Volunteer and Community Service Opportunities
Law schools, medical schools, and many health professions programs often prefer applicants with a commitment to service and a record of volunteering and community service that reflects an active engagement with the world and the people around them.
In addition, volunteering can be one of the most effective ways to develop a variety of professional skills that will be valued by professional schools and prospective employers.
Important: Different preprofessional paths may necessitate different sorts of service activities. For example, the sorts of activities that are best undertaken by a pre-physician assistant student may be different from how a prelaw or prevet student might focus her or his attention.
Also important: Shadowing and volunteering are not the same thing. Shadowing is observing (as in the term, "clinical observation"); whereas volunteering is participating, helping out.
Lists of Service Opportunities and Organizations
One of the best local resources for finding volunteer opportunities in the Bloomington area is the City of Bloomington Volunteer Network Website, which includes an A to Z list of local agencies and community partners (e.g., Boys and Girls Club, Habitat for Humanity, and hundreds more), as well as a calendar of upcoming volunteer opportunities.
In addition, the IU Office of Overseas Studies maintains a list of overseas volunteer opportunities, which students sometimes undertake during the summer months.
Below you'll find some individual agencies that provide very good volunteer opportunities for students. As always, we encourage you to discuss your professional development with your academic advisor.