http://www.sina.com.cn 2009年06月08日 15:04
Kate's community service experiences
I'm sure some of you are wondering - what kinds of extracurricular activities did I do in high school to gain admission to Harvard?
First of all, I did not intentionally pick activities with the motive of being admitted to Harvard. I chose my activities simply because I was interested in and passionate about them. Today, I will start with one that is particularly meaningful for me。
Having volunteered in my community since the 6th grade, I continued to do so in high school by working at our local soup kitchen . Once or twice a month, on a Saturday, I arrived at the soup kitchen at around 4pm to help cook dinner. We were usually five to six volunteers, some from my high school, and some just your average citizens. The kitchen table was piled with donations from individuals and small businesses - cakes from a bakery, bread from a grocery store, cans from high school canned food drives . We surveyed the ingredients available and planned out that night's menu. One evening, we had sacks of potatoes and containers of ground beef, so we improvised and made a delicious stew by throwing in some herbs and spices. Although I cooked regularly with my mother, cooking at home for three people was nothing like cooking with five other people in a soup kitchen for 150 people! Putting together the dinner, setting the tables, and splitting up serving roles required teamwork and tight logistics , so I learned a great deal during those volunteer sessions。
Dinner was served at 6pm - bread, salad, main course, vegetables, dessert. The diners were mostly very polite, and thanked us for making the dinner. My favorite part of the evening was leaving the serving counter to help out in the dining area, because it gave me an opportunity to talk to the diners. A common perception in society is that homeless people are lazy and responsible for their current situations, but meeting some of our diners gave me the opposite impression. I especially remember chatting with one middle-aged man who was a war veteran . Although he had previously led a stable life, unemployment and a series of illnesses left him temporarily without a home。
The time I spent at the soup kitchen not only made me feel more integrated with my local community, but also developed and strengthened my sense of empathy and compassion for the people living in it. I appreciated my experience there so much that I continued to volunteer regularly in my community all throughout high school. I believe that my consistency and dedication towards community service showed in my application to top colleges, which generally appreciate a student's long-term and deep commitment towards their high school activities. The lesson here is to do what interests you, and stick to it!
Sophos Academic Group: Kate Wang