Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Spare Time

Our high school students share a special culture of reaching outside themselves, out of their comfort zones, to serve the community. Even though we host the President’s Award for Volunteer Service, many of these teenagers would choose to spend their time in this way with no thought of recognition or reward. While high quality community service and volunteering tend to slightly improve student’s chances of acceptance at some private colleges and universities, it is the leadership and creativity that provide the most growth. According to one former Stanford University admissions counselor, “we don’t care how many hours a student racks up building latrines; rather, we like to see personal dedication to a specific project.” These are the types of activities that youth latch onto, in order to experience something new in the world. In the process, they use their spare time to learn something new about themselves. Here is a sampling of past service projects, taken from a few of our files. If you find yourself bored or in need of a volunteer opportunity, I hope this list might inspire you!

Our kids......

  • volunteered in rural Honduras
  • volunteered at the Stanford Hospital Blood Bank
  • served at the VA Hospital
  • made tapes for the blind
  • shelved books at the public library
  • taught middle school students the rules of debate
  • cleaned up the Bay
  • coached soccer
  • tutored peers in the Academic Resource Center
  • called Bingo for the elderly
  • were docents at the art center and children's museum
  • trained Guide Dogs for the Blind
  • served food to the homeless
  • did farm chores at Hidden Villa
  • worked at political campaigns
  • worked in science labs doing research
  • became camp counselors
  • taught music, theater and ice skating to younger students
  • helped potential immigrants fill out paperwork
  • cleaned up beaches

1 comment:

Nicole Bouchard Boles said...

In our busy sometimes-disconnected lives, we forget that volunteering our time is one of the most important things we can do for others. Each of us can make a difference through intentional acts of kindness, through thinking of others that may need our help, through sharing our thoughts and actions and volunteering our time.

Thanks for these fresh ideas!