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Contribution to others has benefits that extend far beyond building an excellent resume for college applications. Contributing to others is known to make people happier, healthier, inspire others, and promote cooperation and social connection.

The most effective way to inspire students to contribute is for parents to model “giving” and to include students along the way.

To learn more about research and contribution read this article from the Greater Good.

Suggestions for organizations in the Denver Area:

What is contribution?

  • Students who contribute are always coming up with ideas to improve everything they touch. Then, they act on those ideas in a way that is noticeable by their peers, teachers, or families.
  • They can proudly say “Hey, I made this happen,” or “I made this better than it was before.”
  • These students may be leaders in the traditional sense—presidents of clubs, captains of teams—or they may make substantial contributions to other communities.

Why does Contribution matter?

  • Colleges want to invest in students who will have a positive impact on their campus community.
  • Students who elevate other people, communities, and organizations will enhance the college’s community as well as the world upon graduation.

Questions to ask?

  • What is a community where you feel at home? What is your role in the community? How do you contribute to it?
  • What have you done to make your school or community (family, organizations, hometown) a better place?
  • Describe a time where your leadership positively influenced others, helped resolve disputes or contributed to group efforts (in your family, community, school, or organizations).
  • Describe a time when you made one or more people’s lives better. How did it make you feel?
  • What is something you frequently do that others will miss in your community when you are in college? What drives you to make this contribution?
  • To learn more about how to build a strong college application check out our past articles on drive, intellectual curiosity, and initiative.