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Florida Scholarships — Volunteering & Community Service

Giving Back, Moving Forward:
How to Choose Community Service for Your Scholarship

Are you a high school student looking forward to college? Need advice on how to get there with a scholarship? Many high school students aim to achieve academic scholarships to help them get through college. The Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program is one way that students are provided with Florida college scholarships, and one of these scholarships' requirements is completion of a minimum of 75 community service hours. Requiring community service allows students to apply academic lessons in the real world and to fulfill your duties as young citizens by giving back to your communities.

There are a variety of activities in which you can become involved in order to complete these community service requirements. So how do you pick the best one for you? One way is to think about what you're interested in and then pursue a long-term volunteer commitment in that realm. Choosing to volunteer in an area that you care about will enable you to grow that passion, to feel satisfied in giving back to something that interests you, and to be motivated in pursuing the required service hours.

Remember, serving will be more enjoyable if you engage in an issue that is important or relevant to you, and it may spark an interest in pursuing a future related career. Colleges will also take note of a long-term volunteer commitment on your application, as it shows dedication and consistency along with a desire to help others.

To tie in community service with your passions, spend some time reflecting on what most inspires and interests you. Then look for a way to develop that interest into a form of service. Here are some ideas when picking a volunteer program:

  • Volunteer as a childcare provider at a local daycare center or as a mentor for runaway youth.
  • If you love to read, volunteer as an aid at a local library.
  • Volunteer at a hospital as a nursing assistant or at a local relief organization.
  • Give your time working as a volunteer coach for an elementary or middle school team.
  • Serve in a local nursing home by entertaining the residents.
  • If you have second-language skills, you can help teach immigrants or local school children.
  • Volunteer at your local animal shelter or as a dog walker in your neighborhood.
  • If you have a passion for serving the less fortunate by meeting their physical needs, you can help hand out meals at a local homeless shelter.
  • Volunteer as a tutor with a local children's nonprofit or at your school.
  • If you like exploring new cultures, participate in a short-term service trip in another country with a local nonprofit that interests you.

These are just a few suggested activities to help students begin pursuing community service scholarship requirements for college. But it is also possible that these acts of service may be the beginning of a passion for giving back to those in need throughout your life, in whichever community you end up belonging after college.