Senior year is filled with meaningful moments. Whether it's prom, homecoming, or any other big moments, it can feel like the most important year of your entire life. In the middle of all the deadlines and all of the scholarships and college visits, I want you to remember this important truth: Your senior year can be even more memorable if you put yourself out there to serve other people. I know, it sounds counterintuitive to make time for yet another thing, but service projects can leave lasting memories that will far outweigh any time crunch you may have. Here is a short list of ways you can serve other in your community and nationwide, even during senior year (you can even list volunteer work on college applications and scholarship applications):
-Serve at a Mobile Pack Location: Feed My Hungry Children is an organization that helps feed children in other countries, and they hold events that you can volunteer at, packing the sealed food. This is a great way to serve in a practical way, and you can go in a group from your school or church if you can gather others up. They register for their events about 4 weeks before they happen, and you can find a location HERE.
-Become a reading partner for a child. Many local elementary schools have programs that match high schoolers with young children to expose them to reading and mentoring. This is an excellent way to be a great role model for younger students, as well as spend your time helping enhance someone's education. Many of the schools where these programs occur include children who may not have parents to help them complete homework, or help them read. Here is an example program in Dallas, but you can find these programs easily on Google in your own area.
-Walk for charity: If there is a cause, illness, or program that you are passionate about, doing a walk to raise awareness will be a great way to give your time and effort. You will also get a great workout, and walking reduces stress, which you will have plenty of during senior year! Here is one example of a vision care walk in Houston, but the same website has tons of options no matter your zip code.
-Volunteer at a food pantry or clothing closet: Needy families and kids utilize food pantries and similar programs for their nutritional and clothing items, and these centers need volunteers to sort and organize the donations that come in. Volunteering at these pantries is crucial to their success, and you can really make a difference in the lives of the families that are helped. You can also help out at shelters for victims of domestic violence if that is a cause close to your heart.
-Volunteer at an animal shelter: Many people are passionate about the care and protection of vulnerable animals, and going to an animal shelter is a great way to implement those values. You could also hold a animal food drive for your local shelter, or with an adoption day for animals who are at risk of ending up at a euthanizing shelter. There are usually always volunteer jobs cleaning cages and kennels, and working with animals who need holding or feedings.
By doing service projects, you can ensure that your senior year holds even more meaning that late night study sessions or a successful senior project. You can make a true difference in someone's life.