The Benefits of Volunteering in High School
High school students, it’s time to get motivated! Volunteering while still in high school provides you with the framework for your future career path, as well as instills in you the importance of giving back to others. It may seem difficult to fit in volunteer hours with such a busy schedule of classes, studying and extracurricular activities, but with a little planning you can achieve your volunteer goals. Many not-for-profit organizations only require a few hours a week of your time. For example, the Ottawa Humane Society has a dog walking program that requires a commitment of 2 hours per week. If you love dogs, that is a very easy commitment to make! Even though you may not be reimbursed financially for your time, volunteering is something that can be put on your resume that will help impress future employers and university admissions officials alike. Below, a list of just some of the benefits that volunteerism can provide you:
Impress Admissions Officials
You’ve got the great GPA and amazing standardized test scores. But what makes you stand out from students with similar grades? The answer is what you do in your spare time. Volunteer hours and part-time jobs listed on your application will really make you shine. Volunteerism is a great way to show admissions officials that you not only care about the community, but are able to manage your time well enough to balance a volunteer job with your other commitments. By all means, don’t spend every spare minute working on your volunteer hours – you need to balance volunteerism with your personal life, too. But a sustained commitment to one particular cause over a year or two shows that you are willing to stick to something that you care about. This will be very impressive to admissions officials and work in your favour.
Get Involved Outside of School
Volunteering allows you to meet people you may not have had the opportunity to meet otherwise, especially if you are volunteering outside of school. If you have heard the term “networking”, that is essentially what you will be doing! You are forming a network of contacts that can help you get to where you want to be. If you already have a good idea of what you want to study in college or university, you can volunteer your time in that field. For example, if you want to study psychology, why not volunteer your time with the Canadian Mental Health Association? You can find volunteer opportunities for almost anything that interests you, so spread your wings outside of your school and gain immeasurable benefits!
Earn Academic Credit and Scholarships
Some high schools require you to put in volunteer hours in order to graduate. Others offer extra credits or scholarship opportunities if you do volunteer your time. Check with your high school’s administration office to see if any of these opportunities are available to you. If they are, take advantage of them! A scholarship will help you to cut down on your student loans when you reach university, and extra credits will look great on your transcript to help you land the university placement of your dreams. Check out studentawards.ca to find all of the different community service scholarships that are available – your volunteerism won’t only impress your university of choice, but also the officials who will be deciding whether or not you obtain your scholarship!
Above are the curricular advantages to volunteerism. But let’s not forget the personal advantages that come from it, too. Giving back to your community and contributing positive energy to the world will do wonders for your self-esteem and self-worth. Volunteering is the way to go!