Each year, our amazing Selection Committee, made up of Board members and Student Service Program alumni, have the honor of picking the new class of students to become the next generation of community leaders through our Student Service Program. The program is focused on helping teens embrace volunteerism while teaching leadership skills in the hopes that one day they, too, will impact their own communities as they head off to college and beyond.
Currently, our foundation is accepting applications to our Student Service Program. One thing we always hear this time of year, however, is, “I’m not sure what to say in my application!” Well, thanks to this blog, we’re here to help. We realize teens may feel lost during the application process, so here are four tips on what makes a submission stand out to our Selection Committee.
Tip 1: Put In The Elbow Grease
The Selection Committee can quickly tell who really wants to be a part of this amazing leadership opportunity by the amount of effort put into each step of the application. It’s important to really put the time in when asking yourself how to answer each question. We can tell what seems rushed and what has thought behind it. Carve out the time, dig deep, and give good examples when needed.
Tip 2: Be Specific
Don’t make general blanket statements. Get specific. When answering questions about “giving” or ways you’ve helped your community, you don’t need a laundry list of big or formal experiences. Just because you haven’t had a lot of experience with nonprofit organizations or volunteering doesn’t mean you’re going to be eliminated. One of our applicants was extremely sincere when she explained how she helps her mother take care of her autistic brother at home. Community can and should start with family, friends, teachers – those in your immediate day-to-day interactions. How do you assist those around you? Tell us specifically what you’ve done to help in your own community.
Tip 3: Be Sincere
When it comes to your video submission, we can tell if you’re speaking from the heart or rehearsing something you thought may sound good on paper. Some of the best videos we have seen were students who either were very enthusiastic, speaking from the heart, or went the extra mile by making the video fun with graphics, music, etc. Do try to keep your video under 4 minutes and be sincere!
Tip 4: Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
One part of the application process relies on getting recommendations from teachers or those you have worked with. We understand this can be intimidating out of fear someone will say no. However, if you never ask, you will be in the same position – getting nowhere. Drop the fear and put it out there. Don’t be afraid to ask and/or follow up. The squeaky wheel gets the oil!
Giving back is one of the most rewarding things anyone of us can do. It feels good to know that you are helping others and making a difference in your community. If you’re interested in the “Power of Giving” or know someone would be a phenomenal community leader one day, we’d love for you to share this blog and apply by Friday, March 31, 2023 at 11:59 p.m.