Community Service ?

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by cisco, Sep 13, 2011.

  1. cisco

    cisco Member

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    Junior year in my high school is shove college down your throat year (this is probably for most schools anyway) and today there was this counselor explaining how important Community Service hours are. I know for a fact they are, but then she told me what we, as Juniors, should have right now. She said we should have AT LEAST 200 Hours of community service and at the end of the year achieve about 100 more hours, and by the time we graduate we should have over 400 hours. Pretty much everyones eyes popped out. I only have about, roughly 85 to 95 hours of community service hours, is she over exaggerating?
    How Important is Community Service hours to USMA and how many hours is the average amount for people who get accepted? I just don't want to fall behind on a criteria that wasn't the first thing on my mind.
    Thank you.
     
  2. USMA2016

    USMA2016 Appointee - Class of 2016

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    I did about 60 hrs between my frosh-junior years. I didn't list any hours in my application. They didn't care: I got an LOA.
     
  3. SVG

    SVG USMA Cadet

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    I had roughly 100 hours of hospital volunteerism... Then assorted other community service events -- a few involving leadership roles which is important to try and attain in everything you do if possible -- and I'd gotten an LOA.
    You've probably heard it a thousand times, but USMA looks for the well rounded candidate. I'm sure it's not a deal breaker if you only have 90 service hours -- but it's always better to be ahead of the game than playing catchup with the standardly deviated kids, if you know what I mean.
     
  4. TheDukeOfEarl

    TheDukeOfEarl Member

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    The only ones who seem to truly care about the exact number of hours are organizations such as National Honor Society. Your counselor may have been thinking in terms of NHS and other local requirements, because DS friends had a mad scramble to get hours certified for NHS last year and this year. From what I can tell, colleges and the SAs appear only to require that you list the volunteer/community service activities, but, as USMA2016 said, there is no request for the exact number of hours. In fact, I always shudder a bit when I hear someone say something like "I did exactly 213.9 hours of vounteer work" because it tends to draw attention to the fact that they are doing it for the hourly tally and maybe not for the true intent of just volunteering to help someone out. But I'm from a different generation, when things were certainly not so out-of-control competitive in the arena of college admissions and to get into NHS you just had to get all A's and maybe a few B's. :scratch:

    Good luck!
     
  5. Ken2012

    Ken2012 Prospective

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    When I have spare time, I volunteer at a recycling center. I have been volunteering for a couple years and I have around 200.

    Just to reiterate I doubt there's a requirement (Unless your school has a required amount for graduation, but that's a seperate task), but it has potential on one's file.


    Just curious, was that counselor serious? I'm not saying that it is a ridiculous amount, if one combined NHS/Student Council/Etc, but I still think that is uncommon for most High School students. I have met some with crazy amounts of registered hours, but most of the students at my school have no more then the required amount.
     
  6. buff81

    buff81 Moderator

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    Cisco - this is NOT directed at you but- this subject is a pet peeve of mine.
    Racking up community service hours for the sake of racking of community service hours.
    The point of community service is service.
    Service about self.
    You should involve yourself in community service because you care about the cause - not because it enables you to check a box on an application form whether it be a college app or NHS.
    It seems forced and fake for a school to push or require x #of hours of community service.
    Off my soap box now...
    As far as community service and WP.
    This falls under the Leadership portion of the WCS which is 30% of the WCS.
    So what WP is looking for is leadership in any extracurriculars.
    Get/stay involved and take on leadership roles in things that you care about.
     
  7. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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    I feel the same way, buff81! That's ridiculous to specify a number of service hours a student should have accumulated by their junior and senior year. The purpose of community service is to look around at others and see where you can actually help your community. This is no different from joining a team or club when you have no interest in it, just to be able to add another line to your resume.

    If you would like to help your community, a food drive is something that is simple to do and yields immediate benefits locally. Food banks and food pantries are strained because of the tough economy and folks need help putting food on the table for their families. Kids in my neighborhood will leave paper grocery bags (donated by a local store) on mailboxes with a list of specific needs (canned goods, dried beans, peanut butter, etc.) and a date telling the homeowner when to leave the bag on their front porch. They return on the date and collect the bags of groceries and deliver them to the local food pantry. My oldest son did something similar for his Eagle Project but he collected gently used childrens' books for Communities in Schools to distribute to needy children locally. He collected THOUSANDS! I would say that in general, people are generous and want to help, just make it simple for them to do so.
     
  8. Ken2012

    Ken2012 Prospective

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    Being completely honest, when I started community service I was only doing it for the requirements/resume. Not long after I really began to enjoy it, so I do it on my own initiative. Trust me when I say it is really tough to participate in an activity when you are there for status. I definitely know I would have left if I truely didn't want to be there.

    Definitely goes along with the, "participate in an activity because you enjoy it..." saying.
     
  9. Packer

    Packer Member

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    I have to agree with buff81. The whole number of hours thing misses the point. My son has to have a set number of hours of community service (I think 50) to graduate from h.s. He documented the first 50 hours and since then has not documented the what, when and how many. He certainly knows the what and approximately when but not a real good idea of the how many. If you are keeping track of the hours there may be a good chance you are doing the service for the wrong reasons. IMPO.
     
  10. cisco

    cisco Member

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    Yes, she was dead serious. As if she had some super-duper hours of Community Service lol.
    I know exactly how you feel. All my hours were directly from doing them because I wanted to help people. In my JROTC we always do Community Service, my First Sergeant was huge on helping people (he had a massive heart, despite his Nature outside of that lol), so we always helped people who needed food and clothes and we always donated and visited the retirement center (Which I loved the most, I like to hear their stories). And I have and had plenty of leadership roles from JROTC so I'm not too worried about it.


    Thank you everyone! It was just bothering me how ridiculous the hours were, because I wouldn't want to help people out to make myself look better. What kind of leader would I be in the future if I just do things that'll help ME out? Selfishness is awful.

    Again, thank you everyone.
     

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