While grades and academic performance are fundamental to your college applications, extra-curricular activities and service projects speak very strongly about the person you are outside of school. Universities take these into consideration because they want to see you as a three dimensional human, instead of just a paper transcript. Your participation as a volunteer can and will shed light on the different talents you will add to the college you choose – and if you take a look at the opportunities below, you’ll have a blast before you even get to school!
An awesome organization called Projects Abroad offers two-week long volunteer excursions to full time students in the 16 to 19 year age range. Specialized programs this summer include Archeology, Building, Care, Sports, Journalism, Conservation, Culture, Law and Medicine. The two-week trip includes a few classes, hands-on work and one weekend expedition. You do have the option of adding an additional week onto your volunteer stay. It is recommended that you watch one of their scheduled webinars (the next one is April 11th) to get a better feel for what Projects Abroad is all about.
After you fill out their application and pay a $295 deposit, it takes up to 15 days to hear back about acceptance. The Projects Abroad Expert Travel Team will help you arrange a flight. This program would give you an amazing opportunity to expand your skill set for a specific interest, help people in need, and add a significant entry to your resume and college applications. Projects Abroad also offers alternative Spring Break options and help for students looking to fill a gap year with substantial projects.
Traveling overseas isn’t your cup o’ tea? Would rather save that $295 for textbooks? Try visiting an awesome site called VolunteerMatch. You can search using your area code to find a long list of volunteer opportunities right in your neighborhood! Try something like “Atlanta” and “Spring Break” to see what volunteer opportunities are happening during your spring break near you. My search turned up everything from walk-a-thons to tutoring to park clean-up.
Volunteering will not only make you feel good, it will demonstrate your ability to positively contribute to your community and work with others in a group setting. It can be fun and will always be rewarding.
If you are a student who already volunteers and wants to continue in college, check out Cappex’s list of five schools who were recognized by the Department of Education for their excellence in helping communities in need!