Community service for scholarships

The service to others benefits a community and can also lead to scholarships and pave the way to a brighter future through higher education.

Students! Parents! Guardians! Mentors! Please do not hesitate to look for scholarships to attend some form of higher education (college, technical or trade school). It may seem like the only students who receive scholarships have great grades, high ACT and SAT scores, excel in athletics or have some type of marvelous talent in arts and entertainment; however not all scholarships are academic or merit based. As outlined, in an earlier article from Michigan State University Extension, some scholarships are based on characteristics and qualities as simple as having red hair or being left-handed.

Here is an activity that can lead to scholarship opportunities and all students can participate in: Community service. How can community service lead to scholarship opportunities? There are community service scholarships available for students and there are different ways to get involved in this activity, with people and resources to assist.

To assist in getting started with community service activities, a student can locate or create a community service opportunity from the answers to any of these questions:

  • What am I good at?
  • What do I love to do?
  • What are my favorite classes in school?
  • What classes do I excel in or do well in?
  • What are my talents?
  • What are some careers that I’m interested in?

To increase skills for learning through community service, join a youth organization that places an emphasis on community service. For example, Michigan 4-H Youth Development will allow youth to develop a positive relationship with caring adults and other youth in a safe learning environment. They can learn teamwork and other leadership skills through participating in community service activities.

Also, community service through Michigan 4-H has resources for youth to help them with their experience like the 4-H Service Log, 4-H Teen Leadership and Planning Your Community Service Project. It helps to keep a record or journal of the community service experience. This is important because there are some scholarships that require essays and students can use their experience from the community service activities for the essays or general scholarship applications.

Community service does not require youth to have the best grades, the highest test scores or the greatest athletic ability. It requires a student to serve, and all students can serve. Money for higher education is available for youth through community service, so be sure to take advantage in your community and volunteer.

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