To become involved in community service, an individual should first acquire the kind of education that will provide the skills needed in carrying out a community service. Given that community service is a wide field, it is important that when seeking an education, one should specialize in the field of community service in which one plans to work. The field of community service that I am interested in is helping individuals to develop parenting skills.
Parenting can be very rewarding; it can also be very frustrating if one is not prepared to have children. There is very little training that is offered to expectant mothers and fathers, and very few people seek training before deciding to become parents. This has resulted in a situation where parenting skills are taken for granted. By providing parenting education through community service, perhaps I will be able to offer parents and those who intend to become parents, the kind of knowledge that will enable them to carry out their parental roles in a positive, nurturing manner.
One of the areas of parenting that I am especially interested in is infant care. Infant care begins with good prenatal care. Expectant mothers and those planning to become pregnant could attend classes on good eating habits, appropriate exercise, and the importance of doctor care and prenatal vitamins. I could develop a number of pamphlets on these topics, start a blog for those who have access to the Internet, and establish a phone helpline. I could also develop a website with a list of online resources, including addresses and telephone numbers. This information would be included in the pamphlets, as well. Furthermore, I could invite obstetricians to discuss with groups of expectant mothers what to expect during the trimesters of their pregnancies, as well as during birth. Furthermore, I could develop parenting classes for parents of children in certain age groups, like babies, toddlers, preschoolers, etc.
The topics related to parenting are endless. Throughout my career in serving parents, I would continuously take courses, read studies, attend workshops, and develop both materials and instructional workshops for mothers, dads, as well as different kinds of family structures. Subjects would be wide-range, including how to establish at-home routines for doing homework, eating a healthy dinner, bath-time, and bedtime. Topics for older children could also be developed, such as dealing with sibling rivalry, determining when a child is old enough to complete household chores and what kinds of chores are appropriate at what age. Topics could also include the blending of two families into one when a parent marries someone. Overall, I am excited at the opportunity of serving a community by helping it be stronger through strengthening the family unit.
Tips for writing:
Since this is a scholarship essay for community service, the reader expects the writer to provide reasons why the reader should grant the writer a scholarship in community service. These reasons should include the field of community service that one is interested in and also an explanation of what one plans to do with the knowledge acquired from the institution once the applicant is granted the scholarship and then graduates from the college. In this case, the writers’ choice with regards to community service is providing support to expectant and existing parents in having healthy babies and raising well-adjusted children.
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When you take on the large task of applying to college, a part you’re likely to dread most is writing an essay. Why? Because it can be so hard to get started!
But, we can help. Most of you will be asked to write an essay about your community service experiences, and most of you already know that other applicants have had experiences similar to yours. So, how do you make yourself stand out?
First, plan in advance, and check out Baylor University’s excellent guide to help you organize and focus your thoughts. Also, take a look at our earlier post about avoiding common pitfalls.
Then, when you’re ready to write, consider these useful tips to help you write a stellar community service essay.
Start in the Middle of the Action
If a professional writer reviewed the first draft of your essay, he or she might cross out the first couple of paragraphs and instruct you to turn the middle into the beginning. That’s because a great way to hook your reader is to start in the middle of the action. Remember, your readers are reviewing hundreds – maybe thousands – of other community service essays. Perk them up by grabbing their attention from the get-go. Get rid of most of your background information, especially if it’s covered in your resume already. Select a poignant moment, and go from there.
Show Your Personality
A community service essay is your chance to let your readers get to know the real you – not the “you” that your teachers see in your term papers. It’s okay to use “I” statements, to thread in some humor, and to share your personal reflections. Be genuine, and let your voice set the tone. Make sure to complement the bullet points of your resume with anecdotal stories that show your values. By the end of your essay, your readers should have a clear understanding of how your passions led you to choose such an activity, and how it helped you grow.
Include Thoughtful Details
Professional writers commonly offer sage advice to budding writers: “Show, don’t tell.” That goes for community service essays, as well. Explaining significant moments is much more effective if you illustrate them in action, instead of describing them with a bunch of adjectives. For example, a mediocre sentence might be, “When I served homeless people meals at a soup kitchen, I learned to value what is really important in life.” A more effective way to convey the same point might be, “As I watched families in tattered clothing walk through the line for a free meal, it felt like the smart phone in my pocket got heavier and heavier. I knew then that I should spend less time and money on the latest fad and more time and money on serving others.”
The heart of your community service essay should show how you developed. Personal growth might be experienced because of the team you worked with, or the mistake you made that taught you a valuable lesson. It’s okay to show your readers a bit of humility. Dig deep and consider how your perspective evolved as a result of your experience. Show readers how your routines or priorities changed after you completed your service. Remember, community service is all about making a difference, so be sure to demonstrate how you and your team made an impact on a worthy cause.
When you end your essay, you want to leave your readers thinking about your experience hours later, or even days later. A good way to achieve this is by finishing with some thoughts or questions that your experience prompted. You can indicate how you answered these questions, or explain how you’re still considering them. If you have ideas of how to continue serving the same cause, suggest ways you might accomplish this while a student at their school. Don’t be shy about pointing out a resource or initiative that the school has already in place, and explain how you could contribute to it. This will show your readers that you are genuinely committed to advancing the common good.
When you finish, leave your essay alone for at least 24 hours, and then return to it to proofread. This will allow you to read it with fresh eyes and ears. Ask a trustworthy family member or teacher to read it and give you feedback. After you proofread it several more times, you’re ready to submit!
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