No they don’t. It’s a myth.</p>

<p>Frankly if you have access to a car, I’ll be there are a dozen elderly care facilities, animal shelters, free clinics, womens shelters, Boys and Girls clubs, maybe foster care facilities, etc that are within an hours drive for you. Heck, just look for “social services” in your area. ALL OF THEM can use volunteers. </p>

<p>I already volunteer at nursing homes, two local hospitals, and a day care. I want something to do this summer abroad</p>

<p>Completely agree with T26E4, great schools are not looking for “great community service abroad”. Rather, what they’re looking for is passion, drive and the ability to make a difference one’s community. Take a job at home or some college classes or volunteer at a Boys and Girls club or a 4H camp. The point is that there is so much you can do at home rather than spend $5,000 on a program that’s not going to mean diddly squat to colleges.</p>

<p>As someone who has done service abroad, I can honestly say that it changed my life. Whether or not colleges value it over regular service, there is no one that I would not recommend it to. Not only does it show that you are open to stepping out of your comfort-zone, but that you have a passion for new experiences. I understand that these programs can be pricey, but I honestly believe that my time abroad changed me as a person. It is easy to believe we are culturally-aware as we sit on our couches and sign a “Change.org” petition for women’s rights in India, but experiencing life in the third-world first hand sparks an irreversible flame. Volunteering abroad shows that you have a true passion for help, not just a passion to please admissions directors (although being dedicated to any program /can/ do that). Not to mention, it gives you a /killer/ essay topic.</p>

<p>So no, colleges do not require service abroad. But, colleges aside even, it is something that I believe every person should experience at least once in their life. And the younger you start, the more opportunities you have to experience the world. It is never to early to start exploring life. Students I know who have done these programs have found them invaluable in the admissions process, not for having the program listed on their application, but for the point of view they gleaned. Colleges want to see students who have seen the world with fervor and possess a diverse and unique outlook on life. And while, yes, you can find this at home, there is nothing so magical as giving yourself to a new culture and world.</p>

<p>I have heard overwhelmingly positive things about the Rustic Pathways programs, so here is a link to their volunteer programs (there are several medicinal service options):
<a href=“http://www.rusticpathways.com/programs/results?date=&duration=&location=&category=2&hours=&age=”>http://www.rusticpathways.com/programs/results?date=&duration=&location=&category=2&hours=&age=</a></p>

<p>schools are looking for something interesting on your resume. good grades, good testing, and a beign invovled in the community makes you one of what? 10 million other kids?</p>