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"Those ECs are weak...."- So what's good?


Replies to: "Those ECs are weak...."- So what's good?

  • troublesomejasontroublesomejason Registered User Posts: 369 Member
    Do top colleges really view being a student rep. on the local school board similar to getting research published or TASP? I never knew that being a student rep. was such a powerful EC.

    As a student who got into HYS... and sits on the school board, i think i can answer your question with my experience. i've talked with my interviewer, and a few other people about my stats, and i think my school board record stands out the most (even though i'm an artist, and ranked 3rd in my class, etc.) that is because the school board, especially in a diverse and political city, gave me unique experiences that usually are taken advantage of by adults.

    That said, a few examples are that i was part of our nationally recognized movement for healthy foods four years ago (way before it was a national movement), have worked on issues such as desegregation (similar to affirmative action that colleges face), founded a city youth summit (which has been running for three years now) for the promotion of a community of citywide student leaders, and have worked extensively with our notable district officials etc. It has all be an incredible experience, something that I haven't minded attended meetings that have ended 1 a.m. and even later.

    As with the above posts, i think that as with any e.c., if one gets thoroughly involved and motivated, one can almost do anything.
  • NorthstarmomNorthstarmom Registered User Posts: 24,853 Senior Member
    "I don't have community service where I ran it or funded it. I helped at the doggone nursing home for Christ's sake."

    There's nothing wrong with helping at a nursing home. That could stand out in admissions if one implemented some programs or did something that went beyond simply putting in hours and doing what you were told.

    When one volunteers, there are always opportunities to do extra and one can find or make those opportunities if you care about what you're doing, look for ways to make an additional difference, and take the time to establish relationships with your supervisors so that they are willing to let you try out your own ideas. Doing this is difficult and requires vision, creativity and hard work, but those are the kind of leaders that places like HPYS want on their campus even though HPYS don't have room for everyone who does things like that.
  • ag54ag54 Registered User Posts: 2,909 Senior Member
    Northstarmom, where do you put the information about the level of your involvement in the application? Is it something that should somehow be put into an essay (even if it doesn't really seem to fit)? or should the applicant put it in the resume (which would lead to a wordy, probably 2 pager)? My S has some pretty good ec's, but doesn't really know where to describe them beyond a seemingly non-descript volunteer position.
  • NorthstarmomNorthstarmom Registered User Posts: 24,853 Senior Member
    Remember, the list represents my thoughts, and I'm not an adcom, just an alum interviewer.

    There actually is a list on the web somewhere that shows how a Calif. college weighed various ECs. This includes the standard ECs as well as "ECs" such as having to take care of siblings or having work to help one's family.

    If anyone finds it, please post a link because I'm sure it would help many people.
  • goodcollegesgoodcolleges Registered User Posts: 598 Member
    I have a job as an Intern at the US Dept of Education this summer....is that a good EC
  • NorthstarmomNorthstarmom Registered User Posts: 24,853 Senior Member
    Here's a link to teens who won the 2006 Huggable Heroes contests for teens who do service projects. Most of the teens started projects themselves. All are nice ideas of how young people can make a difference and can also have some extraordinary ECs. http://www.buildabear.com/aboutUs/community/HuggableHeroes/2006HH.aspx

    Some examples:
    Matthew - New York

    Matt volunteers for Puppies Behind Bars, an organization that trains inmates to raise guide dogs for the blind and explosive detection canines for Law Enforcement. He takes their pups into his home and exposes them to situations they cannot encounter in prison. Through a youth service-based organization, Matt also spearheaded a fundraising raffle for the benefit of Puppies Behind Bars. It raised over $1,000 for the cause.

    Brittany - British Columbia
    For the last 8 years, Britney has played an active role in her community by helping feed the less fortunate, volunteering at the police department and raising money for the Easter Seals Organization. Brittany recently created a Scholarship Seminar where she visits local secondary schools to help educate students about the many facets of scholarship applications and how the students can apply for such assistance
  • ag54ag54 Registered User Posts: 2,909 Senior Member
    Where would you put that information in the app?
  • Badkarma89Badkarma89 Registered User Posts: 423 Member
    When I read the Chances threads and see the EC's, I think the biggest weakness is the lack of focus. I see kids that say they are interested in pre-med, but all thier EC's are in the field of math because there are a lot of math competitions. While this is still outstanding, I think a focused list of EC's that complement an applicants strength is important. EC's are what you do in your "free time" so getting involved in EC's that interest you would look good.

    A trend that I see is that debate and writing competitions are looked highly upon as far as EC's go.
  • NorthstarmomNorthstarmom Registered User Posts: 24,853 Senior Member
    Under "community service" in the essay, or in the activities area. It also could go under leadership or even in 2 or 3 sections, with different aspects highlighted in different areas.

    For example under leadership: "Organized a campaign to raise $1,000 for...."
    And also under "community service," the same person could write: "Spent 6 months housing and training dogs for ....."
    That combined with a nice essay describing how one got interested in it or a challenge that one overcame in doing the project would be a nice way to show one's character and passion.

    Where you put the activities isn't as important as how you describe what you did. The adcoms aren't grading you on filling the right slot. They just want to know what you've done and what you have to offer.
This discussion has been closed.