The great thing about Bloomington is that it is easy to get involved with the community. Bloomington has the one of the largest non-profits per capita in the nation. It is actually only the 2nd city, after New York City, to have at least 1 fully-staffed person dedicated to volunteering in the mayor’s office. Because of that, it was easy, like me for example, to get involved with one of the soup kitchens in the city like the Bloomington Community Kitchen. The resources of the website and the place made it so easy for me to connect that I was able to help out all throughout summer a couple times a week.
Additionally, I think elementary, middle, and high schoolers benefit a lot from living in a university town. The children are exposed, just by geography, to higher education. It is also an opportunity for those in higher education to help with the next generation. I have been amazed at how so many people take a job or volunteer at a school as some kind of athletic coach that I was inspired to do something similar in my 2nd year. Not sports, but math, is where I felt I could help, and so Bloomington High School South accepted me and it has been such a great year-long experience to help students who may be struggling with math at times and helping them with the subject matter as much as I can.
Even though academics may be an exhausting at times, volunteering gives you a burst of energy that you can’t just get from caffeine alone!