Community service – Be recognized

When you have free time, I encourage you to get involved in your community. The benefits for yourself and your community are endless. You can volunteer in any capacity for any organization you’re passionate about. As an animal lover, I personally like volunteering at animal shelters and organizing donation drives. However, there are options for all sorts of interests. Most colleges have a community involvement office where you can find out more about the local opportunities for volunteering. When you volunteer, you of course are helping the organization you are spending time with, but it’s human nature to think about how you personally are benefiting. I could tell you all about how doing something charitable releases endorphins and makes you a happier person, and therefore you will live longer, but in all honesty, most people want direct commendation for their service. Here is how you can be recognized for your service in a different way.

Community service is a basis for college acceptance. If you are in high school, and are trying to get into a competitive college, community service could be one of the things your acceptance rides on. Your volunteer activities can set you apart from other candidates when other students have similar GPA’s and test scores.

College scholarships also look for community service. Once again, when GPA’s and test scores can only tell so much, community service is what will set you apart from the other candidates. It also gives you material to write very compelling scholarship essays.

You can be recognized by the president. This makes for a great resume line. If the organization you volunteer for is one recognized on http://www.presidentialserviceawards.gov/ be sure to register on the website. It’s legit, and after completing certain requirements, you will get the President Service Award. Certificate included.

Hands-on work experience. Most internships are unpaid and therefore volunteering in a field that is connected to the career you aspire to pursue is like getting work experience. It helps build your resume as well.

Build connections. Volunteering in the community allows you to make connections with people who could be in your career field. This means opportunities for future employment or at least connecting with people who can attest to your service and write you a letter of recommendation.

The beauty of community service is that individuals help out even when they are not directly benefiting. However, it doesn’t hurt to realize the positive benefits a volunteer gets by being involved in their community. Just be sure that your service is to help others and not solely based on your personal gain.

jessica-albright-thumb-150x150Jessica is a junior at Missouri State University majoring in Marketing with a minor in International Management. She will be graduating with her bachelor’s degree in December 2016, and is accepted to an accelerated Masters of Business Administration program to complete her MBA the following year. Jessica is member of Beta Gamma Sigma International Business Honor Society,  Ad Club, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and Phi Eta Sigma Honor Fraternity.