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When you’re trying to get ready for college, you’ll often hear people talking about “community service.” Either you have a required number of hours or you’re told it will look great on your applications. But what is community service anyway? And why do we need it?

Community service is volunteering to help out other people in a community. There isn’t one specific activity you have to do, however. Community service can be a wide range of activities! From National Park Conservation in Costa Rica to partnering with local residents on community health-based projects in Panama, you can find the perfect volunteer opportunity to fit your interests and meet your needs.

 

There are lots of benefits to community service outside of simply meeting an hour requirement!

 

Personal Benefits

Community service is a great way to learn what you’re really made of. You can push your limits and define your strengths through new experiences and situations. Exploring these areas of your life will teach you incredible life skills, including leadership, teamwork, problem solving, and critical thinking skills.

Having a space to explore these lessons will also increase your confidence as you navigate new areas of your life. Strengthen your self esteem through hands-on leadership and teamwork skills by working with local youth to build a sports league in the Dominican Republic.

 

Educational Benefits

Get a leg up on the college admissions process with community service. Many schools look for volunteering on your application to see if you have well-rounded experiences that benefit both you and the world around you. Instead of filling your application with a million short-lived projects, a six-week immersive experience in Ecuador demonstrates commitment and dedication.

The people you work with while volunteering can also be incredible sources for letters of recommendation. They have seen you work and grow, so they can speak to your successes and characteristics, helping you move forward in your applications.

Many schools do require community service hours, and an AMIGOS program is a great way to earn a huge chunk of them over one summer.  AMIGOS Summer Programs offer anywhere between 60 and 275 Community Service hours. Use the community service calculator here!

 

Professional Benefits

Employers absolutely love volunteers! Community service helps you build skills such a time management, communication, teamwork, and leadership that are valuable to future employers. It is also a great way to explore new interests and help decide what career path to pursue. You can try new skills while you’re immersed in a new place. Another benefit of community service is  networking. You can meet people from all around the world while you’re interning in Ecuador. You never know what doors that will open!

 

If you’re ready to take the plunge into community service, check out the incredible options AMIGOS has to offer here!

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