Scholarship Review

David Collins

Central Catholic High School
Senior? Yes
Elite top 100? Yes
Letters of recommendation: Letter of Recommendation 1, Letter of Recommendation 2


I have had the chance to volunteer in a wide array of settings, from my beautiful hometown of Oakmont, Pennsylvania to Webster Springs, West Virginia, and in all places and all capacities there are plenty of differences. What has stuck with me though has been what is always the same. Everyone has a unique story, and no two people and no two circumstances are exactly alike, but volunteerism transcends whatever disparities or boundaries hinder communication and understanding. Volunteerism celebrates the common denominators of our communities and really of our humanity- joy and fun and collectivity and love.

Over the years- and particularly the recent years- volunteerism has afforded me a vast and only positive reorientation of priorities. Succinctly, perspective. During high school at times, it has been easy for me to get caught up in the gratuitous pressures and unfounded impositions, in humoring expectations and capitulating to rat races, but volunteering has really helped me to see what is ultimately important. Now helping confect second grade math homework is just as rewarding as confecting twelfth grade math homework. Now the images posted on social media are insignificant compared to the drawings eleemosynarily gifted to me at the Boys and Girls Club. Now looking good isn’t nearly as important or as gratifying as feeling good, and volunteering simply feels good.

Volunteering has additionally drawn me nearer to my Catholic Faith. I am at a point in my life where I am constantly looking for meaning. I think that reckoning with this big world is easier when it appears smaller, and, in only the best way, volunteering makes everything seem smaller. I don’t need to have it all (or even any of it) figured it out to volunteer and to make a difference. And alongside this gratification of working toward fulfilling God’s call to service and charity, it culminates in such a special and unique experience, one that I am wholeheartedly proud to be a part of.

After all volunteerism has done for me, I would be absurd not to plan for such a venture to be just as significant a part of my life going forward. My future currently contains more than a few question marks, a period or two, perhaps even an occasional semicolon for finesse; my future, though, holds as well a select few exclamation points, components of my current self I emphatically know will stay the same when everything changes. I can say beyond doubt that I intend on continuing to stay an active participant in my community. Volunteerism has made me a better and a happier person, and it takes no more arduous than second grade math for me to see that.