As we come upon the end of the college selection process for the current group of high school seniors (two of whom live in my house), I was reflecting on the part of the process where teens build up their “resumes.”

I recall, thirty years ago, when I was applying to college, the importance of extra-curricular activities. “We’ve gotta get involved with more extra-currics,” one of my friends used to say regularly. But, I don’t remember the incredible number of activities that were available for a high school student, nor the emphasis on—and perhaps pressure to get involved with—community service (helping with food drives, playing with kids with special needs, or any other good work).

While I know kids are over-scheduled, and are placed under what is often decried as undue pressure to perform on a variety of levels, I’m glad about the pressure for kids to become involved with their community. Even if the kids’ motivation for getting involved with community service activities is to get them into a better college, that doesn’t bother me because:

1. The result is still good work being done for people in need, and

2. Many of the kids who are doing the volunteering, once they get a taste of how wonderful it feels to do good, will become involved in community service for the rest of their lives. We are building future leaders when we encourage youth volunteerism.

Last month, I wrote about wonderful work done in Challenger programs—sports programs for young people with special needs. This is a great example of what I’m talking about. Anyone who spends time observing a Challenger event will agree that many, if not all, of the kids who are volunteering, are going to be lifelong contributors to their community.

Help create our future leaders… encourage your children, and all children, to get involved with their community.

Warm regards,


P.S. What has your experience been with community service? Join the conversation with your comments…