How to Write the Community Essay – Guide with Examples (2023-24)

September 6, 2023

community essay examples

Students applying to college this year will inevitably confront the community essay. In fact, most students will end up responding to several community essay prompts for different schools. For this reason, you should know more than simply how to approach the community essay as a genre. Rather, you will want to learn how to decipher the nuances of each particular prompt, in order to adapt your response appropriately. In this article, we’ll show you how to do just that, through several community essay examples. These examples will also demonstrate how to avoid cliché and make the community essay authentically and convincingly your own.

Emphasis on Community

Do keep in mind that inherent in the word “community” is the idea of multiple people. The personal statement already provides you with a chance to tell the college admissions committee about yourself as an individual. The community essay, however, suggests that you depict yourself among others. You can use this opportunity to your advantage by showing off interpersonal skills, for example. Or, perhaps you wish to relate a moment that forged important relationships. This in turn will indicate what kind of connections you’ll make in the classroom with college peers and professors.

Apart from comprising numerous people, a community can appear in many shapes and sizes. It could be as small as a volleyball team, or as large as a diaspora. It could fill a town soup kitchen, or spread across five boroughs. In fact, due to the internet, certain communities today don’t even require a physical place to congregate. Communities can form around a shared identity, shared place, shared hobby, shared ideology, or shared call to action. They can even arise due to a shared yet unforeseen circumstance.

What is the Community Essay All About?             

In a nutshell, the community essay should exhibit three things:

  • An aspect of yourself, 2. in the context of a community you belonged to, and 3. how this experience may shape your contribution to the community you’ll join in college.

It may look like a fairly simple equation: 1 + 2 = 3. However, each college will word their community essay prompt differently, so it’s important to look out for additional variables. One college may use the community essay as a way to glimpse your core values. Another may use the essay to understand how you would add to diversity on campus. Some may let you decide in which direction to take it—and there are many ways to go!

To get a better idea of how the prompts differ, let’s take a look at some real community essay prompts from the current admission cycle.

Sample 2023-2024 Community Essay Prompts

1) brown university.

“Students entering Brown often find that making their home on College Hill naturally invites reflection on where they came from. Share how an aspect of your growing up has inspired or challenged you, and what unique contributions this might allow you to make to the Brown community. (200-250 words)”

A close reading of this prompt shows that Brown puts particular emphasis on place. They do this by using the words “home,” “College Hill,” and “where they came from.” Thus, Brown invites writers to think about community through the prism of place. They also emphasize the idea of personal growth or change, through the words “inspired or challenged you.” Therefore, Brown wishes to see how the place you grew up in has affected you. And, they want to know how you in turn will affect their college community.

“NYU was founded on the belief that a student’s identity should not dictate the ability for them to access higher education. That sense of opportunity for all students, of all backgrounds, remains a part of who we are today and a critical part of what makes us a world-class university. Our community embraces diversity, in all its forms, as a cornerstone of the NYU experience.

We would like to better understand how your experiences would help us to shape and grow our diverse community. Please respond in 250 words or less.”

Here, NYU places an emphasis on students’ “identity,” “backgrounds,” and “diversity,” rather than any physical place. (For some students, place may be tied up in those ideas.) Furthermore, while NYU doesn’t ask specifically how identity has changed the essay writer, they do ask about your “experience.” Take this to mean that you can still recount a specific moment, or several moments, that work to portray your particular background. You should also try to link your story with NYU’s values of inclusivity and opportunity.

3) University of Washington

“Our families and communities often define us and our individual worlds. Community might refer to your cultural group, extended family, religious group, neighborhood or school, sports team or club, co-workers, etc. Describe the world you come from and how you, as a product of it, might add to the diversity of the UW. (300 words max) Tip: Keep in mind that the UW strives to create a community of students richly diverse in cultural backgrounds, experiences, values and viewpoints.”

UW ’s community essay prompt may look the most approachable, for they help define the idea of community. You’ll notice that most of their examples (“families,” “cultural group, extended family, religious group, neighborhood”…) place an emphasis on people. This may clue you in on their desire to see the relationships you’ve made. At the same time, UW uses the words “individual” and “richly diverse.” They, like NYU, wish to see how you fit in and stand out, in order to boost campus diversity.

Writing Your First Community Essay

Begin by picking which community essay you’ll write first. (For practical reasons, you’ll probably want to go with whichever one is due earliest.) Spend time doing a close reading of the prompt, as we’ve done above. Underline key words. Try to interpret exactly what the prompt is asking through these keywords.

Next, brainstorm. I recommend doing this on a blank piece of paper with a pencil. Across the top, make a row of headings. These might be the communities you’re a part of, or the components that make up your identity. Then, jot down descriptive words underneath in each column—whatever comes to you. These words may invoke people and experiences you had with them, feelings, moments of growth, lessons learned, values developed, etc. Now, narrow in on the idea that offers the richest material and that corresponds fully with the prompt.

Lastly, write! You’ll definitely want to describe real moments, in vivid detail. This will keep your essay original, and help you avoid cliché. However, you’ll need to summarize the experience and answer the prompt succinctly, so don’t stray too far into storytelling mode.

How To Adapt Your Community Essay

Once your first essay is complete, you’ll need to adapt it to the other colleges involving community essays on your list. Again, you’ll want to turn to the prompt for a close reading, and recognize what makes this prompt different from the last. For example, let’s say you’ve written your essay for UW about belonging to your swim team, and how the sports dynamics shaped you. Adapting that essay to Brown’s prompt could involve more of a focus on place. You may ask yourself, how was my swim team in Alaska different than the swim teams we competed against in other states?

Once you’ve adapted the content, you’ll also want to adapt the wording to mimic the prompt. For example, let’s say your UW essay states, “Thinking back to my years in the pool…” As you adapt this essay to Brown’s prompt, you may notice that Brown uses the word “reflection.” Therefore, you might change this sentence to “Reflecting back on my years in the pool…” While this change is minute, it cleverly signals to the reader that you’ve paid attention to the prompt, and are giving that school your full attention.

What to Avoid When Writing the Community Essay  

  • Avoid cliché. Some students worry that their idea is cliché, or worse, that their background or identity is cliché. However, what makes an essay cliché is not the content, but the way the content is conveyed. This is where your voice and your descriptions become essential.
  • Avoid giving too many examples. Stick to one community, and one or two anecdotes arising from that community that allow you to answer the prompt fully.
  • Don’t exaggerate or twist facts. Sometimes students feel they must make themselves sound more “diverse” than they feel they are. Luckily, diversity is not a feeling. Likewise, diversity does not simply refer to one’s heritage. If the prompt is asking about your identity or background, you can show the originality of your experiences through your actions and your thinking.

Community Essay Examples and Analysis

Brown university community essay example.

I used to hate the NYC subway. I’ve taken it since I was six, going up and down Manhattan, to and from school. By high school, it was a daily nightmare. Spending so much time underground, underneath fluorescent lighting, squashed inside a rickety, rocking train car among strangers, some of whom wanted to talk about conspiracy theories, others who had bedbugs or B.O., or who manspread across two seats, or bickered—it wore me out. The challenge of going anywhere seemed absurd. I dreaded the claustrophobia and disgruntlement.

Yet the subway also inspired my understanding of community. I will never forget the morning I saw a man, several seats away, slide out of his seat and hit the floor. The thump shocked everyone to attention. What we noticed: he appeared drunk, possibly homeless. I was digesting this when a second man got up and, through a sort of awkward embrace, heaved the first man back into his seat. The rest of us had stuck to subway social codes: don’t step out of line. Yet this second man’s silent actions spoke loudly. They said, “I care.”

That day I realized I belong to a group of strangers. What holds us together is our transience, our vulnerabilities, and a willingness to assist. This community is not perfect but one in motion, a perpetual work-in-progress. Now I make it my aim to hold others up. I plan to contribute to the Brown community by helping fellow students and strangers in moments of precariousness.    

Brown University Community Essay Example Analysis

Here the student finds an original way to write about where they come from. The subway is not their home, yet it remains integral to ideas of belonging. The student shows how a community can be built between strangers, in their responsibility toward each other. The student succeeds at incorporating key words from the prompt (“challenge,” “inspired” “Brown community,” “contribute”) into their community essay.

UW Community Essay Example

I grew up in Hawaii, a world bound by water and rich in diversity. In school we learned that this sacred land was invaded, first by Captain Cook, then by missionaries, whalers, traders, plantation owners, and the U.S. government. My parents became part of this problematic takeover when they moved here in the 90s. The first community we knew was our church congregation. At the beginning of mass, we shook hands with our neighbors. We held hands again when we sang the Lord’s Prayer. I didn’t realize our church wasn’t “normal” until our diocese was informed that we had to stop dancing hula and singing Hawaiian hymns. The order came from the Pope himself.

Eventually, I lost faith in God and organized institutions. I thought the banning of hula—an ancient and pure form of expression—seemed medieval, ignorant, and unfair, given that the Hawaiian religion had already been stamped out. I felt a lack of community and a distrust for any place in which I might find one. As a postcolonial inhabitant, I could never belong to the Hawaiian culture, no matter how much I valued it. Then, I was shocked to learn that Queen Ka’ahumanu herself had eliminated the Kapu system, a strict code of conduct in which women were inferior to men. Next went the Hawaiian religion. Queen Ka’ahumanu burned all the temples before turning to Christianity, hoping this religion would offer better opportunities for her people.

Community Essay (Continued)

I’m not sure what to make of this history. Should I view Queen Ka’ahumanu as a feminist hero, or another failure in her islands’ tragedy? Nothing is black and white about her story, but she did what she thought was beneficial to her people, regardless of tradition. From her story, I’ve learned to accept complexity. I can disagree with institutionalized religion while still believing in my neighbors. I am a product of this place and their presence. At UW, I plan to add to campus diversity through my experience, knowing that diversity comes with contradictions and complications, all of which should be approached with an open and informed mind.

UW Community Essay Example Analysis

This student also manages to weave in words from the prompt (“family,” “community,” “world,” “product of it,” “add to the diversity,” etc.). Moreover, the student picks one of the examples of community mentioned in the prompt, (namely, a religious group,) and deepens their answer by addressing the complexity inherent in the community they’ve been involved in. While the student displays an inner turmoil about their identity and participation, they find a way to show how they’d contribute to an open-minded campus through their values and intellectual rigor.

What’s Next

For more on supplemental essays and essay writing guides, check out the following articles:

  • How to Write the Why This Major Essay + Example
  • How to Write the Overcoming Challenges Essay + Example
  • How to Start a College Essay – 12 Techniques and Tips
  • College Essay

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Kaylen Baker

With a BA in Literary Studies from Middlebury College, an MFA in Fiction from Columbia University, and a Master’s in Translation from Université Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint-Denis, Kaylen has been working with students on their writing for over five years. Previously, Kaylen taught a fiction course for high school students as part of Columbia Artists/Teachers, and served as an English Language Assistant for the French National Department of Education. Kaylen is an experienced writer/translator whose work has been featured in Los Angeles Review, Hybrid, San Francisco Bay Guardian, France Today, and Honolulu Weekly, among others.

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College Admissions , Extracurriculars

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Are you applying to a college or a scholarship that requires a community service essay? Do you know how to write an essay that will impress readers and clearly show the impact your work had on yourself and others?

Read on to learn step-by-step instructions for writing a great community service essay that will help you stand out and be memorable.

What Is a Community Service Essay? Why Do You Need One?

A community service essay is an essay that describes the volunteer work you did and the impact it had on you and your community. Community service essays can vary widely depending on specific requirements listed in the application, but, in general, they describe the work you did, why you found the work important, and how it benefited people around you.

Community service essays are typically needed for two reasons:

#1: To Apply to College

  • Some colleges require students to write community service essays as part of their application or to be eligible for certain scholarships.
  • You may also choose to highlight your community service work in your personal statement.

#2: To Apply for Scholarships

  • Some scholarships are specifically awarded to students with exceptional community service experiences, and many use community service essays to help choose scholarship recipients.
  • Green Mountain College offers one of the most famous of these scholarships. Their "Make a Difference Scholarship" offers full tuition, room, and board to students who have demonstrated a significant, positive impact through their community service

Getting Started With Your Essay

In the following sections, I'll go over each step of how to plan and write your essay. I'll also include sample excerpts for you to look through so you can get a better idea of what readers are looking for when they review your essay.

Step 1: Know the Essay Requirements

Before your start writing a single word, you should be familiar with the essay prompt. Each college or scholarship will have different requirements for their essay, so make sure you read these carefully and understand them.

Specific things to pay attention to include:

  • Length requirement
  • Application deadline
  • The main purpose or focus of the essay
  • If the essay should follow a specific structure

Below are three real community service essay prompts. Read through them and notice how much they vary in terms of length, detail, and what information the writer should include.

From the Equitable Excellence Scholarship:

"Describe your outstanding achievement in depth and provide the specific planning, training, goals, and steps taken to make the accomplishment successful. Include details about your role and highlight leadership you provided. Your essay must be a minimum of 350 words but not more than 600 words."

From the Laura W. Bush Traveling Scholarship:

"Essay (up to 500 words, double spaced) explaining your interest in being considered for the award and how your proposed project reflects or is related to both UNESCO's mandate and U.S. interests in promoting peace by sharing advances in education, science, culture, and communications."

From the LULAC National Scholarship Fund:

"Please type or print an essay of 300 words (maximum) on how your academic studies will contribute to your personal & professional goals. In addition, please discuss any community service or extracurricular activities you have been involved in that relate to your goals."

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Step 2: Brainstorm Ideas

Even after you understand what the essay should be about, it can still be difficult to begin writing. Answer the following questions to help brainstorm essay ideas. You may be able to incorporate your answers into your essay.

  • What community service activity that you've participated in has meant the most to you?
  • What is your favorite memory from performing community service?
  • Why did you decide to begin community service?
  • What made you decide to volunteer where you did?
  • How has your community service changed you?
  • How has your community service helped others?
  • How has your community service affected your plans for the future?

You don't need to answer all the questions, but if you find you have a lot of ideas for one of two of them, those may be things you want to include in your essay.

Writing Your Essay

How you structure your essay will depend on the requirements of the scholarship or school you are applying to. You may give an overview of all the work you did as a volunteer, or highlight a particularly memorable experience. You may focus on your personal growth or how your community benefited.

Regardless of the specific structure requested, follow the guidelines below to make sure your community service essay is memorable and clearly shows the impact of your work.

Samples of mediocre and excellent essays are included below to give you a better idea of how you should draft your own essay.

Step 1: Hook Your Reader In

You want the person reading your essay to be interested, so your first sentence should hook them in and entice them to read more. A good way to do this is to start in the middle of the action. Your first sentence could describe you helping build a house, releasing a rescued animal back to the wild, watching a student you tutored read a book on their own, or something else that quickly gets the reader interested. This will help set your essay apart and make it more memorable.

Compare these two opening sentences:

"I have volunteered at the Wishbone Pet Shelter for three years."

"The moment I saw the starving, mud-splattered puppy brought into the shelter with its tail between its legs, I knew I'd do whatever I could to save it."

The first sentence is a very general, bland statement. The majority of community service essays probably begin a lot like it, but it gives the reader little information and does nothing to draw them in. On the other hand, the second sentence begins immediately with action and helps persuade the reader to keep reading so they can learn what happened to the dog.

Step 2: Discuss the Work You Did

Once you've hooked your reader in with your first sentence, tell them about your community service experiences. State where you work, when you began working, how much time you've spent there, and what your main duties include. This will help the reader quickly put the rest of the essay in context and understand the basics of your community service work.

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Not including basic details about your community service could leave your reader confused.

Step 3: Include Specific Details

It's the details of your community service that make your experience unique and memorable, so go into the specifics of what you did.

For example, don't just say you volunteered at a nursing home; talk about reading Mrs. Johnson her favorite book, watching Mr. Scott win at bingo, and seeing the residents play games with their grandchildren at the family day you organized. Try to include specific activities, moments, and people in your essay. Having details like these let the readers really understand what work you did and how it differs from other volunteer experiences.

Compare these two passages:

"For my volunteer work, I tutored children at a local elementary school. I helped them improve their math skills and become more confident students."

"As a volunteer at York Elementary School, I worked one-on-one with second and third graders who struggled with their math skills, particularly addition, subtraction, and fractions. As part of my work, I would create practice problems and quizzes and try to connect math to the students' interests. One of my favorite memories was when Sara, a student I had been working with for several weeks, told me that she enjoyed the math problems I had created about a girl buying and selling horses so much that she asked to help me create math problems for other students."

The first passage only gives basic information about the work done by the volunteer; there is very little detail included, and no evidence is given to support her claims. How did she help students improve their math skills? How did she know they were becoming more confident?

The second passage is much more detailed. It recounts a specific story and explains more fully what kind of work the volunteer did, as well as a specific instance of a student becoming more confident with her math skills. Providing more detail in your essay helps support your claims as well as make your essay more memorable and unique.

Step 4: Show Your Personality

It would be very hard to get a scholarship or place at a school if none of your readers felt like they knew much about you after finishing your essay, so make sure that your essay shows your personality. The way to do this is to state your personal strengths, then provide examples to support your claims. Take some time to think about which parts of your personality you would like your essay to highlight, then write about specific examples to show this.

  • If you want to show that you're a motivated leader, describe a time when you organized an event or supervised other volunteers.
  • If you want to show your teamwork skills, write about a time you helped a group of people work together better.
  • If you want to show that you're a compassionate animal lover, write about taking care of neglected shelter animals and helping each of them find homes.

Step 5: State What You Accomplished

After you have described your community service and given specific examples of your work, you want to begin to wrap your essay up by stating your accomplishments. What was the impact of your community service? Did you build a house for a family to move into? Help students improve their reading skills? Clean up a local park? Make sure the impact of your work is clear; don't be worried about bragging here.

If you can include specific numbers, that will also strengthen your essay. Saying "I delivered meals to 24 home-bound senior citizens" is a stronger example than just saying "I delivered meals to lots of senior citizens."

Also be sure to explain why your work matters. Why is what you did important? Did it provide more parks for kids to play in? Help students get better grades? Give people medical care who would otherwise not have gotten it? This is an important part of your essay, so make sure to go into enough detail that your readers will know exactly what you accomplished and how it helped your community.

"My biggest accomplishment during my community service was helping to organize a family event at the retirement home. The children and grandchildren of many residents attended, and they all enjoyed playing games and watching movies together."

"The community service accomplishment that I'm most proud of is the work I did to help organize the First Annual Family Fun Day at the retirement home. My job was to design and organize fun activities that senior citizens and their younger relatives could enjoy. The event lasted eight hours and included ten different games, two performances, and a movie screening with popcorn. Almost 200 residents and family members attended throughout the day. This event was important because it provided an opportunity for senior citizens to connect with their family members in a way they aren't often able to. It also made the retirement home seem more fun and enjoyable to children, and we have seen an increase in the number of kids coming to visit their grandparents since the event."

The second passage is stronger for a variety of reasons. First, it goes into much more detail about the work the volunteer did. The first passage only states that she helped "organize a family event." That really doesn't tell readers much about her work or what her responsibilities were. The second passage is much clearer; her job was to "design and organize fun activities."

The second passage also explains the event in more depth. A family day can be many things; remember that your readers are likely not familiar with what you're talking about, so details help them get a clearer picture.

Lastly, the second passage makes the importance of the event clear: it helped residents connect with younger family members, and it helped retirement homes seem less intimidating to children, so now some residents see their grand kids more often.

Step 6: Discuss What You Learned

One of the final things to include in your essay should be the impact that your community service had on you. You can discuss skills you learned, such as carpentry, public speaking, animal care, or another skill.

You can also talk about how you changed personally. Are you more patient now? More understanding of others? Do you have a better idea of the type of career you want? Go into depth about this, but be honest. Don't say your community service changed your life if it didn't because trite statements won't impress readers.

In order to support your statements, provide more examples. If you say you're more patient now, how do you know this? Do you get less frustrated while playing with your younger siblings? Are you more willing to help group partners who are struggling with their part of the work? You've probably noticed by now that including specific examples and details is one of the best ways to create a strong and believable essay .

"As a result of my community service, I learned a lot about building houses and became a more mature person."

"As a result of my community service, I gained hands-on experience in construction. I learned how to read blueprints, use a hammer and nails, and begin constructing the foundation of a two-bedroom house. Working on the house could be challenging at times, but it taught me to appreciate the value of hard work and be more willing to pitch in when I see someone needs help. My dad has just started building a shed in our backyard, and I offered to help him with it because I know from my community service how much work it is. I also appreciate my own house more, and I know how lucky I am to have a roof over my head."

The second passage is more impressive and memorable because it describes the skills the writer learned in more detail and recounts a specific story that supports her claim that her community service changed her and made her more helpful.

essay about how to help your community

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Step 7: Finish Strong

Just as you started your essay in a way that would grab readers' attention, you want to finish your essay on a strong note as well. A good way to end your essay is to state again the impact your work had on you, your community, or both. Reiterate how you changed as a result of your community service, why you found the work important, or how it helped others.

Compare these two concluding statements:

"In conclusion, I learned a lot from my community service at my local museum, and I hope to keep volunteering and learning more about history."

"To conclude, volunteering at my city's American History Museum has been a great experience. By leading tours and participating in special events, I became better at public speaking and am now more comfortable starting conversations with people. In return, I was able to get more community members interested in history and our local museum. My interest in history has deepened, and I look forward to studying the subject in college and hopefully continuing my volunteer work at my university's own museum."

The second passage takes each point made in the first passage and expands upon it. In a few sentences, the second passage is able to clearly convey what work the volunteer did, how she changed, and how her volunteer work benefited her community.

The author of the second passage also ends her essay discussing her future and how she'd like to continue her community service, which is a good way to wrap things up because it shows your readers that you are committed to community service for the long-term.

What's Next?

Are you applying to a community service scholarship or thinking about it? We have a complete list of all the community service scholarships available to help get your search started!

Do you need a community service letter as well? We have a step-by-step guide that will tell you how to get a great reference letter from your community service supervisor.

Thinking about doing community service abroad? Before you sign up, read our guide on some of the hazards of international volunteer trips and how to know if it's the right choice for you.

Want to improve your SAT score by 160 points or your ACT score by 4 points? We've written a guide for each test about the top 5 strategies you must be using to have a shot at improving your score. Download it for free now:

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Christine graduated from Michigan State University with degrees in Environmental Biology and Geography and received her Master's from Duke University. In high school she scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT and was named a National Merit Finalist. She has taught English and biology in several countries.

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How to Help Your Community

Last Updated: February 9, 2024 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Kris Jensen . Kris Jensen is the Principal of Regenerative Communities Collective, a design consultancy focusing on regenerative design, and the Founder and Executive Director of Gardensmiths, a community centered initiative focused on the connection between regenerative gardens and resilient people, Previously, he was the Executive Director of the San Bruno Mountain Watch in California. He has working in the environmental activism field for over 12 years. There are 12 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 213,201 times.

A community feels more alive when people who live there love it enough to help improve it. Helping your community makes life better for your friends, family, and other people who live where you live. If you look around and see that your community has a lot of problems, there's no better time to start fixing them than right now. The more love you pour in, the better it will get. Keep reading for ideas on how to help your community be strong and vibrant.

Being a Good Citizen

Step 1 Stop to help when and where you're needed.

  • If you see a mother struggling to get her stroller down a set of stairs, offer to help her carry it.
  • If you notice someone looking lost, help them get where they're trying to go.
  • Figure out how you can help the people who ask for money in the street, instead of passing them without looking them in the eyes.
  • Be the person who helps out in an emergency, instead of the one who assumes someone else will do it.
  • Offer to shovel your neighbours' backyard or rake leaves for someone across the street. Babysit community kids, or watch their pets.

Step 2 Support your local economy.

  • Buy your food from local vendors. Try to get most of your produce from the farmer's market, where members of your community go to sell food they've worked hard to grow.
  • Shop at local businesses whenever you can. For example, if you have the choice to buy a new pair of jeans at a chain discount store or a small business owned by a member of your community, choose the latter. Change your mindset from buying the cheapest available product to leveraging your purchases to provide the most community good. Knowing that your money will go toward boosting your local economy and building a strong, vibrant community is worth the extra effort and expense. Help others to see the light and help them come aboard to help you boost the local community's financial health.
  • Consider starting your own business. You can serve your community by offering a great product and possibly even hiring employees.

Step 3 Recycle and ...

  • If you want to go above and beyond, you could also spread awareness about how to recycle, or start a recycling program at your school or place of work.
  • Composting is useful in more ways than one. It allows you to dispose of your food waste without putting it in the trash, and as a result you end up with rich soil you can use in your garden. Once you learn how to do it, show others how easy it can be.

Step 4  Save energy

  • Turning off your lights when you're not using them, using energy-saving appliances, decreasing your reliance on air conditioning, turning down the temperature on your water heater, and unplugging your computer when you power it down are all ways you can help save energy.
  • Taking shorter showers, making sure your pipes aren't leaking, limiting your lawn watering, and using a low-water method of washing dishes are all ways you can help save water.

Step 5 Be less reliant on your car.

  • Walk or bike where you need to go. It takes a little longer, but you see more along the way.
  • Use public transportation. Even if your area doesn't have a great subway or elevated rail system, you probably have bus lines nearby.
  • Carpool to work or school, instead of driving places by yourself.

Learning About Your Community

Step 1 Meet people.

  • To break the ice with your neighbors, bake some muffins or cookies and wrap them up. Then take them door to door and introduce yourself. This will make it easier to strike up a conversation with a neighbor or invite them to your home for dinner.

Step 2 Do some research to identify the needs of your community.

  • Use the internet to run some basic searches to find out what your community needs. Try pairing the name of your city with key terms like “community needs,” “volunteer opportunities,” and “problems.” Try other keyword searches to find out more.
  • Read the local newspaper every day. The local newspaper will help you to get to know the community and learn what people are doing to address problems.
  • Talk to people who have lived in the community for a long time. Ask questions, such as, “What is the biggest problem facing this community? How are people addressing that problem?”
  • Try not to get overwhelmed by the size and scope of the problems your community is facing. Pick one thing that you care about changing, one thing that ignites your passion, and go from there.
  • See if anyone else feels the same way you do. Is there an organization addressing this need? Do you know anyone who's as passionate as you are about creating change?

Step 3 Learn about organizations.

  • Websites like Idealist, Volunteer Match, and Serve.gov can also help you to find out about organizations that are looking for volunteers.

Step 4 Identify ways you would like to help.

  • What community issue are you the most passionate about?
  • What can you do to help that will best use your talents?
  • What sort of time commitment are you able and willing to make?
  • What do you need to do in order to start helping?

Getting Involved

Step 1 Choose a way to help out.

  • Find the place where your passions and skills intersect. For example, let's say your city has too few trees and you want to help. You can use social media to spread awareness about the problem by sharing what you know with as many people as possible and encouraging people to plant more trees.

Step 2 Set some reachable...

  • Set short-term goals. You can define short-term in a way that makes sense and is motivating to you. What do you want to have accomplished in one week, one month, or a year?
  • Set long-term goals. In five years, what do you want your community to look like? What about ten? What seems doable in that amount of time?

Step 3 Outline a plan for getting things done.

  • People - Include the skill-sets that will be involved, the hours of work that they'll need to put in, the minimum number of volunteers or spokespeople that will be necessary to accomplish your goals.
  • Resources - These might include such things as: buses to take people downtown for a river cleanup; garbage bags, shovels, protective gloves, and masks for the volunteers; pizza, sodas, and a salad to feed them at lunchtime. Think it through down to every last detail.
  • Money - Create a budget and detail how much it's going to cost to execute your plan.

Step 4 Get other people involved.

  • To find passionate volunteers and spread the word about what you're doing; share information via social media. Go public with your plan to make a difference, and tell people how they can get involved. Hold meetings to discuss how to put your plan into action.
  • Some people prefer to help by donating money instead of their time. Don't be afraid to ask for donations or hold a fundraiser to make money you can put toward your cause. [10] X Research source

Step 5 Commit to following through.

Sharing Your Skills and Time

Step 1 Volunteer for a group that does work you admire.

  • Helping out at park, river or beach clean-up days
  • Answering phones at phone-a-thons to raise money
  • Playing with cats and dogs at the animal shelter
  • Serving meals at the soup kitchen or homeless shelter
  • Working at a crisis hotline
  • Being a counselor at a camp for kids

Step 2 Attend community events.

  • For example, if someone you know is trying to hold a "Bike to Work or School Day" on Monday mornings, and you've got a bike, why not give it a try? Bring a friend along, too. Show people in your community that biking is fun.
  • Participate in fundraising walks and runs. Many nonprofits hold community walks and runs to raise money. Paying the entry fee directly benefits the nonprofit, and participating in the event helps spread awareness about the cause.
  • Go to concerts, festivals and other events put on by local businesses or organizations. If no one shows up to these types of events, they might stop happening altogether.

Step 3 Get civically active.

  • Voting is an important way to influence your community. Read up on the candidates and issues and vote in all local elections.
  • Contact your representative about issues that matter to you. If you don't want that patch of forest to be cut down, or you think it a new supermarket could really help the community, call your representative or write a letter stating what you want to happen and why.
  • Show up for community meetings at which decisions are being made. Take the opportunity to speak up about what matters to you. Would your community benefit from having more crosswalks on busier streets? Are there too many potholes on your block? Do you have an opinion on how the city should handle increasing levels of crime? Say so.

Step 4 Beautify your public spaces.

  • You can help to make your neighborhood more beautiful right away by picking up trash on your own. When you walk down the street, pick up trash you see and throw it away or recycle it. If there's too much for you to tackle on your own, get some friends involved to help you.
  • Scrape off or paint over graffiti to freshen up buildings and fences. If you're good at painting, you could eve create a mural on a public wall for everyone to see. You might have to get permission from the building owner or city first.
  • Do landscaping in areas that are overgrown with weeds. Mow them down or pull weeds by hand. Plant flowers or trees wherever you can. Adding more natural elements to urban spaces can help make them look and feel safe and inviting. [12] X Trustworthy Source PubMed Central Journal archive from the U.S. National Institutes of Health Go to source
  • Create a community garden , where everyone can have a plot on which to grow vegetables, herbs or flowers. Ask people to pitch in to help break ground and lend their tools for the project.
  • Always make sure to check with the owner of a piece of property before you do anything to it.

Community Q&A

Community Answer

  • Try not to get discouraged if your efforts to help go unnoticed. Helping your community is important and it matters even if no one acknowledges it. Know that you are doing good things for your community and keep going! Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

essay about how to help your community

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Make the World a Better Place

  • ↑ https://positivepsychology.com/10-traits-positive-community/
  • ↑ https://www.epa.gov/recycle/how-do-i-recycle-common-recyclables
  • ↑ https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/articles/10-energy-saving-tips-spring
  • ↑ https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-introverts-corner/201202/survey-says-how-meet-new-people
  • ↑ https://ctb.ku.edu/en/table-of-contents/overview/model-for-community-change-and-improvement/lessons-learned/main
  • ↑ https://www.apa.org/monitor/2009/02/community
  • ↑ https://positivepsychology.com/goal-setting/
  • ↑ https://positivepsychology.com/life-worth-living-setting-life-goals/
  • ↑ https://advocatesforyouth.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Youth-Activist-Toolkit.pdf
  • ↑ https://www.ato.gov.au/businesses-and-organisations/not-for-profit-organisations/gifts-and-fundraising/fundraising-events
  • ↑ https://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-living/volunteering-and-its-surprising-benefits.htm
  • ↑ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6334070/

About This Article

Kris Jensen

To help your community, support your local economy by shopping at local businesses and buying food from local vendors as often as you're able to. You can also help out your community by volunteering with your local government or organizations that are tackling problems and addressing needs in your area. Also, make an effort to attend community events, like festivals and neighborhood meetings, to show your support. For more advice from our Expert co-author, like how to learn more about your community, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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Essays About Community Service: Top 5 Examples Plus Prompts

If you are looking for your next writing topic, discover top examples of essays about community service and helpful writing prompts in our guide.

Community service refers to an individual or a group’s volunteer work dedicated to improving the community and its people. In America, Benjamin Franklin introduced community service in the 18th century by developing the idea of ​​the first volunteer firehouse in Philadelphia . Since then, stepping up has become a norm, with more people encouraged to participate.

Volunteering helps individuals gain experience, improve self-esteem, expand knowledge, and promote healthy goals. In addition, choosing community service as a topic in your essay allows you to explain its significance to entice your readers to get involved. To give you an idea of ​​how to write essays about community service, here are five examples that will help you.

5 Top Examples On Essays About Community Service

1. essay on community service and its importance by joni kim, 2. community service experience: essay on what i learned by anonymous on gradesfixer.com, 3. why is community service important by perry mullins, 4. concept of the community services in modern society essay by anonymous on ivypanda.com, 5. community service experience essay by writer molly, 1. community service vs. volunteering, 2. community service: then and now, 3. why we should volunteer, 4. community service in schools: mandatory or voluntary, 5. community service and its influences, 6. types of community service, 7. my community service experience, 8. donation or service: what’s better to give.

“The service helps the group of people in need, for example, senior citizens, children, people with disability and the likes. Sometimes community service is geared towards solving problems related to the needs of community members, especially low-income earners.”

Kim explains that community service is a voluntary action done through various means. It includes health and child care services, education, housing, and other improvements to aid and support the community members who need the most assistance. Then, Kim focuses on its importance to individuals, the community, and the country. The essay showcases how community service improves social, interpersonal, and decision-making skills. It also allows students to explore and find their interests. Ultimately, Kim believes that the real-life experience of volunteering assists in determining one’s career path, providing advantages when applying for a job.

“This experience has helped me to cherish my ability to influence and impact others in a positive way, and it helped me to look at community service as a benefit for myself, instead of just another obligation to fit into my schedule.”

In this essay, the writer reflects on their community service experience, sharing the gains they reaped from the program. They discuss how their undying love for animals and tight-knit communities made them realize the gravity of sharing. They also had the opportunity to strengthen and develop a new set of talents and skills from the encounter. However, the author also mentions that when the desire to do good morphs into a forced responsibility, it leads to failure. The writer says they often receive more benefits than the people and animals they help, as the experience makes them more patient, flexible, and responsible.

“True volunteering lies in an individual’s will and drives to help other and enforcing it eliminates that drive.”

Mullins focuses his essay on explaining why it should not be mandatory for students to do community service. For him, mandatory volunteering takes away the true meaning of volunteerism. Students only view it as additional work – an obligatory criterion they must check off their list to graduate. He claims that students will gain nothing but stress instead of new skills and knowledge when compulsory community services are in place.

“As for me, I consider community work as a good opportunity to get the main idea of some particular services, still, I would not have the same great desire to participate in social life if the services would become obligatory for graduation.”

In modern society, volunteering is becoming a necessary factor in many organizations. People with experience in community service have more opportunities to get a job. The author delves into community service’s importance but also criticizes that making it a requisite takes away its value. With various arguments from professionals like Alina Tugend , the essay further argues that no one would want to receive help from people who consider it an obligation.

“The community service project is different from other school educations the community service can teach us how to love others and how to fulfill our heart with joy.”

Molly dislikes homeless people because of their appearance and smell, but this all changes when cleaning and selling preloved items to homeless people becomes the best experience of her life. Community service taught her that the homeless are no different from her. She also learned to be thankful for her situation. She concludes that after the program, she became more respectful, responsible, and caring to other people.

Do you want to secure that A+ Grade? Check out our round-up of the best essay writing apps for students and academics.

8 Helpful Prompts on Essays About Community Service

If you’re still confused about the topic and can’t choose what to talk about, you can use the prompts below:

To write this prompt, the first part of your essay should discuss the meaning of community service and volunteering. Next, identify and examine the different characteristics of a community service worker and volunteer to clearly explain their similarities and differences. Then finish your essay with your opinion on the matter or look for more information you can expound on in your own words. 

This prompt shows how people’s definitions, processes, and perceptions of community service changed over time. Research and write down how community service started in your country or area to make it more relatable. Include examples of community services that made a big difference for the community and consider how these services impacted people’s lives.

Essays About Community Service: Why we should volunteer?

Explain to your readers what voluntary work means and why exposure to it is crucial. Next, write the advantages and disadvantages of volunteering and what they should expect if they decide to be a volunteer. Finally, share your experience to clarify your comments, suggestions, and other points.

The decision to make community service mandatory in every school is still up for debate. First, pen your opinion on this topic and whether or not you agree with compulsory community service. Then, discuss your reasons and provide examples or factual evidence to support your arguments.

Identify and scrutinize the positive and negative effects of community service. Find news articles where one type of community service impacted its volunteers, community, and people differently. Write down how the organizer dealt with different situations and if it affected the program’s outcome.

There are three kinds of community service: direct, indirect, and advocacy. First, discuss and give examples for each one. Then, explain how these services differ from programs under service-learning. For example, direct community service includes directly serving homeless people food and clothes, while in service-learning, volunteers will teach people to garden and earn income. 

Use this prompt to share your memorable experience while doing community service and what you learned from it. It doesn’t matter if it’s a short program at your school, work, or organization. The important thing is that you have experience in community service. Include your initial reaction and if it changed over time while you were doing the service.

Some choose to donate money to various organizations that perform community service. Others join the program and personally help other people. In this prompt, share your opinion on the topic and whether you consider donating as community service. To make your essay more intriguing, look for prominent personalities who consistently contribute or engage in community service versus those who only present monetary assistance. 

AI grammar checkers are powerful resources that can help you improve your writing. See our guide on how to use an AI grammar checker. For help with this topic, read our guide explaining what is persuasive writing ?

essay about how to help your community

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The Community Essay

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“Duke University seeks a talented, engaged student body that embodies the wide range of human experience; we believe that the diversity of our students makes our community stronger. If you’d like to share a perspective you bring or experiences you’ve had to help us understand you better—perhaps related to a community you belong to, your sexual orientation or gender identity, or your family or cultural background—we encourage you to do so. Real people are reading your application, and we want to do our best to understand and appreciate the real people applying to Duke.” 

As with every essay you ship off to admissions – think about something you want admissions to know that hasn’t been represented. What can you expand upon to show your versatility, passion and ability to connect with the world around you?

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The Community Essay for the Common App Supplements

Mark montgomery.

  • July 24, 2023

community essay for the Common App

How do you write the community essay for the Common App? Many college applications require supplemental essays. A common supplementary question asks you to consider and write about a community to which you belong. 

The definition of community is open to interpretation and can be difficult to pin down. We each belong to a wide variety of communities ranging from our family and friend groups to being members of the global community.  

My Communities 

For example, I belong to a bunch of different communities. I sing in a choir, so I’m part of the community of the Colorado Chorale community (and within that community, I’m a member of the tenor section). I go to see plays a lot, so I’m a member of the “theater-going” community. Birdwatching can be fun, I find, so I belong to the “community of birdwatchers.” I belong to a club or two, so I’m a member or those communities. I belong to a political party, which is a community in a sense. I went to Dartmouth , so I belong to a community of alumni, both locally and globally. Same with my grad school: my friends and I still talk about belonging to the “ Fletcher Community .” 

essay about how to help your community

When I lived in Hong Kong, I was a member of the American community, which was part of the large expatriate community. I speak French and live in Denver. Therefore, I’m part of the community of Denverites who speak French as a second language. I live in a specific neighborhood in the city of Denver in the State of Colorado in the United States. All of those communities define me in one way or another. Finally, at a more intimate level, I also belong to a family community that is very important to me.

Really, when you stop to think about it, we all belong to a large number of overlapping communities. Think of a Venn diagram with lots of overlapping circles—and we are at that tiny dot in the center where each of those circles overlaps. 

Why write the community essay for the Common App?

Why do colleges ask you to write this community essay? In writing about community as it relates to you, you reveal important details at the core of who you are. Colleges are hoping to bring students to their campuses who will contribute in a positive way to campus culture, whether intellectually, socially, or through their extracurricular activities. 

They want students who will be successful in their new community and enrich the college through their varied backgrounds, experiences, accomplishments, activities and behavior. Thus, the way you answer this prompt will help them imagine if you would be a good addition to their campus community.

Here are some examples of the community essay prompt:

  • Please complete the following, and have a little fun doing so: “I appreciate my community because …” (up to 300  characters)
  • At MIT , we bring people together to better the lives of others. MIT students work to improve their communities in different ways, from tackling the world’s biggest challenges to being good friends. Describe one way in which you have contributed to your community, whether in your family, the classroom, your neighborhood, etc. (200-250 words)
  • What have you done to make your school or your community a better place?  (up to 350 words)
  • Everyone belongs to many different communities and/or groups defined by (among other things) shared geography, religion, ethnicity, income, cuisine, interest, race, ideology, or intellectual heritage. Choose one of the communities to which you belong, and describe that community and your place within it.  (up to 300 words)
  • Macalester is a community that includes people from many different backgrounds, some who have lived around the world and others who have lived in one place their entire lives. Please write an essay about how your background, experiences, or outlook might add to the Mac community, academically and personally. (up to 500 words)*

* Note: this last prompt doesn’t ask about a community to which you currently belong, but rather asks you to reflect on what you will bring to the community. This essay is a mix of activities and community essays. However, this essay should emphasize what the applicant would add to the campus community.

The community essay vs. the community service essay

Notice that this essay is not narrowly focused on any service you might provide to your community. Of course, it is entirely possible that your involvement in a community may include some sort of involvement that helps to promote the community and the interests of its members in some way.  

However, the community essay prompts do not specifically ask you to talk about this service. The prompts want you to think about what it means to “belong,” and how you conceive of yourself in the larger world. A sense of community may, indeed, lead you to act in certain ways to advance a cause, donate your time, or exert your energies to meet the needs of your community. Your actions certainly may become part of this community essay as a way to demonstrate the ways in which you identify with—and contribute to—this community. But the focus of this essay is on that sense of belonging. 

Service to your community—or to someone else’s?

To put a finer point to it, it is possible to provide “community service” to communities to which we do not belong. We might donate time to the homeless community—but that does not make us homeless. We might spend time working with refugees, even if we, ourselves, are not refugees. Or while we might enjoy good health, we still might donate time to make meals for the critically ill.

So make sure that when you write the community essay you zero in on a community that defines you, and not on the service you devote to a community that is not your own.  

When preparing for the community essay for the Common App, DO THESE THINGS:

Think carefully about your choice of community.

The community you choose says a lot about you. Think carefully about what message even just the choice of community might convey to your reader. In fact, you may even want to start by asking yourself “What aspects of who I am do I want the reader to know?” and then pick the community that will do that in the best possible way. Think, too, how your choice can help you differentiate yourself and share important insight into who you are. 

Factors for you to consider as you brainstorm the community essay for the Common App:

  • Which communities are most important to you and why?
  • What do these communities say about you that you haven’t shared with your reader elsewhere in your application?
  • What roles have you played in these communities?
  • How would you measure the impact of your participation in these communities?
  • What does your participation in these communities say about your character, qualities, and how you interact with the world around you?
  • What does the overall message say about you as a future college student?

Use this as an opportunity to reveal more about yourself

This prompt isn’t just to elaborate on your community; this is another opportunity to reveal important qualities about yourself. Explain why this community is so important to you. Write about what you learned about yourself and how it has shaped who you are. Reveal how you have made contributions to this community.  

Show, don’t tell

Like every essay, the details show your reader what you want them to know about you. Be specific, but selective, with the details you include. Every word should contribute to the message you want to share with your reader. If you have space, share an anecdote to help the reader visualize the qualities that you are trying to share.

Ensure you answer the prompt fully and directly

Some of these prompts are simple and short, but other schools have long prompts. Don’t get lost in answering the first part of the prompt and forget about the remainder. Re-read the prompt after you have drafted your ideas to make sure you’ve addressed everything. 

In addition, sometimes, if you have multiple applications that ask a “community” question, you may be tempted to simply repurpose the same exact essay from one application to the other. Beware! Each prompt will have different nuances to it, and you will need to ensure that you are actually answering the prompt that is being asked. You can certainly re-use the content from one application to the next, but you should tailor how you express those ideas so that they match the prompt.

When drafting the community essay for the Common App, DON’T DO these things

Don’t be afraid to “think outside of the box”.

Think outside the box when you write the community essay

Some communities to which we belong are obvious because we participate in them on a daily basis. These would include our families and our friend groups. Others are obvious because they are clearly defined: the football team or student government. But what about those informal communities, occasional communities, or hard-to-define communities to which you might belong? Are you a crafty person who blogs about your creations with an online community?

Do you belong to a book group in your neighborhood? Are you a classic car connoisseur? Even writing about things that might not seem like natural “communities” can work quite well as long as they reveal important aspects of who you are. For example, we’ve read a successful “community” essay about a student who belonged to a community of anonymous subway riders. We read another about a community of students who wear crazy socks to school. 

Don’t share obvious details

The detail about the community is not the most important part of your response, even if the prompt does say to “describe a community to which you belong.” Consider only sharing those details about the community that ties into what you are trying to share about yourself. For example, most drama groups put on performances for the public.

But not all drama groups are community-based and have participants ranging in age from 9 to 99. If part of your story is about this multi-generational community, then this detail plays a part in your story. Include those details that play a role in why the community is important or impactful for you.

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Remember these things about the community essay for the Common App

No matter which community you choose to write about, you want to be sure that you reflect deeply about why this community is important to you. If you have a longer word count, you can consider using an anecdote to share with the reader, but for the shorter prompts, keep your writing personal, but just more to the point.

And don’t lose sight of the reason that you are writing this essay. You are applying to be a part of a new community. You want to show that you have a deep appreciation for the sense of satisfaction, dedication, and attachment that comes with being a member of a community. The purpose is to demonstrate that you know how to nurture the community and how you nourish others’ sense of belonging in that circle.  

Colleges want to know that you will keep the flame of that college community alive, even as you graduate and move on with your life. The admissions office wants to know that you will cherish and contribute to the community that they already call their own. Convince them that you deserve to belong.

Mark Montgomery

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10 Ways to Help Others In Your Community

If you’re eager to make an impact in your local community, here are some simple and thoughtful ways to help others in need.

Ways to Help Your Community

  • Help your local food pantry.  Today, there are an estimated 12 million children struggling with hunger in America . Contact your local food pantry or give to our partner No Kid Hungry. Your support will help them provide food items for families in need. 
  • Give blood if you’re able.  Red Cross and other organizations are in dire need of blood supply and have safe, healthy ways for you to donate. 
  • Volunteer your time. Volunteering is a great way to support your community. Volunteering opportunities can range anywhere from cleaning up the neighborhood to planting a community garden. Save the Children offers volunteer opportunities –  learn more about volunteering with us !
  • Never leave children unsupervised in parked cars.  As temperatures rise, children, elderly adults and pregnant woman are most at risk during a heat wave . A child left inside a car is at risk for severe heat-related illness or death, even if the windows are cracked open.
  • Check on neighbors and family members , especially those who live alone, are elderly, have health or mobility issues or are caring for children. Schedule time to remotely connect with these individuals regularly to let them know they are not alone. 
  • Support local businesses ,  schools and child care centers : When possible, purchase gift cards to local shops businesses online that you can use once storefronts reopen, and uplift those who are trying to keep afloat. Due to COVID-19, many child care centers across the country have been forced to shut down. Through Save the Children’s political advocacy arm – Save the Children Action Network – we are building bipartisan to support financial relief for the child care industry during the pandemic. Learn how you can join us to take action. 
  • Provide support to frontline health workers and first responders:  Many health workers are not able to stay at home and are working around the clock, so take on tasks that they don’t have time to do as an expression of gratitude.
  • Assist in local or online fundraising efforts.  Look into options that provide much-needed supplies to families, such as Amazon Wish Lists, as well as the work of your local community and volunteer organizations. You can also fundraise for children or donate your birthday to support children in need around the world. 
  • Stay informed and stay calm : Only share information from credible sources like your state department of health or  the  CDC. Remember, when you stay calm, others will follow.
  • Take care of yourself and others:  Practice patience, kindness and  mindfulness . Encourage others to do the same!

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Last updated April 21, 2023

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Blog > Essay Advice , Supplementals > How to Write a Community Supplemental Essay (with Examples)

How to Write a Community Supplemental Essay (with Examples)

Admissions officer reviewed by Ben Bousquet, M.Ed Former Vanderbilt University

Written by Kylie Kistner, MA Former Willamette University Admissions

Key Takeaway

If you're applying to college, there's a good chance you'll be writing a Community Essay for one (or lots) of your supplementals. In this post, we show you how to write one that stands out.

This post is one in a series of posts about the supplemental essays . You can read our core “how-to” supplemental post here .

When schools admit you, they aren’t just admitting you to be a student. They’re also admitting you to be a community member.

Community supplemental essays help universities understand how you would fit into their school community. At their core, Community prompts allow you to explicitly show an admissions officer why you would be the perfect addition to the school’s community.

Let’s get into what a Community supplemental essay is, what strategies you can use to stand out, and which steps you can take to write the best one possible.

What is a Community supplemental essay?

Community supplemental essay prompts come in a number of forms. Some ask you to talk about a community you already belong to, while others ask you to expand on how you would contribute to the school you’re applying to.

Let’s look at a couple of examples.

1: Rice University

Rice is lauded for creating a collaborative atmosphere that enhances the quality of life for all members of our campus community. The Residential College System and undergraduate life is heavily influenced by the unique life experiences and cultural tradition each student brings. What life perspectives would you contribute to the Rice community? 500 word limit.

2: Swarthmore College

Swarthmore students’ worldviews are often forged by their prior experiences and exposure to ideas and values. Our students are often mentored, supported, and developed by their immediate context—in their neighborhoods, communities of faith, families, and classrooms. Reflect on what elements of your home, school, or community have shaped you or positively impacted you. How have you grown or changed because of the influence of your community?

Community Essay Strategy

Your Community essay strategy will likely depend on the kind of Community essay you’re asked to write. As with all supplemental essays, the goal of any community essay should be to write about the strengths that make you a good fit for the school in question.

How to write about a community to which you belong

Most Community essay prompts give you a lot of flexibility in how you define “community.” That means that the community you write about probably isn’t limited to the more formal communities you’re part of like family or school. Your communities can also include friend groups, athletic teams, clubs and organizations, online communities, and more.

There are two things you should consider before you even begin writing your essay.

What school values is the prompt looking for?

Whether they’re listed implicitly or explicitly, Community essay prompts often include values that you can align your essay response with.

To explain, let’s look at this short supplemental prompt from the University of Notre Dame:

If you were given unlimited resources to help solve one problem in your community, what would it be and how would you accomplish it?

Now, this prompt doesn’t outright say anything about values. But the question itself, even being so short, implies a few values:

a) That you should be active in your community

b) That you should be aware of your community’s problems

c) That you know how to problem-solve

d) That you’re able to collaborate with your community

After dissecting the prompt for these values, you can write a Community essay that showcases how you align with them.

What else are admissions officers learning about you through the community you choose?

In addition to showing what a good community member you are, your Community supplemental essays can also let you talk about other parts of your experience. Doing so can help you find the perfect narrative balance among all your essays.

Let’s use a quick example.

If I’m a student applying to computer science programs, then I might choose to write about the community I’ve found in my robotics team. More specifically, I might write about my role as cheerleader and principle problem-solver of my robotics team. Writing about my robotics team allows me to do two things:

Show that I’m a really supportive person in my community, and

Show that I’m on a robotics team that means a lot to me.

Now, it’s important not to co-opt your Community essay and turn it into a secret Extracurricular essay , but it’s important to be thinking about all the information an admissions officer will learn about you based on the community you choose to focus on.

How to write about what you’ll contribute to your new community

The other segment of Community essays are those that ask you to reflect on how your specific experiences will contribute to your new community.

It’s important that you read each prompt carefully so you know what to focus your essay on.

These kinds of Community prompts let you explicitly drive home why you belong at the school you’re applying to.

Here are two suggestions to get you started.

Draw out the values.

This kind of Community prompt also typically contains some kind of reference to values. The Rice prompt is a perfect example of this:

Rice is lauded for creating a collaborative atmosphere that enhances the quality of life for all members of our campus community . The Residential College System and undergraduate life is heavily influenced by the unique life experiences and cultural tradition each student brings. What life perspectives would you contribute to the Rice community? 500 word limit.

There are several values here:

a) Collaboration

b) Enhancing quality of life

c) For all members of the community

d) Residential system (AKA not just in the classroom)

e) Sharing unique life experiences and cultural traditions with other students

Note that the actual question of the prompt is “What life perspectives would you contribute to the Rice community?” If you skimmed the beginning of the prompt to get to the question, you’d miss all these juicy details about what a Rice student looks like.

But with them in mind, you can choose to write about a life perspective that you hold that aligns with these five values.

Find detailed connections to the school.

Since these kinds of Community prompts ask you what you would contribute to the school community, this is your chance to find the most logical and specific connections you can. Browse the school website and social media to find groups, clubs, activities, communities, or support systems that are related to your personal background and experiences. When appropriate based on the prompt, these kinds of connections can help you show how good a fit you are for the school and community.

How to do Community Essay school research

Looking at school values means doing research on the school’s motto, mission statement, and strategic plans. This information is all carefully curated by a university to reflect the core values, initiatives, and goals of an institution. They can guide your Community essay by giving you more values options to include.

We’ll use the Rice mission statement as an example. It says,

As a leading research university with a distinctive commitment to undergraduate education, Rice University aspires to pathbreaking research , unsurpassed teaching , and contribution to the betterment of our world . It seeks to fulfill this mission by cultivating a diverse community of learning and discovery that produces leaders across the spectrum of human endeavor.

I’ve bolded just a few of the most important values we can draw out.

As we’ll see in the next section, I can use these values to brainstorm my Community essay.

How to write a Community Supplemental Essay

Step 1: Read the prompt closely & identify any relevant values.

When writing any supplemental essay, your first step should always be to closely read the prompt. You can even annotate it. It’s important to do this so you know exactly what is being asked of you.

With Community essays specifically, you can also highlight any values you think the prompt is asking you to elaborate on.

Keeping track of the prompt will make sure that you’re not missing anything an admissions officer will be on the lookout for.

Step 2: Brainstorm communities you’re involved in.

If you’re writing a Community essay that asks you to discuss a community you belong to, then your next step will be brainstorming all of your options.

As you brainstorm, keep a running list. Your list can include all kinds of communities you’re involved in.

Communities:

  • Model United Nations
  • Youth group
  • Instagram book club
  • My Discord group

Step 3: Think about the role(s) you play in your selected community.

Narrow down your community list to a couple of options. For each remaining option, identify the roles you played, actions you took, and significance you’ve drawn from being part of that group.

Community: Orchestra

These three columns help you get at the most important details you need to include in your community essay.

Step 4: Identify any relevant connections to the school.

Depending on the question the prompt asks of you, your last step may be to do some school research.

Let’s return to the Rice example.

After researching the Rice mission statement, we know that Rice values community members who want to contribute to the “betterment of our world.”

Ah ha! Now we have something solid to work from.

With this value in mind, I can choose to write about a perspective that shows my investment in creating a better world. Maybe that perspective is a specific kind of fundraising tenacity. Maybe it’s always looking for those small improvements that have a big impact. Maybe it’s some combination of both. Whatever it is, I can write a supplemental essay that reflects the values of the university.

Community Essay Mistakes

While writing Community essays may seem fairly straightforward, there are actually a number of ways they can go awry. Specifically, there are three common mistakes students make that you should be on the lookout for.

They don’t address the specific requests of the prompt.

As with all supplemental essays, your Community essay needs to address what the prompt is asking you to do. In Community essays especially, you’ll need to assess whether you’re being asked to talk about a community you’re already part of or the community you hope to join.

Neglecting to read the prompt also means neglecting any help the prompt gives you in terms of values. Remember that you can get clues as to what the school is looking for by analyzing the prompt’s underlying values.

They’re too vague.

Community essays can also go awry when they’re too vague. Your Community essay should reflect on specific, concrete details about your experience. This is especially the case when a Community prompt asks you to talk about a specific moment, challenge, or sequence of events.

Don’t shy away from details. Instead, use them to tell a compelling story.

They don’t make any connections to the school.

Finally, Community essays that don’t make any connections to the school in question miss out on a valuable opportunity to show school fit. Recall from our supplemental essay guide that you should always write supplemental essays with an eye toward showing how well you fit into a particular community.

Community essays are the perfect chance to do that, so try to find relevant and logical school connections to include.

Community Supplemental Essay Example

Example essay: robotics community.

University of Michigan: Everyone belongs to many different communities and/or groups defined by (among other things) shared geography, religion, ethnicity, income, cuisine, interest, race, ideology, or intellectual heritage. Choose one of the communities to which you belong, and describe that community and your place within it. (Required for all applicants; minimum 100 words/maximum 300 words)

From Blendtec’s “Will it Blend?” videos to ZirconTV’s “How to Use a Stud Finder,” I’m a YouTube how-to fiend. This propensity for fix-it knowledge has not only served me well, but it’s also been a lifesaver for my favorite community: my robotics team(( The writer explicitly states the community they’ll be focusing on.)) . While some students spend their after-school hours playing sports or video games, I spend mine tinkering in my garage with three friends, one of whom is made of metal.

Last year, I Googled more fixes than I can count. Faulty wires, misaligned soldering, and failed code were no match for me. My friends watched in awe as I used Boolean Operators to find exactly the information I sought.(( The writer clearly articulates their place in the community.)) But as I agonized over chassis reviews, other unsearchable problems arose.

First((This entire paragraph fulfills the “describe that community” direction in the prompt.)) , there was the matter of registering for our first robotics competition. None of us familiar with bureaucracy, David stepped up and made some calls. His maturity and social skills helped us immediately land a spot. The next issue was branding. Our robot needed a name and a logo, and Connor took it upon himself to learn graphic design. We all voted on Archie’s name and logo design to find the perfect match. And finally, someone needed to enter the ring. Archie took it from there, winning us first place.

The best part about being in this robotics community is the collaboration and exchange of knowledge.((The writer emphasizes a clear strength: collaboration within their community. It’s clear that the writer values all contributions to the team.))  Although I can figure out how to fix anything, it’s impossible to google social skills, creativity, or courage. For that information, only friends will do. I can only imagine the fixes I’ll bring to the University of Michigan and the skills I’ll learn in return at part of the Manufacturing Robotics community((The writer ends with a forward-looking connection to the school in question.)) .

Want to see even more supplemental essay examples? Check out our college essay examples post . 

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Home — Essay Samples — Sociology — Community — Me as Part of My Community: Our Problems and Preferred Solutions

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Me as Part of My Community: Our Problems and Preferred Solutions

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Published: Aug 14, 2023

Words: 1139 | Pages: 3 | 6 min read

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The nature and problems in my community, causes and effects linked to current problems, few possible solutions to address or solve community problems.

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1. How will this scholarship help you?

You should answer this scholarship essay prompt by explaining how the award money will help you in at least one of the following ways: financially , professionally, and/or academically. 

Financially, you can share family hardships or goals on how you plan to use the money to help pay for portions of college – for textbooks, tuition, a laptop, or other school supplies. 

Professionally, the scholarship might help you pursue a degree in a field you’re interested in. If you’re a first-generation student, you can highlight that this would help you pursue both academic and career dreams as the first in your family.

For example, John Flowers Jr., a Going Merry scholarship winner , described in his scholarship essay that the award would help him be able to pay for his books. 

“Winning this scholarship will make a difference to me because it will allow me to cover college financial issues that may hold me back from reaching my career. Being less stressed about worrying about college fees will allow me to focus more of my attention in class to earn the credits, and not worry about how I’m going to pay for the class.”

Here’s an excerpt of the winning scholarship essay from John Flowers Jr. :

My parents were never given a shot at having an education beyond high school. They were never given a shot to show their full potential and make a difference in the world  […] Being young and seeing my parents struggle is hard for me. It’s challenging seeing the people you love go through a hard time and you can’t do anything about it. […] But then I realized I can do something about it. I can get good grades in school. I can take college level courses throughout high school. I can attend a 4-year university and earn my bachelor’s degree in Business Entrepreneurship. That was my thought process as a Freshman.  Now being a Senior I turned those “I cans” into “I did.” I DID get good grades all through school. I DID take college level courses. I will be walking straight out of high school with 17 college credit hours.  […] I DID get into a 4-year university; and 4 years from now I want to be able to say I DID earn my bachelor’s degree in Business Entrepreneurship. Nothing would make me happier than to be able to take care of my parents the way they have been taking care of my all my life; and nothing would make me better as a person than to be able to say I did this. […] Winning this scholarship will make a difference to me because it will allow me to cover college financial issues that may hold me back from reaching my career. Being less stressed about worrying about college fees will allow me to focus more of my attention in class to earn the credits, and not worry about how I’m going to pay for the class. Even book fees will add up over time due to how many different classes there are. Being able to use this scholarship to pay for books that are required for a certain class will be a big help, especially for a student who has lots of classes that have to be taken.

This is a common essay prompt for community service scholarships . In this essay, describe your experience in community service, explain how you’ve given back, or share volunteer opportunities you’ve participated in. For example, if you’ve organized a community donation box and taken the donations to a nonprofit organization, share how you got involved in that and how it helped the community. 

Two more things to mention–even when they’re not explicitly asked: 

  • How have you learned or grown due to your community service? Scholarship committees want to know how this work has contributed to your character. 
  • How do you plan to continue to support your community in the future? Bonus points if your college plans (which they’d be partially funding!) help you further contribute. Sometimes this is easy because your intended career path is service-oriented (for example, if you want to be a nurse, doctor, teacher, or social worker), but other times you may wish to give back on the side (for instance, by doing pro-bono work if you want to be a lawyer). 

You have a lot of creative freedom with this scholarship prompt! But don’t get too crazy. Generally, this kind of “open-ended” prompt is a bit of a trick. In the end, the scholarship committee still wants to know: 

  • What motivates you to do (study or pursue a career in) what you plan to do? Remember, they’re funding your future, so they want to know about your plans and why you’re passionate about them. 
  • What kind of (good) characteristics do you have? They’re ultimately choosing people to invest in, so they want you to be a good person. Characteristics you might want to show are empathy, service, leadership, perseverance, or determination. 
  • What kind of successes have you had in the past? This is your chance to brag about what you’ve accomplished so far. 

This essay topic is quite similar to writing a college personal statement , except that with this one, you want to more explicitly tie things back to your future plans.

essay about how to help your community

Scholarship providers understand that no student is perfect, and they want to know how you learned from a failure – this can be an academic, professional, or personal failure. Break down how you failed, why you failed, and how it made you better. You can also reveal something you learned from that failure, such as what you would do differently in the future, so you don’t run into that situation again, or how that moment changed your life and how you picked yourself up. This is a moment to show how you can learn and persevere. 

If the essay is very short (say, 100-300 words), be clear and concise. Explain what you want to study, and then what kind of career you want to lead afterwards. Be sure to save room for 1-2 sentences explaining why you’re motivated to pursue that path. 

If you have a longer essay (for example, 500-1000 words), take the time to describe what inspired you to pursue certain academic and/or career goals. For example: One of your parents has always owned his or her own business and now you’re inspired to be an entrepreneur, to pursue a degree in business. Describe that moment of realization when you decided that would be your career goal. Maybe a conversation with that parent sparked inspiration to pursue that, or maybe it was simply watching them work as you grew up. Looking to the future, how do you plan to pursue that career goal? How will the scholarship award help you pursue it? Tell a story; paint a picture. Get creative with it!

Check out these blog posts for additional information on writing an essay about your academic goals and/or career goals .

This essay prompt is generally for scholarships supporting student-athletes.

So if you played sports throughout high school, share how it’s affected your life, You can reflect on experiences with teammates (if it’s a team sport), what you learned (or gained) from practices or meets/competitions, any injuries you had to overcome, how you balanced athletics and academics, how it affected your schedule (early-morning wake-ups, anyone?), and time with your coach(es) or sports mentors. 

You’ll also want to look forwards and not just backwards. How will you take your sports experiences with you, into college and beyond? Maybe there’s a direct connection: being on a team inspired you to one day pursue a career in sports and eventually coach. Or the effects can be more indirect: You’ve learned time management skills that will help you in college, or you’ve learned teamwork skills that will help you when you begin working.

7. Why do you deserve this scholarship?

Scholarship providers are basically asking, “Why should it be you?” with this scholarship essay prompt. Paint a picture of why you’re the most deserving student for this scholarship award. 

You’ll want to establish at least these two things:

  • You’ve proven yourself as high-achieving (in the past). Discuss accomplishments you’re proud of or any accolades (honors, awards, or simply verbal compliments) you’ve received. 
  • You’re driven to succeed (in the future). Show that you’ve got clear future plans and the gusto to make them happen. 

In addition to that, a strong essay will show at least one of these additional traits: 

  • You’re passionate. If you’ve got a good story to explain your motivation for your studies or future career plans, now’s the time to tell that tale. Here’s the moment to wow the scholarship committee with why you care more than anyone else, and why. 
  • You’re unique. Scholarship committees love finding someone who’s just different and stands out from the rest. If you’ve had an unusual upbringing or an uncommon interest, lean into that. (For instance, scholarship winner Daniel Gill wrote about his passion for using puppetry to help autistic children — now that’s cool and unique!)
  • You’ve got a particular financial need . For need-based scholarships, this essay question may in part be asking you why your financial need is greater than other applicants’.

Want more tips? We have a whole separate post dedicated to answering this scholarship essay prompt.

And here’s a winning essay on this scholarship topic from Jesús Adrian Arroyo-Ramirez :

I always knew I was different than my friends in some way. Growing up, I struggled to speak English while everyone else had little to no problems. I needed extra help in school while my friends coasted by with ease. My friends would hop on planes and travel all around the world while I had to stay at home. At the age of 13 all of my friends started driving while I still couldn’t. I built up the courage and asked my mother why I did not have access to the simple liberties everyone else did. My name Is Jesús Adrian Arroyo-Ramirez, and I was illegally brought to this country when I was just six years old. At the time I had no clue that I was breaking any laws, and I did not realize the fact that my life was going to change forever. Growing up with a different citizenship situation than my peers was and still is the biggest challenge I have to face in my life. Looking back there is not a single thing that I would change. Knowing that I had to work harder than everyone else led me to be the person that I am today. I took that fire inside of me, pushed myself, graduated first in my class with a cumulative 4.0 GPA, became a Kansas Scholar, and graduated High School with a semester’s worth of college credit. In November of 2016, everything began to look up for me. I received a work permit and a social security card all thanks to the DACA program. I was finally able to get my license, get a job, and most importantly attend college. I plan to continue my success in the classroom and do everything to the best of my ability as I know that under my current circumstances it can all be ripped away from me at any moment. Growing up with my situation has taught me to not take advantage of a single opportunity. There has been continued support around me past and current and I know there are people out there rooting for my success. I will strive to be the first generation in my family to graduate from an American University and I will set a stepping stone for my future family so they will not have to struggle as I did. My citizenship is not a setback, it is a mere obstacle that I will always learn to work around if it means giving my future children a better life, just like my mother did for me.

Researching scholarship essay prompts

8. Tell us about a time when you had a belief or idea challenged.

Have you studied abroad? Visited a foreign country on a family trip? Had a thought-provoking discussion with a teacher, religious leader, or friend? Think about an experience or a moment that challenged – or even changed – one of your beliefs or ideas. Explain what your original understanding of the idea was, when that idea was challenged, and how you felt about it afterward. Scholarship providers are interested in seeing reflection and growth, so expanding on every detail, including where you were, who you were with, and what you were feeling, can help tell your story in your essay.

There were only a few minutes to go and our eyes were glued to screen. On the edge of our seats, clutching whoever happened to be next to us, we watched as the referee blew his whistle and the German players took their free kick. The ball was hit with precision and skill; it flew up over the Swedish players, past their goalie, and was caught safely in the back of the opposing team’s net. We all jumped up and screamed, a mixture of German and English, of excitement and relief, of pride and anticipation. We stood, enraptured, for the last several minutes of the game as Germany kept its 2-1 lead over Sweden. The horde of us, Germans and Americans alike, hugged and cheered and made our way out onto the balcony, where we chanted “Deutschland! Deutschland! Deutschland!” for the whole village, the whole country, the whole world to hear. Never have I felt so accepted while being an outsider, so proud of a country that isn’t even mine, so part of something I didn’t really belong to. My German friends didn’t care that we were from different countries; they didn’t care that we would only be staying for three weeks. They accepted us into their homes and their daily lives, their traditions and their celebrations. In watching that World Cup game, it didn’t matter that we were from different places; we were all cheering for the same team. The acceptance I felt in Germany extended beyond that living room. I came to the country on a three week exchange with ten other students from my school. We each stayed with host families and attended the Wildermuth Gymnasium, which was surprisingly accommodating to a gaggle of loud American teenagers. The teachers were friendly and welcoming, the students treated us like ordinary peers, and even the people I interacted with in public were understanding. Before coming to Germany I feared judgment based on my level of the language (which is nowhere near as good as the German students’ English) and American politics. It was intimidating to be in a country with limited knowledge of the language and the customs, even though everyone was welcoming. People did ask myself and the other students about the US’s political climate, but no one blamed us for it. They recognized that we were outsiders, that the place we came from had flaws, and they accepted us anyway. Since that trip, I’ve found myself trying to provide that acceptance to people in my own country. For example, I work at a canoe livery and we receive a lot of visitors with limited English. Some of my coworkers will avoid such customers because they don’t want to take the time to explain things, to exercise patience with someone who may not understand them. If people had done this to me in Germany, my time there would have been much less enjoyable; in fact, I would have been offended. So now when someone walks up to me at the livery and asks a question in English that isn’t perfect, I smile and welcome them. I take my time to make sure they understand, that they can have a good time, and that they feel accepted. It’s a small action, but I know firsthand that it can make a big impact, at my place of work and in the world.

9. How are you unique? (Discuss your background, identity, interest, or talent) 

Everyone has a trait, a quirk, an activity that makes them unique, whether it’s sports, their upbringing, their hobbies, or interests. Go into as much detail as you feel comfortable to answer this scholarship essay prompt.

Share a story about your family culture, how you were raised, moments that shaped you into being who you are today. If sports is your thing, for example, share how playing sports at a young age taught you about teamwork, working with a coach, discipline and structure. If you couldn’t play sports due to an injury or a disability, explain how you felt when you learned that you had to find other ways to thrive and how it affected your actions.

Sometimes we think that a topic has been written about so many times that it doesn’t matter, but what makes you unique – your story, your history – is your story to tell.

As an Expressive Arts specialist, I use puppet play and the arts (with three to five-year-olds) to teach sharing, identifying and working with feelings, making friends, mindfulness, and asking for what you need in peaceful ways. Additionally, I perform developmentally appropriate puppet shows in classrooms about fairness, valuing difference (including differences in gender expression and skin tone), and peaceful conflict resolution. By teaching diversity, equity, and inclusion through puppetry, I feel that I am making a difference. In this work, I have noticed an unexplained phenomenon. Educational puppetry is particularly effective in helping children with ASD develop social and communication skills. One girl with ASD in my school refused to follow the daily routine until a parrot puppet helped guide her through the transitions. Through puppet play, a boy with impulse control challenges learned to manage his feelings and stop hitting other children. One boy with Autism showed remarkable progress with puppet play. Now in Kindergarten, his ability to communicate and make friends makes his academic success possible. Teachers value this work; it reinforces the social and emotional teaching they practice daily. One teacher told me, “What you do with puppets and our kids is amazing. You need to share this work beyond our preschool.” Application Questions and Answers My goal is to support young children with Autism in public school settings develop the social-emotional skills they need for academic and personal success. I aim to accomplish this by creating and implementing evidence-based strategies that use puppets as intervention tools. A Masters and Credential in ECSE, and the Autism Spectrum Graduate Certificate program I will complete, are essential to broadening my impact. The program will provide me with the theoretical foundation, the student teaching experiences, the credentials, and the academic community required to work with children and families in public school settings. For example, as part of the ECSE Program Masters and Credential Roadmap, I am taking the Seminar in Educational Research course. I am learning how to conduct scholarly research, a fundamental skill in creating innovative approaches that work. I am eager to apply the knowledge and skills I learn at SFSU toward helping more children open doors to connection. Additionally, I am learning leadership skills by volunteering for SFSU’s Early Childhood Special Education Conference. Most conference attendees are undergraduate students, interested in working with young children at-risk and with disabilities. As Co-Chair of the Presenter Committee, I am recruiting dynamic and engaging speakers who will lead workshops. I am eager to apply all of the knowledge and skills I learn at SFSU toward helping more children open doors to connection. I am at a critical juncture in my path. Helping children who experience social disconnection integrate into their classrooms, is my passion. This scholarship will help me work toward a world where every child has access to education and all children know they belong.

Reflect on what inspires you to want to pursue a certain field of study. If you’re interested in studying psychology and pursuing a career as a psychologist, for example, explain how you enjoy understanding how and why people make certain decisions, how you became fascinated by the science behind it.

Another example: Let’s say you’re interested in pursuing a career in communications. This might seem like a broader category, but you can highlight your love for writing, your ability to pick up on details in and out of school, and presenting this in a way that makes sense to the people around you. Just be careful not to get stuck in broad generalities. For this essay prompt in particular, many applicants will often have the same basic answer as you. So you’ll want to use specific anecdotes to make your essay stand out. 

essay about how to help your community

Check out these blog posts to continue researching how to answer scholarship essay prompts:

  • How to write an essay about yourself
  • Writing about your career goals 
  • How to write the best personal statement
  • Write a winning scholarship essay about your academic goals
  • Scholarship essay format and structure

Now that you have a better understanding of how to answer these scholarship essay prompts, it’s time to put your knowledge in motion with your scholarship applications. Sign up for a free Going Merry profile where you can upload your scholarship essays. You’ll enter your information once – such as your expected graduation year, what you plan to study in college, and your location – and then we’ll match you with thousands of scholarships. You can even sort scholarships by competitiveness, location, amount, and deadline!

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Essay ‘How have you Impacted your Community?’

Many people see it as a responsibility to help out the community. Others see it as a waste of time. I would love to make my community better. The first thing I think would be a good outcome to do in my community is have everyone in the community give me feedback on what they think needs improvement. There are going to be multiple things that my community would want improvement in, but the most votes on something would be the things I try my best to improve. This would make everyone feel good because I’m asking for everyone’s opinion, everyone get to have a voice in the community.This influence self esteem, team work, leadership skills and confidence. In doing this, I am giving back to my community and making it a better place.Volunteering is important, also an important part of being a member of a community because it not only helps individuals but aids the community as a whole. It allows people to know that they will have support in the community when they go through difficult times. You see, being apart of a community also means that I must support my neighbors and do whatever I can to improve their situation.To me, it is important for teens to get more involved in community. I think it would be a good thing for more teens to consider helping our elderly. By helping out elderly you can find out a lot because they’ve been in the community way longer than us teens and can give of some of the best feedback because maybe nothing hadn’t been changed and their the ones to witness it.

In my community, a great fit to me would be me having a food pantry to single parents, children, homeless people, and also the elderly. I’ve been in my community for eighteen years and I’ve only seen a couple food pantries; the lines where very long and it seem like everyone was interested.The local food pantry helps people who are having a financial problems. People may have lost their job, or had a medical emergency, or their car may have broken down.In most of these situations, the food pantry helps the people who are needy or who are poor and need some help getting food. Going hungry for a long period of time will change a person completely. More than seventy percent of people go hungry in the world. Going hungry for a certain period of time damages your mental and physical, health. When it dames your mental health it causes you to have negative thoughts about things. Going hungry also changes your physical health, it causes you to lose weight and it will mess up your respiratory system. Where would I get food for this food pantry? I would have four sources of where they get their food. The four sources would be food drives, food rescues, food banks, and purchase some of my own food and even snacks. I wouldn’t just be giving food, I will have a talk with everyone in the line making my way to introduce myself and letting my community know that I’m here and we’re all in this together! 

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Community Essay Examples

When we think about community, we often think about a group of people who share something in common. This could be a shared interest, background, or identity. But what exactly is a community? And what does it mean to belong to one?

There’s no single answer to these questions, as communities can take many different forms. But psychologists have proposed some key features that are often present in successful communities. These include a sense of shared purpose or goals, a sense of social cohesion or connection between members, and a sense of belonging.

Belonging is an important part of human psychology. We all have a need to feel like we’re part of something larger than ourselves. This could be a, friends, family, or a community. When we feel like we belong, we tend to be happier and more content. We may also be more motivated to achieve our goals.

belonging to a community can provide us with a sense of purpose and social connection. It can also help us to develop a stronger sense of self-identity. If you’re thinking about joining a community, look for one that shares your values and goals.

A lot of people believe that in order to belong somewhere as a teen, you have to dress a certain way or do something to fit into their apparent “community.” I couldn’t disagree more. To me, community is my friends, family, and people who mean a lot to me. However, that’s not the correct meaning. Community actually refers to a group of people living in close proximity. In my opinion, this should be how everyone thinks of community.

A group of friends or family who are there for you and love you no matter what. Thats the type of community i want to be apart of.

A sense of belonging is important for our psychological and cognitive development. Without a sense of belonging, we can feel isolated, anxious and depressed. A strong sense of belonging can help us to feel more secure, confident and happy. Belonging to a community can provide us with a support network, a sense of identity and a feeling of connectedness.

There are many different types of communities that we can belong to, such as our families, Friends, neighbourhoods, religious groups, sporting clubs or cultural associations. It is important to feel like we fit in and belong within these groups.

We can belong to more than one community and our sense of belonging can change over time. For example, we may feel more or less connected to our community during different stages in our lives. There are many factors that can influence our sense of belonging, such as our age, gender, culture or social status.

Belonging is a basic human need and it is important for our mental health and wellbeing. A sense of belonging can enhance our self-esteem, increase our resilience and help us to cope with difficult times. When we feel like we belong, we are more likely to cooperate with others and behave in ways that benefit the community.

I am not sure if it is something special, yet it was largely values and thoughts that I gathered as I grew older. My father is a wonderful guy with excellent principles who has helped to shape who I am today. My mother also taught me numerous good qualities and assisted in forming who I am.

I grew up in a lower-income family so we had to stick together and help each other out, which I think helped create a strong bond between us. I was also always around my cousins and uncles and they were like brothers to me, so I think that sense of community has always been important to me.

Belonging to a community is important for many reasons. It can provide individuals with a sense of identity and purpose, as well as a support network of people who can offer advice, help and companionship. Additionally, being part of a community can encourage people to participate in activities that contribute to the greater good, such as volunteering, fundraising or working on behalf of a cause. Finally, belonging to a community can simply be enjoyable and make people feel happy and connected.

There are many different types of communities to which people can belong. Some examples include religious communities, political communities, online communities, neighbourhoods, sports teams and clubs. It is important to find a community that fits with an individual’s beliefs and values in order to get the most out of the experience.

My friends have great ways of thinking and are really wonderful people, so I can’t take all the credit. I must give some credit to my pals since they have fantastic methods of thinking and are wonderful individuals. That isn’t everything, though; many of these ideas come from me and ideas I conceive in my head about how the world should be run.

One of the things I’ve been thinking about recently is the idea of community and how important it is to our lives. I was born and raised in a small town in New Hampshire and ever since I can remember, community has been an important part of my life. The people in my town were always there for me when I needed them and I knew that I could always count on them.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that community is even more important than I thought it was. Studies have shown that belonging to a community can have a positive impact on our mental and physical health. Being a part of a community gives us a sense of purpose and belonging. It helps us to feel connected to something larger than ourselves and to feel supported by others.

The community that we belong to can also have a big impact on our cognition. Studies have shown that people who are a part of a supportive community tend to have better cognitive function than those who don’t. This is likely because belonging to a community gives us a sense of social connectedness and support, which can help to protect our brain from the negative effects of stress.

So why is community so important? There are many reasons, but one of the most important is that it helps us to thrive. When we feel like we belong to something larger than ourselves, we are more likely to take care of ourselves and our community. We are also more likely to feel happy and fulfilled in our lives. So if you’re looking for a way to improve your life, consider finding a community that you can belong to. It just might be the best thing you ever do for yourself.

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essay about how to help your community

How to Write the “Community” and “Issue” Yale Essays

This article was written based on the information and opinions presented by Hale Jaeger in a CollegeVine livestream. You can watch the full livestream for more info. 

What’s Covered

The “community” essay: choosing a community, structuring the “community” essay, the “issue” essay: choosing your issue, issues to avoid, structuring the “issue” essay.

In this article, we discuss strategies for writing Yale University ’s “Community” and “Issue” supplemental essays. Applicants using the Common App or Coalition Application to apply to Yale are required to choose one of these two prompts and respond to it in 400 words or fewer. The first prompt is the “Issue” essay prompt, which reads:

Yale carries out its mission “through the free exchange of ideas in an ethical, interdependent, and diverse community.” Reflect on a time when you exchanged ideas about an important issue with someone holding an opposing view. How did the experience lead you either to change your opinion or to sharpen your reasons for holding onto it? (400 words)

The second prompt is the “Community” essay prompt:

Reflect on a time when you have worked to enhance a community to which you feel connected. Why have these efforts been meaningful to you? You may define community however you like. (400 words)

In this article, we discuss choosing topics for each of these essays and strategies to structure them.

The Yale “Community” essay prompt clearly states that you can define community however you wish, which means you can choose to write about any kind of community that you feel you are a member of. When considering potential communities, start by brainstorming any groups you are part of that have defined boundaries, such as your town, school, team, or religious organization.

There are also informal communities that you could choose from, such as your friend group, family, coworkers, or neighborhood. Even though these groups have less of a formal definition, they are still communities. What matters most is that the community that you choose is important to you, that you have contributed to it, and that you have learned something from it.

When structuring this essay, think about it in three sections. The first introduces the community, the second demonstrates your contributions to the community, and the third explains what the community has given and taught you. As you write, keep in mind that this essay is a two-way street; you want to show what you have given to your community and what it has given you.

Introduce the Community

The first step in writing this essay is to introduce the community. Explain who is part of the community and what the community is like. Highlight the community’s structure by demonstrating how you are part of it and how you interact with your peers, superiors, or inferiors within the group. It is also important to depict the community’s dynamic in this part of the essay. For example, is it fun, relaxed, and loving, or is it rigorous, challenging, and thought provoking? 

Show What You’ve Contributed

The next section of this essay should discuss your engagement with this community and what you’ve contributed to it. Consider what you’ve done, what initiatives you’ve brought to the community, and what your role is within it. You can also highlight anything that you had to give up to be part of the community.

Show What You’ve Learned

The last part of this essay should discuss what you have gained and learned from this community. For this portion, consider things that the community has given and taught you, as well as ways that it has helped you grow. Think about how this community has shaped who you are and who you are becoming.

The other prompt option is the “Issue” essay. The first step for this one is to define what your issue is. It doesn’t matter what you choose, as long as it’s something that has enough nuance for you to talk about it in a complex and intelligent way.

Make sure it’s an issue of some relevance to you; otherwise, it will come across as dispassionate. As you write this essay, you should show that you are somebody who cares about an issue that they think is significant. 

Grand Issues

When selecting an issue, you can either choose a grand one or a local one. Grand issues are big, unsolved problems that are common in society, such as cancer, homelessness, or food insecurity. If you do choose a grand issue, remind yourself of its personal importance. While grand issues are full of nuance, they may lack personal meaning. Examples of personal connections to grand issues could be if you have encountered homelessness, lived with food insecurity, or have lost someone to cancer.

Local Issues

Another topic option is to write about an issue that is local. For example, maybe your high school has a teaching staff that doesn’t represent the diversity of the student body. While this is not a global issue, it’s something that strongly affects you and your community. 

Perhaps you live in a town that is directly suffering from the opioid crisis, or you have divorced parents and have started an activist group for children of divorced parents. Both of these examples of local issues also have personal importance. 

When choosing a topic to write about, avoid issues that you don’t have any connection to and that aren’t personally important. These are often problems that are too grand and can’t be made personal, such as world peace. 

Another category of issues to avoid is anything that doesn’t align with Yale’s values. Yale, like most universities in the United States, generally has a liberal lean. As such, it is likely not in your best interest to write a strong defense of socially conservative values. While there are values that you are free to hold and express—and Yale welcomes people of all backgrounds and ideologies—this essay is not necessarily the best place to express them.

You are most likely applying to Yale because it’s a place that you want to be and have something in common with. This essay is a great opportunity to emphasize the values that you share with the university rather than the things that divide you. Since a reader only has five to seven minutes to go over your entire application, you don’t want them to come away with the sense that you are somebody who won’t thrive at Yale.

Define the Issue and Highlight Past Experiences

When writing the “Issue” essay, start by identifying the issue and sharing how you came across it. Then, provide insight into why it is meaningful to you and your relationship with it.

Next, show the reader how you have already engaged with the problem by detailing your past with the issue. 

Discuss Future Plans to Approach the Issue

After this, you can look forward and discuss your future with this issue. A great strategy is to write about how your Yale education will address the problem and how your field of study relates to it. You can also highlight any Yale-specific programs or opportunities that will give you insight or context for tackling the issue. 

Alternatively, if there is something about this issue that Yale’s academic flexibility will enable you to explore, you can share that in this part of the essay. For example, maybe you are interested in health policy and plan to take classes in the sciences. You also want to take classes in the history of health, science, and medicine, as well as political science and economics courses, which you plan to utilize to write new healthcare policies.

Another option is to focus on an aspect of Yale’s community, such as peers, professors, or mentors who will help develop your ability to navigate the issue. Ultimately, you want to demonstrate in this essay that what (and how) you learn at Yale will prepare you to take action and move forward with confronting your issue in the future.

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  4. 4 Ways to Help Your Community

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  5. Tips for Writing a Standout Community Service Essay

    The community service essay is an essay that describes the initiatives you have taken outside of the classroom to benefit your community. In a 2018 survey of 264 admissions leaders across the US, 58% said that community service is a tie-breaker between students who are otherwise equally qualified.

  6. Essays About Community Service: Top 5 Examples Plus Prompts

    1. Essay on Community Service and Its Importance by Joni Kim "The service helps the group of people in need, for example, senior citizens, children, people with disability and the likes. Sometimes community service is geared towards solving problems related to the needs of community members, especially low-income earners."

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    In conclusion, the question of how will you give back to your community is a deeply personal and meaningful one. My commitment to giving back involves a multi-faceted approach, including volunteering, education, cultural enrichment, and policy advocacy. Through these efforts, I hope to not only address immediate needs but also contribute to the ...

  8. Helping the Community: Ways to Get Involved

    1. Volunteer. Participating in volunteering activities is one of the most fulfilling ways to help the community. From visiting hospital patients to becoming a school governor, there are plenty of ways to get involved. Consider doing something you've done before, or something that you know you are good at. For all you know, volunteering could ...

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  10. PDF The 5-Step Personal Essay Writing Guide: Community Service

    Choose one to two main points to use in STEP 2 of this worksheet. Also, weave in some of your other great answers and stories into your essay in STEP 3. 2: Start Your Essay with a Clear Focus. Your essay needs to be focused like a laser beam, so begin by telling your reader, "THIS is what I'm going to tell you about.".

  11. How To Write The "My Community Essay" For College Applications

    If you'd like to share a perspective you bring or experiences you've had to help us understand you better—perhaps related to a community you belong to, your sexual orientation or gender identity, or your family or cultural background—we encourage you to do so.

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    March 24, 2021 By AdmissionSight 5 Things to Know When Writing a College Essay About Community + Real Examples The vast majority of colleges have a series of essay prompts students have to complete along with their Common Application.

  13. How I Will Contribute to The Community

    One of the ways I plan to contribute is by volunteering as a mentor or tutor for students in need. By offering academic support, guidance, and encouragement, I aim to help students overcome challenges and excel in their studies. Additionally, I believe in the importance of raising awareness about the value of education.

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    July 24, 2023 How do you write the community essay for the Common App? Many college applications require supplemental essays. A common supplementary question asks you to consider and write about a community to which you belong. The definition of community is open to interpretation and can be difficult to pin down.

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    Your support will help them provide food items for families in need. Give blood if you're able. Red Cross and other organizations are in dire need of blood supply and have safe, healthy ways for you to donate. Volunteer your time. Volunteering is a great way to support your community. Volunteering opportunities can range anywhere from ...

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    1: Rice University Rice is lauded for creating a collaborative atmosphere that enhances the quality of life for all members of our campus community. The Residential College System and undergraduate life is heavily influenced by the unique life experiences and cultural tradition each student brings.

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    A community essay refers to a college application essay that answers a question similar to "Tell us about a community you're a part of.". Length can vary but may be dictated by the college you're applying to. The topic of your piece, however, should be about a community you're a part of, how you're a part of it, and/or how it has ...

  19. 60 Ways to Better Your Community

    60 Ways to Better Your Community Posted by Angel Rutledge Ideas for Community Service Projects: How Can I Help? Whether it's reconstructing a playground, visiting an elderly home, or clearing trash from a nearby creek, a community service project is an excellent way to bring about change on a small, intimate level.

  20. How You Can Help Your Volunteers With Their Essays on Community Service

    Essays on community service help enhance an internal understanding of the importance of volunteering. As a volunteer coordinator, you are not only trying to convey the importance of your program to the community and your volunteers but if you are a coordinator for youth volunteers, you are their first signature model for community service. ...

  21. How to Write the Community Essay for UPenn

    Navigating the Word Count The University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) requires applicants to submit supplemental essays in addition to the main Common App essay. For the second supplemental essay, UPenn asks students to respond to the following prompt: How will you explore community at Penn?

  22. Top 10 Scholarship Essay Prompts: How to Answer + Infographic

    4. Tell us about a time you failed and what you learned from it. Scholarship providers understand that no student is perfect, and they want to know how you learned from a failure - this can be an academic, professional, or personal failure. Break down how you failed, why you failed, and how it made you better.

  23. Essay 'How have you Impacted your Community?'

    Essay 'How have you Impacted your Community?'. Many people see it as a responsibility to help out the community. Others see it as a waste of time. I would love to make my community better. The first thing I think would be a good outcome to do in my community is have everyone in the community give me feedback on what they think needs ...

  24. Community Essay Examples Essay

    Belonging to a community can provide us with a support network, a sense of identity and a feeling of connectedness. There are many different types of communities that we can belong to, such as our families, Friends, neighbourhoods, religious groups, sporting clubs or cultural associations.

  25. How to Write the "Community" and "Issue" Yale Essays

    Introduce the Community. The first step in writing this essay is to introduce the community. Explain who is part of the community and what the community is like. Highlight the community's structure by demonstrating how you are part of it and how you interact with your peers, superiors, or inferiors within the group.