Designed to inspire and unite Columbus-area Jewish teens to engage in service learning, The Wexner Foundation invites students currently in 10th and 11th grade (those going into 11th and 12th grades in the 2016-2017 academic year) to apply for participation in the Wexner Service Corps (WSC), beginning with a trip to Philadelphia (June 5-10, 2016), followed by year-round service in Columbus.
This year the Wexner Service Corps will visit Philadelphia June 5-10, 2016 in partnership with Repair the World. With some of the highest poverty and obesity rates in big cities in America, Philadelphia faces the overwhelming challenges of combating education and food injustices in order to ensure more equitable and healthy communities. Volunteers in Philadelphia provide critical support and services to non-profits and other organizations already doing excellent work on a wide variety of local and community causes. The group will be guided through a sophisticated and intensive curriculum relating their work to Jewish thought and texts. Through the generosity of Leslie and Abigail Wexner and The Wexner Foundation, all expenses will be paid.
Eligibility Requirements for New Applicants
To apply for the Wexner Service Corps, applicants must be:
- Columbus-area Jewish teens
- Entering either 11th or 12th Grade in the 2016-2017 Academic Year
- Available for the entirety of the service trip (June 5-10, 2016)
- Able to commit to participate in the Wexner Service Corps year-round program, which includes monthly service and learning for approximately 3-5 hours per session on Sundays and occasional weekday evenings in the Columbus area. See below for draft calendar of events.
The Wexner Service Corps is competitive and selective. We encourage applicants to give appropriate thought and effort to their applications. All completed applications received prior to our deadline, February 9 at 9:00 AM, will be carefully reviewed.
Selection criteria includes:
- Quality of application
- Geographic and community diversity
- Eagerness to engage in Jewish learning and exploration
- Articulated interest in community service
- Input from a reference
The link to the application can be found below. Please read this section before continuing on to the application.
On page four of the application, you will find the following video question and three short essay questions. Please answer all four. We suggest preparing the video in advance and writing the short essays outside of the application and pasting them in when you are ready to complete your application. Each essay should be 250-500 words.
Please create a one-minute (maximum) video of yourself that responds to the following question:
Tell us a little bit about yourself. What unique qualities, talents, skills or personality traits would you bring to a group experience?
This video need not be professionally produced or edited — really we’re asking for a 1-minute selfie made from your phone. For complete uploading instructions see the question inside the application.
Short Essay Questions:
1. Please share with us a moment when you were proud of, grateful for, or challenged by being Jewish.
2. Please share a past community service/volunteer experience. Was it meaningful? Why or why not?
3. Please describe why you are interested in joining the Wexner Service Corps. Please consider both the Philadelphia service trip and the year-round service commitment in your response.
Applicants must receive one recommendation from a rabbi, teacher, adviser, school counselor or employer who can speak to the applicant’s appropriateness for this cohort. On the final page, you will be asked to provide contact information for a reference.
Senior Leadership Cohort for Current Corps Members
Current members of the Wexner Service Corps may apply for the Senior Leadership Cohort (SLC). Following the selection of new Corps members, we will select a small number of SLC members. SLC will have a separate curriculum and unique responsibilities during their additional year of participation in WSC. All completed applications received prior to our deadline, February 9 at 9:00 AM, will be carefully reviewed.
- Current Member of WSC
- Will be in 11th or 12th grade in 2016-17 school year (current seniors are ineligible)
- Has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to service, leadership and passion over the past year of service
- Has completed an SLC application
Please follow the link below to apply. On page three you will find the following essay questions. Please answer both. We suggest writing them outside of the application and pasting them in when you are ready to complete your application.
1. How have you been affected by your experience in the Wexner Service Corps?
2. What is a Jewish value or text that explains your commitment to service?
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Rabbi Michael Emerson.
Sample Year-Round Program
August – Sierra Club River Cleanup
September – KIPP Columbus
October – St. Stephen’s Community House
November – Habitat for Humanity
December – Ronald McDonald House
January – Meals on Wheels
February – YWCA
March – Shalom House
April – Habitat for Humanity
May – KIPP Columbus