How to Change the World: Make a Difference at a University that Emphasizes Public
Community service is a great item to include on your activities resume when applying
to a college or university. But even though you might not expect to continue your
volunteer efforts after you've been accepted, there are lots of reasons to look for
a school that encourages public service.
Where to Volunteer in College
While you can probably volunteer for a cause on your college campus, there will also
be plenty of public service opportunities in the surrounding community. Most colleges
have a community outreach center that can help you.
Saint Louis University's Center for Service and Community Engagement connects undergraduate students to volunteer opportunities in the St. Louis Public
School District, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Habitat for Humanity and more sites around
the city — including many nonprofit organizations within walking distance of campus.
Even though volunteering is not a requirement at Saint Louis University, most of your
friends probably will anyway because of the culture of service at the University.
Nearly 80 percent of SLU students volunteer, which is three times the national average.
Reasons to Volunteer in College
Each year, SLU holds a day of service called Make a Difference Day. With thousands
of students at more than 100 volunteer sites, it's one of the largest collegiate days
of service in the entire country. Find out more.
Some schools incorporate volunteering into their curriculum through service learning projects. More than 80 service learning courses are offered at Saint Louis University
each semester. Other university student organizations and college clubs require members
to complete a certain number of volunteer hours.
Undergraduate students who volunteer in college say it strengthens their leadership
skills and gives them an appreciation for people's differences and diverse backgrounds.
It can also improve your professional network, help you develop references and allow
you to explore your interests and learn about yourself. No matter why you do it, get
out there and make a difference.
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