The various options for service choices are almost limitless- a realisation that can be simultaneously beneficial and inspirational. You can provide service to the school community, the local community, or the international community.

Keep in mind that your CAS project is most likely involve some type of service. This aspect of CAS may be the single most important one to your college applications, as universities are extremely interested in how well you reach out to the community in which you live, as a predictor of your potential value in the future.

CAS Service falls into one of four categories:

1. Direct service: Student interaction involves people, the environment or animals. For example, this can appear as one-to-one tutoring, volunteering at a nursing home/hospital/elementary school, or working at an animal shelter. All La Chat students are encouraged to have at least one direct service experience. Direct contact provides students with the most meaningful of service experiences and often can be expounded upon in college and university applications.

Other examples include:

  • Setting up for and participating in school-related program, orientations, and assemblies
  • Providing free tutoring to primary, junior or high school students
  • Running or helping out with a blood bank
  • Volunteering on election days at polling locations
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Volunteering at a nursing home
  • Volunteering at any number of after-school fairs, projects, and activities
  • Coaching younger athletes
  • Organising a series of food bank volunteering opportunities for students
  • Organising a Kids Against Hunger event
  • Volunteering for school orientation for new students and their parents
  • Volunteering at UCS sponsored evening events (UCS Career Expo or UCS College Night)
  • Volunteering at a local animal shelter
  • Volunteering at a soup kitchen
  • Organising Christmas baskets for the needy
  • Teaching a musical instrument or foreign language to younger children

2. Indirect service: Though students do not see the recipients of indirect service, they have verified their actions will benefit the community or environment. For example, this can appear as re-designing a non-profit organisation website, conducting a renovation project at a local park, or raising funds and donating to a local or international organisation. Students should conduct and document proper research to determine if a community need exists for an indirect service project (such as a fundraising campaign.)

Other examples include:

  • Canned food donations and delivery
  • Clothing, stuffed animal, school supply or text book drives
  • Cleaning up or planting flowers at a local park
  • Taking a CPR class and becoming certified
  • Participating in an action event to raise money for a cause (Relay for Life, 3-Day Cancer Walk)

3. Advocacy: Students speak on behalf of a cause or concern to promote action on an issue of public interest. For example, this may appear as initiating an awareness campaign on hunger and presenting to a group of students to inform them of important issues; or creating a video on sustainable water solutions; or raising awareness of unnecessary use of plastic in school. Students need to recognise that advocacy is often a necessary step on the part of a CAS project to encourage direct or indirect service.

4. Research: Students collect information through varied sources, analyse data, and report on a topic of importance to influence policy or practice. For example, they may conduct environmental surveys to influence their school, compile effective means to reduce litter in public places, conducting social research by interviewing people on topics such as homelessness, unemployment and isolation. All students looking to fund raise for an organisation must perform diligent research to verify that the organisation is authentic and will utilise any funds for the purpose they claim. Students should also note that data collection that is not followed by an attempt to change policy or practice does not constitute CAS.

Other examples include:

  • Researching a critical issue as part of designed advocacy presentation for a club, year group, or other event
  • Organising, collecting and summarising surveys from classroom teachers to present ideas for change
  • Collecting student data on Survey Monkey, or other survey form, to effect change within our school

Not CAS Service:

  • Any service or community activitiy that is already part of your program
  • Any activity for which you are paid
  • Doing simple, repetitive work such as putting books back on shelves
  • Work that is not providing a service to those in need
  • Informally helping a friend with homework
  • Asking for donations without doing something