The Online Edition of the Annandale High School Newspaper.

The A-Blast

The Online Edition of the Annandale High School Newspaper.

The A-Blast

The Online Edition of the Annandale High School Newspaper.

The A-Blast

Community service done right

Friday night football games promise excitement and fun. Students fill the bleachers at 7:30 P.M. file in and find their friends. But what many people forget are the people responsible for cleaning up the mess.

Saturday morning sophomore Helina Daniels arrives at the school at 7:30 A.M. to clean the bleachers. She is a member of Key Club, a community service club at AHS. Still tired from the night of fun, Daniels slowly walks through the parking lot to meet up with the rest of the club.

“Key club is a lot of fun. I mean getting up early isn’t my favorite part, but it helps the school out and it looks good to colleges,” Daniels said. “Plus,” she said, “Key Club is fun because you get to do it with your friends also.”

AHS students admit that they sometimes overlook this important aspect when preparing to apply to college. For some colleges it is not just about grades and the classes a student takes, but extracurricular activities and community service as well. “Some schools emphasize volunteering more than others. Some are big into it, but most are not,” Career Center specialist Robin Roth said.

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Middle Years Program Coordinator Christine Loop strongly advises students to be active within their communities and to participate in extracurricular activities.

Colleges look for how you manage your time, how motivated you are, and what skills you could bring with you. They look for evidence that you are a well-balanced, well-rounded student,” she said

AHS students donate their time and energy to various causes. Some, such as sophomore Annie Rutherford who volunteers through her church group, works with organizations on the weekends.

“This Saturday I’m actually going to McLean Bible Church and helping out with kids that have disabilities for the day. I also went on a missions trip over the summer,” Rutherford said.

One of the biggest problems for students is finding the right opportunities to help out. AHS has numerous clubs that enable students to get involved and do their part. Key Club members, for example, help out at soup kitchens once or twice a month, in addition to fulfilling their duty of picking up trash after football games. Green Atoms and Just World are two other clubs that are dedicated to making the world a better place.

If you are interested in helping out, there are several places to look. Roth suggests coming to the Career Center where she keeps a notebook full of information about volunteer opportunities. In addition to this, she recommends asking teachers. She explained that she forwards emails to different teachers about volunteer opportunities relating to the subject they teach. For example, if you are interested in government, talk to government teachers about helping with different political campaigns.

You can even check out local animal shelters, parks, homeless shelters or visit an elderly neighbor.

Junior Anne Hruskoci said, “My four year old neighbor lives with his elderly grandma and I baby-sit him a lot. She tries to pay me, but I never take it. I know that community service looks good for colleges because it shows that you are able to manage your time well. It also shows that you are well-rounded and care about other people.”

Regardless of what kind of work you do, it is important to remember that at any given school, there could be thousands submitting applications. You need to make your application stand out. Find a charity that interests you and get involved. Not only will it make you feel better, knowing that you made a difference, but it will also help you come time for applying the school of your choice.

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Community service done right