Volunteer/Community Service Ideas

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by Hopeful_99, Nov 3, 2015.

  1. Hopeful_99

    Hopeful_99 Member

    Oct 20, 2015
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    Im making this post because I see a ton of different things on how much Volunteer hours you need.

    I currently have 81 hours mostly throughout the community, volunteering as Rec basketball coach, referee, camp coordinator etc... I was also recognized by the town as a "Volunteer with Distinction" and also when I graduate I'll will have "Service with Distinction" accolades.

    However, I heard that most applicants have around 200 hours. If this is true, where are good places to volunteer?
  2. catlover2

    catlover2 Member

    Apr 23, 2015
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    Your local food bank, homeless shelter, animal shelters, the library, there are so many places. The most important thing is to find a place that you love or are passion about and put in hours there. I had over 200 hours at the library and the animal sheltered
  3. MemberLG

    MemberLG 5-Year Member

    Jan 4, 2011
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    Why not. I will be blasphemer and say that the focus should not be on increasing your volunteer hours in respect to improving your USMA appointment chances.

    The candidate evaluation is 60% academic, 30% leadership, and 10% physical; and leadership is divided into about 1/3 extracirruclar activites, 1/3 sports, and 1/3 SOE (from various USMA admissions briefing). So at best, by my deduction, vounteer hours make up a portion of 1/3 extracirrcular activities, or just a portion of about 10% of the candidate evaluation. If we consider things like Class president, Eagl Scout, Boy States, club president and etc are also considered in the extracirrcular activities, how much would volunteer hours weigh.

    By no mean, I am not trying to discourage candidates from volunteering. I am just trying to provide some different perspectives. To achieve some goals in life, we have to do what helps us achieve that goal, not what we "love" or are passionate about. Not all are lucky enought be have their passion and goals to be complementary.
  4. 845something

    845something Member

    Feb 22, 2013
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    Unless there is a drastic change to the application, West Point doesn't care how many volunteer hours you have. It could be 0 or 1,000, since there are no Whole Candidate Score points associated with volunteer hours, there is nothing lost or gained. With that said...

    Are your volunteer hours concentrated in one area where you can show consistency and possibly leadership? If so, you could probably put that closer to employment or an extracurricular activity and get credit. If it leads to a serious national or state level recognition, it could help as well.

    For perspective, the Army standard (regulation) for a Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal is now 500 hours or three years of significant contributions. To put your 81 hours and community honors into comparison, I just returned a Soldiers award because it only had 122 hours over the last year. Does 200 hours over 4 years of high school sound that impressive now?

    Even if your volunteer hours don't really contribute to your West Point application, they will likely matter more to your congressman and senators (or their nomination committee). At a minimum, it gives you more opportunities and perspective to answer interview questions that show you are a well rounded individual with selfless service in mind.

    Remember, volunteering isn't about building a resume. It is not a check the block, now I've satisfied this area that potential colleges want to see. You do it because you want to contribute. If you do it that way, you'll find the hours matter less and the chances to attain leadership experience increase.
  5. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Moderator

    Mar 14, 2014
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    +1 845

    All my DS's and DD's were required to apportion time to volunteer work as young teens.

    This was for two reasons. First, it was a way to give back to the community within an area that they had interest in. Second, it also gave them first hand experience in a working environment, dealing with real people and tasks that may be new and intimidating. My DS wanted to be a vet.....volunteering over 300 hours at the local zoo enabled her to determine that she did NOT want to be a vet! Nonetheless, all those volunteer hours enabled them to get hired for "paying" jobs much more readily.

    It was the aforementioned two reasons and not "resume building" that my wife and I emphasized volunteerism. It is no coincidence that the volunteering habit continues to this day with three these kids, even as working professional adults (youngest DS is a cadet).

    It is strictly a fringe benefit that it may look good on a curriculum vitae.

    My personal opinion is that volunteerism needs to begin early and in a place where you have an interest in. The passion may or may not grow, but it is good for the mind and soul.

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