How to Change the World
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 Social Action 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. About 80% of SLU students say they volunteered while enrolled, which is nearly three times the national average.
Reasons to Volunteer in College
Some schools incorporate volunteering into their curriculum through service learning projects. More than 150 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!