How Volunteering Can Help Your College-Bound Teen

53% of colleges say that community service can be a tie breaker in admissions decisions*

Shows Community Engagement:

Schools don’t care about your achievements, they want to see how you can help others achieve as well. They gauge this by assessing your interaction with your community and how you are an active participant in bettering your community. A Forbes survey concluded that the top reason colleges valued community service was that it was an indicator that the student is likely to be active in student social life outside the classroom and fully contribute to their institution.* Show schools that you are more than just a student, but also a member of a reputable and caring community like Roughing It by becoming a Junior Counselor. 

Demonstrates Character and Values:

Admissions not only want to see how you can contribute to their community, but they also use your volunteering experience as an indicator if you are likely to contribute to the school’s mission and values.* They know the test scores and grades are limiting, and so they turn to volunteer experience and extracurricular activities to shed more light on these qualities. Additionally, according to Harvard University, admission officers are especially interested in seeking future leaders and productive citizens.** Our program is focused on helping Junior Counselors grow and develop into independent and confident leaders. As a JC, you’ll receive hands-on leadership training and gain skills such as resiliency, effective communication, and problem solving — all of which are necessary to become a great leader and citizen.

Provides Scholarship and Application Essay Material:

Many college and scholarship applications require essays that relate to sharing what service means to you and what you learned by doing it.* They want to see how an applicant can articulate and connect their experiences and feelings in mature, intuitive, and meaningful ways. As a Junior Counselor, you will learn a lot about what service means and how it can translate to many other aspects of your life. We also hold weekly meetings in which JC’s practice connecting what they do and what they learn from it. Here’s a college essay that a former camper & Junior Counselor wrote for his admission to Harvard. 

Boosts Networking:

Volunteering can introduce you to some powerful and important people that can take your resume and application to new heights. At Roughing It, we write meaningful and personal letters of recommendation for every Junior Counselor that they may add to their application portfolio. These letters can provide a more in-depth insight to one’s character and values than any other part of an application.

*Newton, Derek. “New Survey Shows Value Of Community Service in College Admissions” Forbes Magazine, 5 Apr. 2018.
**Sternberg, Robert J. College Admissions for the 21st Century. Harvard University Press, 2010.

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