Volunteering and community service is your avenue to show them how you have made a difference and how you plan to be a good citizen. When the admissions committees evaluate community service they are looking to see if you have picked an issue that matters to you and made a difference in the same. Here are the 10 best community service themes to work on for college admissions.
Top 10 Community Work themes to work on this Summer
“Over the last year, in advocating about special needs and opening up conversations around them, I’ve discovered that the act of actually ‘talking about issues’ – whether they are overt or even covert, is cathartic and empowering for people.” Zehn Kashyap
This summer we have made it easy to work on key issues that you love exploring your Big Why? If you are looking at community service, look at the following:
- Reduce education inequity: Cultivate subtle attributes of self-awareness, and metacognition and build self-confidence in children through awareness workshops.
- Breaking Gender Stereotypes – Diversity & Inclusion: Questioning and eliminating limiting societal norms to equip all genders with healthy attitudes toward each other and the ability to shape their own lives.
- Health & AIDS: Interview the stakeholders from the field to understand the health needs of sex workers (AIDS) and convert it into a written case study/article which will be used by the marketing team.
- Awareness workshops: Run awareness workshops to increase the knowledge among different communities (adolescents and adults) about the LBTQIA+ community and issues that they have been facing like transphobia, violence, etc
- Cyber Bullying & Mental Health: Highlight issues like bullying, exam anxiety, body shaming, skin color, etc amongst teenagers from economically weaker sections of societies.
- There is no Planet B: The campaign aims at behavior change in Indian Households by collecting plastic milk bags and researching best practices of waste management.
- Animal welfare & Rights: Who will raise the voice for those who cannot? Be the VOICE of the VOICELESS. Work on treating injured animals and managing the population of strays.
- Economic and Financial Inclusion: The project focuses on women from low-income families and tries to impart crucial knowledge about the Financial- Digital world along with upskilling through awareness workshops on the usage of digital wallets, budgeting, welfare schemes, and online frauds.
- Investigate and work on a research paper. The project aims to uncover issues through primary research.
- Design for GOOD: Impart 21st-century skills like design tools like Canva for students from vernacular medium.
Community Service Examples
The Milk Bag Project: Nudging Revolution – A Case study
“All big things come from small beginnings. The seed of every habit is a single tiny decision.” ~James Clear, Atomic Habits
ChangeWarrior Tribe: Bharat Lakhotia, Yash Dalal, Raunak Kanoji, and Mohit Yadav
Every day we empty a milk bag to enjoy our morning coffee and chai. But where do all the milk bags everyone uses daily go? Added over the years, each of us creates a colossal pile; where does it end up?
A morning thought spiral inspired our changemakers Bharat Lakhotia, Yash Dalal, Raunak Kanoji, and Mohit Yadav to identify the lifecycle of a Milkbag and execute a program for their better disposal. They took inspiration from the initiative of HansuPardiwala (Har Ghar Hara Ghar), Kunti Oza (Clean Mumbai Foundation) & Chitra Hiremath (Garbage Free India).
The problem at hand:
“Every time we make something, we destroy something.”
India wears the dual crown of being the top milk producer and the largest waste generator. However, the waste management process has been lackadaisical. The dearth of collection and recycling practices send most of our waste into landfills and water bodies.
A milk bag torn off the edge is useless to the recyclers and rarely picked. On the other side, A single tonne of recycled plastic saves (approximately) 23 cubic meters of a landfill, 3,114 litres of oil, and 20,786 megajoules of electricity.
Team-storming to Action Plan
Bharat Lakhotia, Yash Dalal, Raunak Kanoji, and Mohit Yadav thus felt that connecting these two fact streams can build a collection-treatment linkage for the Circular Economy. They believe climate change concerns are authentic and more pronounced for the GenZ, which will be at the front line facing the devastating consequences, making them frontline fighters too.
For 30 days of December 2021, covering the cities of Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, and Gurgaon, Our Changewarrior focused on two simple tasks to be done every day, consistently:
- Wash, dry, and save whole milk packets without tearing off the edge completely
- Storing these in your household for 30 days and sending them to a local vendor for Upcycling
The Design thought was Specific, terse, and most importantly, actionable to ensure easy implementation for a longer duration. Leading by example, our students inspired their communities to participate in and cast a wider net of action and turned it into an opportunity to collaborate with friends, family and the community by getting everyone involved and using social media creatively to spread the message.
- The project must be Sustained through continuous effort for a longer duration.
- Effectiveness is proportional to bulk collection and hence community participation is a prerequisite for durable impact.
- Careful handling of the bag, not tearing off the edge entirely, is necessary.
- It must be supported by Recycler proactiveness and accessibility.
The team successfully diverted 7500 milk bags from the landfills. Beyond the numbers, the intimate realization of their small actions that eventually made a considerable impact was the most memorable learning experience.
The simple behavior-focused model of the Milk bag project tapped into the innate human desire to do good and collaborate by providing an action list with the least amount of friction. Clear targets were allotted to students who were also provided with contact details of the recyclers. A few of the recyclers even offered door-step collection services.
“Collecting bags for 30days made us see that pile of trash right in front of our eyes, growing by the day. We seldom think about the things we buy, stock, hoard and throw in a blink of an eye. The project brought our focus back on the little things we do and their impact on our environment.”
The Summer Program: Global Challenges and Social Justice program for High Schoolers
Do you want to solve Global Issues like Education Inequity, Gender Justice, Climate Change, LGBTQ+ but don’t know how to begin? Do you wonder where you are in your change-maker journey? Would you like to foster connections and learn from fellow change-makers but are not sure where to begin?
Global Challenges and Social Justice is a holistic program structurally designed to help you (a high schooler) understand the intricacies of social impact space and support you to create a positive change in your community. You’d get a chance to work on a live project collectively that impacts urban communities with your team on a theme that stirs your soul.
Want to Enroll in Community Service Summer Program?
Upcoming Start Dates: June 1 / June 15 / July 1 / July 15
Featured Image Source: The Manthan School