Greetings, Salt Community!
I’m here to fill in for dianemelville with the latest scholarship challenge—and it’s an important one. This month, we’ll work to improve your profile as a scholarship applicant. Meaning, we want to make you as appealing to scholarship judges as possible. And one of the best ways to do that is community service.
Scholarship providers love applicants who help others. After all, it’s kind of what they do, too! Now, no “magic” number of community service hours will grant you access to hidden vaults of money. But 100 hours is a truly impressive (and accomplishable!) number—so let’s make that your target for 2017.
Don’t overlook this challenge! In addition to helping you win scholarships, community service can improve college applications and professional résumés. It also feels great to make a difference, of course. So, how can you easily reach 100 hours? Here are a few tips.
Keep It Manageable
Your goal is to earn 100 hours this year—not this month (though kudos to you if you make that happen!). If you start your service in April, that means you need to perform only 11 hours each month to reach that goal. That’s like 3 hours a week—not even half a day! You can give up a measly 3 hours a week to help people in need, right? I thought so!
Pick Something You Love
Community service is a great thing—not a punishment. I’m not a judge sentencing you to 100 hours of it! Make sure it doesn’t feel that way by volunteering somewhere that interests you. That way, you’re more likely to enjoy your time and keep returning to complete your 100 hours.
So, what activities interest you? Mentoring, tutoring, community clean up, church activities, etc.? Or is there a specific population you’d like to help? Senior citizens, the homeless, animals, veterans, etc.? Odds are, you can find an organization with the same goal simply using Google. And if not, make your own community service project!
Ultimately, you want to perform as much of your community service toward a single goal as possible, i.e., don’t spend 2 hours with 50 different charities. While that’s honorable, too, it doesn’t show the commitment and long-term impact that impress scholarship judges.
Go As A Group
I’m here to help keep you accountable. But I can’t actually make you go to your community service each month. Your friends can, though.
Pull together a group of your friends, and agree on a place/cause where you’d all like to volunteer together. You can help each other keep your commitment, and you’ll likely have even more fun by spending the time with your friends. Just remember you’re there to help—not to goof off.
So, there you have it, scholarship challengers! Start your 100 hours this month, and sign up or log in using your Salt account to post where you’ll spend your time. I’d love to see pictures of the impact your making as well! Here's a little motivational one from me to get you started.