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College Admissions , Extracurriculars


Are you applying to a college or a scholarship that requires a community service essay? Do you know how to write an essay that will impress readers and clearly show the impact your work had on yourself and others?

Read on to learn step-by-step instructions for writing a great community service essay that will help you stand out and be memorable.

What Is a Community Service Essay? Why Do You Need One?

A community service essay is an essay that describes the volunteer work you did and the impact it had on you and your community. Community service essays can vary widely depending on specific requirements listed in the application, but, in general, they describe the work you did, why you found the work important, and how it benefited people around you.

Community service essays are typically needed for two reasons:

#1: To Apply to College

  • Some colleges require students to write community service essays as part of their application or to be eligible for certain scholarships.
  • You may also choose to highlight your community service work in your personal statement.

#2: To Apply for Scholarships

  • Some scholarships are specifically awarded to students with exceptional community service experiences, and many use community service essays to help choose scholarship recipients.
  • Green Mountain College offers one of the most famous of these scholarships. Their "Make a Difference Scholarship" offers full tuition, room, and board to students who have demonstrated a significant, positive impact through their community service

Getting Started With Your Essay

In the following sections, I'll go over each step of how to plan and write your essay. I'll also include sample excerpts for you to look through so you can get a better idea of what readers are looking for when they review your essay.

Step 1: Know the Essay Requirements

Before your start writing a single word, you should be familiar with the essay prompt. Each college or scholarship will have different requirements for their essay, so make sure you read these carefully and understand them.

Specific things to pay attention to include:

  • Length requirement
  • Application deadline
  • The main purpose or focus of the essay
  • If the essay should follow a specific structure

Below are three real community service essay prompts. Read through them and notice how much they vary in terms of length, detail, and what information the writer should include.

From the Equitable Excellence Scholarship:

"Describe your outstanding achievement in depth and provide the specific planning, training, goals, and steps taken to make the accomplishment successful. Include details about your role and highlight leadership you provided. Your essay must be a minimum of 350 words but not more than 600 words."

From the Laura W. Bush Traveling Scholarship:

"Essay (up to 500 words, double spaced) explaining your interest in being considered for the award and how your proposed project reflects or is related to both UNESCO's mandate and U.S. interests in promoting peace by sharing advances in education, science, culture, and communications."

From the LULAC National Scholarship Fund:

"Please type or print an essay of 300 words (maximum) on how your academic studies will contribute to your personal & professional goals. In addition, please discuss any community service or extracurricular activities you have been involved in that relate to your goals."


Step 2: Brainstorm Ideas

Even after you understand what the essay should be about, it can still be difficult to begin writing. Answer the following questions to help brainstorm essay ideas. You may be able to incorporate your answers into your essay.

  • What community service activity that you've participated in has meant the most to you?
  • What is your favorite memory from performing community service?
  • Why did you decide to begin community service?
  • What made you decide to volunteer where you did?
  • How has your community service changed you?
  • How has your community service helped others?
  • How has your community service affected your plans for the future?

You don't need to answer all the questions, but if you find you have a lot of ideas for one of two of them, those may be things you want to include in your essay.

Writing Your Essay

How you structure your essay will depend on the requirements of the scholarship or school you are applying to. You may give an overview of all the work you did as a volunteer, or highlight a particularly memorable experience. You may focus on your personal growth or how your community benefited.

Regardless of the specific structure requested, follow the guidelines below to make sure your community service essay is memorable and clearly shows the impact of your work.

Samples of mediocre and excellent essays are included below to give you a better idea of how you should draft your own essay.

Step 1: Hook Your Reader In

You want the person reading your essay to be interested, so your first sentence should hook them in and entice them to read more. A good way to do this is to start in the middle of the action. Your first sentence could describe you helping build a house, releasing a rescued animal back to the wild, watching a student you tutored read a book on their own, or something else that quickly gets the reader interested. This will help set your essay apart and make it more memorable.

Compare these two opening sentences:

"I have volunteered at the Wishbone Pet Shelter for three years."

"The moment I saw the starving, mud-splattered puppy brought into the shelter with its tail between its legs, I knew I'd do whatever I could to save it."

The first sentence is a very general, bland statement. The majority of community service essays probably begin a lot like it, but it gives the reader little information and does nothing to draw them in. On the other hand, the second sentence begins immediately with action and helps persuade the reader to keep reading so they can learn what happened to the dog.

Step 2: Discuss the Work You Did

Once you've hooked your reader in with your first sentence, tell them about your community service experiences. State where you work, when you began working, how much time you've spent there, and what your main duties include. This will help the reader quickly put the rest of the essay in context and understand the basics of your community service work.


Not including basic details about your community service could leave your reader confused.

Step 3: Include Specific Details

It's the details of your community service that make your experience unique and memorable, so go into the specifics of what you did.

For example, don't just say you volunteered at a nursing home; talk about reading Mrs. Johnson her favorite book, watching Mr. Scott win at bingo, and seeing the residents play games with their grandchildren at the family day you organized. Try to include specific activities, moments, and people in your essay. Having details like these let the readers really understand what work you did and how it differs from other volunteer experiences.

Compare these two passages:

"For my volunteer work, I tutored children at a local elementary school. I helped them improve their math skills and become more confident students."

"As a volunteer at York Elementary School, I worked one-on-one with second and third graders who struggled with their math skills, particularly addition, subtraction, and fractions. As part of my work, I would create practice problems and quizzes and try to connect math to the students' interests. One of my favorite memories was when Sara, a student I had been working with for several weeks, told me that she enjoyed the math problems I had created about a girl buying and selling horses so much that she asked to help me create math problems for other students."

The first passage only gives basic information about the work done by the volunteer; there is very little detail included, and no evidence is given to support her claims. How did she help students improve their math skills? How did she know they were becoming more confident?

The second passage is much more detailed. It recounts a specific story and explains more fully what kind of work the volunteer did, as well as a specific instance of a student becoming more confident with her math skills. Providing more detail in your essay helps support your claims as well as make your essay more memorable and unique.

Step 4: Show Your Personality

It would be very hard to get a scholarship or place at a school if none of your readers felt like they knew much about you after finishing your essay, so make sure that your essay shows your personality. The way to do this is to state your personal strengths, then provide examples to support your claims. Take some time to think about which parts of your personality you would like your essay to highlight, then write about specific examples to show this.

  • If you want to show that you're a motivated leader, describe a time when you organized an event or supervised other volunteers.
  • If you want to show your teamwork skills, write about a time you helped a group of people work together better.
  • If you want to show that you're a compassionate animal lover, write about taking care of neglected shelter animals and helping each of them find homes.

Step 5: State What You Accomplished

After you have described your community service and given specific examples of your work, you want to begin to wrap your essay up by stating your accomplishments. What was the impact of your community service? Did you build a house for a family to move into? Help students improve their reading skills? Clean up a local park? Make sure the impact of your work is clear; don't be worried about bragging here.

If you can include specific numbers, that will also strengthen your essay. Saying "I delivered meals to 24 home-bound senior citizens" is a stronger example than just saying "I delivered meals to lots of senior citizens."

Also be sure to explain why your work matters. Why is what you did important? Did it provide more parks for kids to play in? Help students get better grades? Give people medical care who would otherwise not have gotten it? This is an important part of your essay, so make sure to go into enough detail that your readers will know exactly what you accomplished and how it helped your community.

"My biggest accomplishment during my community service was helping to organize a family event at the retirement home. The children and grandchildren of many residents attended, and they all enjoyed playing games and watching movies together."

"The community service accomplishment that I'm most proud of is the work I did to help organize the First Annual Family Fun Day at the retirement home. My job was to design and organize fun activities that senior citizens and their younger relatives could enjoy. The event lasted eight hours and included ten different games, two performances, and a movie screening with popcorn. Almost 200 residents and family members attended throughout the day. This event was important because it provided an opportunity for senior citizens to connect with their family members in a way they aren't often able to. It also made the retirement home seem more fun and enjoyable to children, and we have seen an increase in the number of kids coming to visit their grandparents since the event."

The second passage is stronger for a variety of reasons. First, it goes into much more detail about the work the volunteer did. The first passage only states that she helped "organize a family event." That really doesn't tell readers much about her work or what her responsibilities were. The second passage is much clearer; her job was to "design and organize fun activities."

The second passage also explains the event in more depth. A family day can be many things; remember that your readers are likely not familiar with what you're talking about, so details help them get a clearer picture.

Lastly, the second passage makes the importance of the event clear: it helped residents connect with younger family members, and it helped retirement homes seem less intimidating to children, so now some residents see their grand kids more often.

Step 6: Discuss What You Learned

One of the final things to include in your essay should be the impact that your community service had on you. You can discuss skills you learned, such as carpentry, public speaking, animal care, or another skill.

You can also talk about how you changed personally. Are you more patient now? More understanding of others? Do you have a better idea of the type of career you want? Go into depth about this, but be honest. Don't say your community service changed your life if it didn't because trite statements won't impress readers.

In order to support your statements, provide more examples. If you say you're more patient now, how do you know this? Do you get less frustrated while playing with your younger siblings? Are you more willing to help group partners who are struggling with their part of the work? You've probably noticed by now that including specific examples and details is one of the best ways to create a strong and believable essay .

"As a result of my community service, I learned a lot about building houses and became a more mature person."

"As a result of my community service, I gained hands-on experience in construction. I learned how to read blueprints, use a hammer and nails, and begin constructing the foundation of a two-bedroom house. Working on the house could be challenging at times, but it taught me to appreciate the value of hard work and be more willing to pitch in when I see someone needs help. My dad has just started building a shed in our backyard, and I offered to help him with it because I know from my community service how much work it is. I also appreciate my own house more, and I know how lucky I am to have a roof over my head."

The second passage is more impressive and memorable because it describes the skills the writer learned in more detail and recounts a specific story that supports her claim that her community service changed her and made her more helpful.

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Step 7: Finish Strong

Just as you started your essay in a way that would grab readers' attention, you want to finish your essay on a strong note as well. A good way to end your essay is to state again the impact your work had on you, your community, or both. Reiterate how you changed as a result of your community service, why you found the work important, or how it helped others.

Compare these two concluding statements:

"In conclusion, I learned a lot from my community service at my local museum, and I hope to keep volunteering and learning more about history."

"To conclude, volunteering at my city's American History Museum has been a great experience. By leading tours and participating in special events, I became better at public speaking and am now more comfortable starting conversations with people. In return, I was able to get more community members interested in history and our local museum. My interest in history has deepened, and I look forward to studying the subject in college and hopefully continuing my volunteer work at my university's own museum."

The second passage takes each point made in the first passage and expands upon it. In a few sentences, the second passage is able to clearly convey what work the volunteer did, how she changed, and how her volunteer work benefited her community.

The author of the second passage also ends her essay discussing her future and how she'd like to continue her community service, which is a good way to wrap things up because it shows your readers that you are committed to community service for the long-term.

What's Next?

Are you applying to a community service scholarship or thinking about it? We have a complete list of all the community service scholarships available to help get your search started!

Do you need a community service letter as well? We have a step-by-step guide that will tell you how to get a great reference letter from your community service supervisor.

Thinking about doing community service abroad? Before you sign up, read our guide on some of the hazards of international volunteer trips and how to know if it's the right choice for you.

Want to improve your SAT score by 160 points or your ACT score by 4 points?   We've written a guide for each test about the top 5 strategies you must be using to have a shot at improving your score. Download them for free now:

Christine graduated from Michigan State University with degrees in Environmental Biology and Geography and received her Master's from Duke University. In high school she scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT and was named a National Merit Finalist. She has taught English and biology in several countries.

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community project essay

Tips for Writing a Standout Community Service Essay

←6 Diversity College Essay Examples

How to Write the “Why This Major” College Essay→

Through your college applications process, you’re likely to come across the term “community service” many times. In fact, you may be asked to write an essay about it. This post will cover the specifics of a community service essay and how to go about writing one, including what to cover and common mistakes to avoid. 

What is a Community Service Essay?

You may encounter the community service essay as you’re writing your supplemental essays for college. These are school-specific prompts that only go to the college that requests them, unlike the personal statement , which goes to every school you apply to. Not all schools require community service essays, but several do. It’s also a common requirement for scholarship applications, especially if it’s a school-specific merit scholarship. 

The community service essay is an essay that describes the initiatives you have taken outside of the classroom to benefit your community. In a 2018 survey of 264 admissions leaders across the US, 58% said that community service is a tie-breaker between students who are otherwise equally qualified. The community service essay offers you the opportunity to shine light on the work you have done to make an impact on the world and people around you, and is an additional way to help you stand out among other applicants. 

Approaching the Community Service Essay 

Understand the essay requirements  .

As with any essay, it’s important to first understand what is expected of your essay. For a start, elements to pay attention to include: 

  • Length requirements
  • Focus or subject of the essay prompt 
  • Organization of the essay 

Although all community service essays ultimately have the same purpose of having you describe your local service activities, they can come with different types of prompts. Below are three sample prompts. Note the differences in topic specificity, length requirements, and breadth of the prompt. 

From the CGCS – Bernard Harris Scholarship Program: 

Please describe a meaningful volunteer or community service experience, including what you learned from participating.

From the University of California Application :

What have you done to make your school or your community a better place? (350 words).

From the Equitable Excellence Scholarship:

Describe your outstanding achievement in depth and provide the specific planning, training, goals, and steps taken to make the accomplishment successful. Include details about your role and highlight leadership you provided. Your essay must be a minimum of 350 words but not more than 600 words.

Brainstorming for your community service essay 

Once you have an understanding of what is required of the specific you are to write, the next step is to brainstorm ideas for a specific topic. If you have various community-engaged service experiences under your belt, consider the following before you finalize your decision. 

The best topics:

Are substantial in length and scope. It’s better to cover a long-term commitment than a one-off afternoon at the food pantry or animal shelter. 

Are transformative or inspiring. Although community service is “others”-oriented, colleges are looking to learn more about you. The ideal community service essay topic should be an experience that changed or challenged your perspective, and was ultimately fulfilling. 

Illustrate personal qualities or passions that you want to highlight. Given the specific prompt, and taking the rest of your application into consideration, which personal interests do you want to highlight? Which activity illuminates the personal quality that you want to bring attention to? 

These are all elements to consider before you begin writing your essay. 

community project essay

Tips for Writing Your Community Service Essay 

1. include anecdotes.

Anecdotes are a great way to begin your essay, not only as a way to grab your reader’s attention, but by launching right into the experience of your service activity. You can start with a line about a particularly busy afternoon at the orphanage, or a morning cleaning up the streets after a storm, or the sense of accomplishment you felt when you watched a dog under your care at the animal shelter get adopted. 

2. Show, don’t tell 

We’re sure you’ve heard this axiom of general writing before, but it applies to college essays just as much as with any other piece of writing. Opt for evocative examples over plain explaining whenever possible. Take this sentence: “There was a lot of food waste at our school cafeteria.” It’s not nearly as powerful as this description: “I peered into the tall, gray trash cans to inspect the mountain of Styrofoam trays and discarded food. There were countless pizza crusts, globs of green beans, and unopened cartons of milk.” 

Anyone could write the first sentence, and it’s not a unique experience. In the second description, we’re shown the scene of the writer’s lunchroom. We get a peek into their perspective and life, which makes the writing more vivid and relatable. Aim to bring your reader into your world as much as possible.

3. Share your responsibilities and accomplishments.

The more tangible your community service activities feel to the reader, the more powerful your essay will be. Concretize your work by stating the basic details of what kind of work you did and what your duties involved, where it was based, when you began working, and the amount of time you spent working. 

Be sure to quantify your work and accomplishments when possible; it’s better to say your fundraiser yielded 125 books than “a large number” of books. It’s important to also elaborate on why the work you did matters. Why was it important? Did the books you collected or purchased after the fundraiser expand the library of the local orphanage that they already had, or did it offer the children easy access to books that wasn’t available previously? Be specific and detailed.  

4. Highlight what you learned and how you’ll use those lessons moving forward. 

Towards the end of your essay, you’ll want to share how you benefited from the community service work you did. This is an important part of the essay, because it shows how you are able to distill your experiences to applicable lessons in your own life. 

Think of this section in two potential parts: skills you learned, and personal development. Did you gain any hard skills, such as public speaking, poster design, or funds management? Then think about how you developed as an individual. Are you more empathetic or patient now? 

Things to Avoid in Your Community Service Essay 

1. don’t list out everything that happened..

You want to keep your essay well-structured and concise. This isn’t a résumé, or a play-by-play of the entire experience. Stick to the most telling details and anecdotes from your experience. 

2. Avoid using a pretentious or privileged tone.

Humility goes a long way, and entitlement can be smelled from afar. The purpose of this essay is not to paint yourself as a savior of any kind, but rather to show what’s important to you in your non-academic life, and how you approach solving real-world and interpersonal problems. 

3. Avoid clichés.

It may be tempting to quote famous people, but doing so can easily seem like a shortcut, plus it shows little of who you are. Try also to steer clear of trite and vague life lesson lines such as “I learned that people can be happy with so little,” or “I learned the importance of giving back.” Not only do they carry a tone of privilege, they are also sweeping general conclusions and don’t convey anything specific of what you learned. 

Community service is only a part of the college application process, which can be daunting and confusing. CollegeVine will help you navigate each step of the process, from building a college list, to calculating your chances at each school using our chancing engine. Create your free account and get started now !

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How to Write the Community Essay – Guide with Examples (2023-24)

September 6, 2023

Students applying to college this year will inevitably confront the community essay. In fact, most students will end up responding to several community essay prompts for different schools. For this reason, you should know more than simply how to approach the community essay as a genre. Rather, you will want to learn how to decipher the nuances of each particular prompt, in order to adapt your response appropriately. In this article, we’ll show you how to do just that, through several community essay examples. These examples will also demonstrate how to avoid cliché and make the community essay authentically and convincingly your own.

Emphasis on Community

Do keep in mind that inherent in the word “community” is the idea of multiple people. The personal statement already provides you with a chance to tell the college admissions committee about yourself as an individual. The community essay, however, suggests that you depict yourself among others. You can use this opportunity to your advantage by showing off interpersonal skills, for example. Or, perhaps you wish to relate a moment that forged important relationships. This in turn will indicate what kind of connections you’ll make in the classroom with college peers and professors.

Apart from comprising numerous people, a community can appear in many shapes and sizes. It could be as small as a volleyball team, or as large as a diaspora. It could fill a town soup kitchen, or spread across five boroughs. In fact, due to the internet, certain communities today don’t even require a physical place to congregate. Communities can form around a shared identity, shared place, shared hobby, shared ideology, or shared call to action. They can even arise due to a shared yet unforeseen circumstance.

What is the Community Essay All About?             

In a nutshell, the community essay should exhibit three things:

  • An aspect of yourself, 2. in the context of a community you belonged to, and 3. how this experience may shape your contribution to the community you’ll join in college.

It may look like a fairly simple equation: 1 + 2 = 3. However, each college will word their community essay prompt differently, so it’s important to look out for additional variables. One college may use the community essay as a way to glimpse your core values. Another may use the essay to understand how you would add to diversity on campus. Some may let you decide in which direction to take it—and there are many ways to go!

To get a better idea of how the prompts differ, let’s take a look at some real community essay prompts from the current admission cycle.

Sample 2023-2024 Community Essay Prompts

1) brown university.

“Students entering Brown often find that making their home on College Hill naturally invites reflection on where they came from. Share how an aspect of your growing up has inspired or challenged you, and what unique contributions this might allow you to make to the Brown community. (200-250 words)”

A close reading of this prompt shows that Brown puts particular emphasis on place. They do this by using the words “home,” “College Hill,” and “where they came from.” Thus, Brown invites writers to think about community through the prism of place. They also emphasize the idea of personal growth or change, through the words “inspired or challenged you.” Therefore, Brown wishes to see how the place you grew up in has affected you. And, they want to know how you in turn will affect their college community.

“NYU was founded on the belief that a student’s identity should not dictate the ability for them to access higher education. That sense of opportunity for all students, of all backgrounds, remains a part of who we are today and a critical part of what makes us a world-class university. Our community embraces diversity, in all its forms, as a cornerstone of the NYU experience.

We would like to better understand how your experiences would help us to shape and grow our diverse community. Please respond in 250 words or less.”

Here, NYU places an emphasis on students’ “identity,” “backgrounds,” and “diversity,” rather than any physical place. (For some students, place may be tied up in those ideas.) Furthermore, while NYU doesn’t ask specifically how identity has changed the essay writer, they do ask about your “experience.” Take this to mean that you can still recount a specific moment, or several moments, that work to portray your particular background. You should also try to link your story with NYU’s values of inclusivity and opportunity.

3) University of Washington

“Our families and communities often define us and our individual worlds. Community might refer to your cultural group, extended family, religious group, neighborhood or school, sports team or club, co-workers, etc. Describe the world you come from and how you, as a product of it, might add to the diversity of the UW. (300 words max) Tip: Keep in mind that the UW strives to create a community of students richly diverse in cultural backgrounds, experiences, values and viewpoints.”

UW ’s community essay prompt may look the most approachable, for they help define the idea of community. You’ll notice that most of their examples (“families,” “cultural group, extended family, religious group, neighborhood”…) place an emphasis on people. This may clue you in on their desire to see the relationships you’ve made. At the same time, UW uses the words “individual” and “richly diverse.” They, like NYU, wish to see how you fit in and stand out, in order to boost campus diversity.

Writing Your First Community Essay

Begin by picking which community essay you’ll write first. (For practical reasons, you’ll probably want to go with whichever one is due earliest.) Spend time doing a close reading of the prompt, as we’ve done above. Underline key words. Try to interpret exactly what the prompt is asking through these keywords.

Next, brainstorm. I recommend doing this on a blank piece of paper with a pencil. Across the top, make a row of headings. These might be the communities you’re a part of, or the components that make up your identity. Then, jot down descriptive words underneath in each column—whatever comes to you. These words may invoke people and experiences you had with them, feelings, moments of growth, lessons learned, values developed, etc. Now, narrow in on the idea that offers the richest material and that corresponds fully with the prompt.

Lastly, write! You’ll definitely want to describe real moments, in vivid detail. This will keep your essay original, and help you avoid cliché. However, you’ll need to summarize the experience and answer the prompt succinctly, so don’t stray too far into storytelling mode.

How To Adapt Your Community Essay

Once your first essay is complete, you’ll need to adapt it to the other colleges involving community essays on your list. Again, you’ll want to turn to the prompt for a close reading, and recognize what makes this prompt different from the last. For example, let’s say you’ve written your essay for UW about belonging to your swim team, and how the sports dynamics shaped you. Adapting that essay to Brown’s prompt could involve more of a focus on place. You may ask yourself, how was my swim team in Alaska different than the swim teams we competed against in other states?

Once you’ve adapted the content, you’ll also want to adapt the wording to mimic the prompt. For example, let’s say your UW essay states, “Thinking back to my years in the pool…” As you adapt this essay to Brown’s prompt, you may notice that Brown uses the word “reflection.” Therefore, you might change this sentence to “Reflecting back on my years in the pool…” While this change is minute, it cleverly signals to the reader that you’ve paid attention to the prompt, and are giving that school your full attention.

What to Avoid When Writing the Community Essay  

  • Avoid cliché. Some students worry that their idea is cliché, or worse, that their background or identity is cliché. However, what makes an essay cliché is not the content, but the way the content is conveyed. This is where your voice and your descriptions become essential.
  • Avoid giving too many examples. Stick to one community, and one or two anecdotes arising from that community that allow you to answer the prompt fully.
  • Don’t exaggerate or twist facts. Sometimes students feel they must make themselves sound more “diverse” than they feel they are. Luckily, diversity is not a feeling. Likewise, diversity does not simply refer to one’s heritage. If the prompt is asking about your identity or background, you can show the originality of your experiences through your actions and your thinking.

Community Essay Examples and Analysis

Brown university community essay example.

I used to hate the NYC subway. I’ve taken it since I was six, going up and down Manhattan, to and from school. By high school, it was a daily nightmare. Spending so much time underground, underneath fluorescent lighting, squashed inside a rickety, rocking train car among strangers, some of whom wanted to talk about conspiracy theories, others who had bedbugs or B.O., or who manspread across two seats, or bickered—it wore me out. The challenge of going anywhere seemed absurd. I dreaded the claustrophobia and disgruntlement.

Yet the subway also inspired my understanding of community. I will never forget the morning I saw a man, several seats away, slide out of his seat and hit the floor. The thump shocked everyone to attention. What we noticed: he appeared drunk, possibly homeless. I was digesting this when a second man got up and, through a sort of awkward embrace, heaved the first man back into his seat. The rest of us had stuck to subway social codes: don’t step out of line. Yet this second man’s silent actions spoke loudly. They said, “I care.”

That day I realized I belong to a group of strangers. What holds us together is our transience, our vulnerabilities, and a willingness to assist. This community is not perfect but one in motion, a perpetual work-in-progress. Now I make it my aim to hold others up. I plan to contribute to the Brown community by helping fellow students and strangers in moments of precariousness.    

Brown University Community Essay Example Analysis

Here the student finds an original way to write about where they come from. The subway is not their home, yet it remains integral to ideas of belonging. The student shows how a community can be built between strangers, in their responsibility toward each other. The student succeeds at incorporating key words from the prompt (“challenge,” “inspired” “Brown community,” “contribute”) into their community essay.

UW Community Essay Example

I grew up in Hawaii, a world bound by water and rich in diversity. In school we learned that this sacred land was invaded, first by Captain Cook, then by missionaries, whalers, traders, plantation owners, and the U.S. government. My parents became part of this problematic takeover when they moved here in the 90s. The first community we knew was our church congregation. At the beginning of mass, we shook hands with our neighbors. We held hands again when we sang the Lord’s Prayer. I didn’t realize our church wasn’t “normal” until our diocese was informed that we had to stop dancing hula and singing Hawaiian hymns. The order came from the Pope himself.

Eventually, I lost faith in God and organized institutions. I thought the banning of hula—an ancient and pure form of expression—seemed medieval, ignorant, and unfair, given that the Hawaiian religion had already been stamped out. I felt a lack of community and a distrust for any place in which I might find one. As a postcolonial inhabitant, I could never belong to the Hawaiian culture, no matter how much I valued it. Then, I was shocked to learn that Queen Ka’ahumanu herself had eliminated the Kapu system, a strict code of conduct in which women were inferior to men. Next went the Hawaiian religion. Queen Ka’ahumanu burned all the temples before turning to Christianity, hoping this religion would offer better opportunities for her people.

Community Essay (Continued)

I’m not sure what to make of this history. Should I view Queen Ka’ahumanu as a feminist hero, or another failure in her islands’ tragedy? Nothing is black and white about her story, but she did what she thought was beneficial to her people, regardless of tradition. From her story, I’ve learned to accept complexity. I can disagree with institutionalized religion while still believing in my neighbors. I am a product of this place and their presence. At UW, I plan to add to campus diversity through my experience, knowing that diversity comes with contradictions and complications, all of which should be approached with an open and informed mind.

UW Community Essay Example Analysis

This student also manages to weave in words from the prompt (“family,” “community,” “world,” “product of it,” “add to the diversity,” etc.). Moreover, the student picks one of the examples of community mentioned in the prompt, (namely, a religious group,) and deepens their answer by addressing the complexity inherent in the community they’ve been involved in. While the student displays an inner turmoil about their identity and participation, they find a way to show how they’d contribute to an open-minded campus through their values and intellectual rigor.

What’s Next

For more on supplemental essays and essay writing guides, check out the following articles:

  • How to Write the Why This Major Essay + Example
  • How to Write the Overcoming Challenges Essay + Example
  • How to Start a College Essay – 12 Techniques and Tips
  • College Essay

Kaylen Baker

With a BA in Literary Studies from Middlebury College, an MFA in Fiction from Columbia University, and a Master’s in Translation from Université Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint-Denis, Kaylen has been working with students on their writing for over five years. Previously, Kaylen taught a fiction course for high school students as part of Columbia Artists/Teachers, and served as an English Language Assistant for the French National Department of Education. Kaylen is an experienced writer/translator whose work has been featured in Los Angeles Review, Hybrid, San Francisco Bay Guardian, France Today, and Honolulu Weekly, among others.

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57 Community Service Essay Topics and Examples

🏆 best titles about community service, 👍 simple & easy research titles about community, 🎓 most interesting community topics to write about.

  • Significant Voluntary Sector Organisations Challenges in Public Service Delivery The main concern raised in the conference was a discussion of the role of voluntary organisations in the delivery of public services.
  • Most Satisfying Experience Related to Community Service I will serve as a role model for other people and they, following my example, will also get committed to the temple.
  • Community Service Experience: Homeless Shelter The shelter also organizes outreach and humanitarian work during the day to ensure that homeless people in the community know about the shelter and the services it provides.
  • Community Service as a Form of Correction Of these alternatives, community service has been one of the most employed and therefore opened a room for debates with the proponents feeling that the option is a remedy to all the prison problems while […]
  • Conceptualization of the Aspect of Community Service As part of expressive the Jewish values, the aspect of creativity and innovativeness help to inspire the inner self to remain observant, responsible, and caring to the needs of neighbors and the society at large.
  • S.H.A.P.E. Community Service and Programs The organization emphasizes unity, self-determination, creativity, faith, and teamwork as the basis of its work.S.H.A.P.E.programs target young and elderly generations and aim to improve the quality of life of particular age category individuals and the […]
  • Dayton Children’s Hospital and Community Service Dayton Children’s is committed to improve quality of life of people living in the community. This report provides more detailed information on the organization’s activities and monetary amounts of community benefit.
  • Mondawmin Community Service Delivery Plan Through the service delivery plan, the relevant authorities in the region will put in place the relevant measures for reducing or eliminating the above predicament in the region.
  • Addressing the Impacts of Undergraduates’ Engagement in Community Service on Stakeholders It is important to note that as much as the community and the individual stands to benefit from community service, there are various challenges facing the provision of this service in a given community.
  • Illuminate Diabetes Event Design Finally, after these special performances, there will be distribution of fliers with information on diabetes and encouragement to get tested for diabetes and thus reach the climax of the event.
  • Hampton-Newport News Community Services Board The Hampton-Newport Community Services Board offers a broad range of mental well-being and drug abuse services and care for people with mental and developmental disorders. The agency works together with certified psychoanalysts and psychologists in […]
  • Volunteering in Leisure Sector The review shows that individuals are motivated due to the benefits that come with volunteering in the sector and the nature of the activity.
  • Volunteering for Horizon House: Homeless Neighbours’ Motivation to Find Jobs To understand and analyze the role of the center in changing the homeless neighbours’ life for better, it is appropriate to focus on the center’s assistance in employing neighbours and developing their job skills with […]
  • Concept of the Community Services in Modern Society Community services are defined as the services which are performed for the benefit of the society on volunteering basis. The advantages of the community services cannot be questioned, still, making such service mandatory for graduation […]
  • Community Service: Mandatory or Voluntary? Engaging in community service not only helps in transforming the behavior of young people but it is also helpful to adults.
  • The Achievements of Peaceful Protest During the Civil Rights Movement
  • The War On Drugs And The Civil Rights Movement
  • The Long Term Effects of the Civil Rights Movement
  • African Americans And Religion During The Civil Rights Movement
  • The History of the Civil Rights Movement in the United Stats and Its Impact on African Americans
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  • The Historical Accuracy of the Portrayal of the Civil Rights Movement in Selma, a Drama Film by Ava DuVernay
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  • Theatre in the Era of the Civil Rights Movement
  • The Importance of Students During The Civil Rights Movement
  • The Relationship between Activism and Federal Government during the Civil Rights Movement
  • Violent and Non-violent Methods of Protests Embraced by African American in the Civil Rights Movement
  • The Role and Importance of the Grassroot Organizers on the Civil Rights Movement
  • The Fight For Aid From The Civil Rights Movement
  • The Success of The Civil Rights Movement in the 1950’s
  • The Laws in the Reconstruction Era and the Civil Rights Movement
  • The New York Times And The Civil Rights Movement
  • White Resistance to the Civil Rights Movement
  • The Role of Black Women in the Civil Rights Movement
  • Understanding the Civil Rights Movement: America vs. Australia
  • Successes And Failures Of Civil Rights Movement
  • The Civil Rights Movement & the Black Middle Class
  • The Foundation of the Niagara Movement and Its Influence on the Civil Rights Movement in America
  • To What Extent Was Grass Roots Activism a Significant Reason to Why the Civil Rights Movement Grew in the 1950s and 1960s
  • The History of the Civil Rights Movement, National Association of the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
  • The Value of Studying the Civil Rights Movement
  • The Effect of Society on the World of Doubt and the Effects of the Civil Rights Movement
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IvyPanda. (2023, November 30). 57 Community Service Essay Topics and Examples.

"57 Community Service Essay Topics and Examples." IvyPanda , 30 Nov. 2023,

IvyPanda . (2023) '57 Community Service Essay Topics and Examples'. 30 November.

IvyPanda . 2023. "57 Community Service Essay Topics and Examples." November 30, 2023.

1. IvyPanda . "57 Community Service Essay Topics and Examples." November 30, 2023.


IvyPanda . "57 Community Service Essay Topics and Examples." November 30, 2023.

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Essays About Community Service: Top 5 Examples Plus Prompts

If you are looking for your next writing topic, discover top examples of essays about community service and helpful writing prompts in our guide.

Community service refers to an individual or a group’s volunteer work dedicated to improving the community and its people. In America, Benjamin Franklin introduced community service in the 18th century by developing the idea of ​​the first volunteer firehouse in Philadelphia . Since then, stepping up has become a norm, with more people encouraged to participate.

Volunteering helps individuals gain experience, improve self-esteem, expand knowledge, and promote healthy goals. In addition, choosing community service as a topic in your essay allows you to explain its significance to entice your readers to get involved. To give you an idea of ​​how to write essays about community service, here are five examples that will help you.

5 Top Examples On Essays About Community Service

1. essay on community service and its importance by joni kim, 2. community service experience: essay on what i learned by anonymous on, 3. why is community service important by perry mullins, 4. concept of the community services in modern society essay by anonymous on, 5. community service experience essay by writer molly, 1. community service vs. volunteering, 2. community service: then and now, 3. why we should volunteer, 4. community service in schools: mandatory or voluntary, 5. community service and its influences, 6. types of community service, 7. my community service experience, 8. donation or service: what’s better to give.

“The service helps the group of people in need, for example, senior citizens, children, people with disability and the likes. Sometimes community service is geared towards solving problems related to the needs of community members, especially low-income earners.”

Kim explains that community service is a voluntary action done through various means. It includes health and child care services, education, housing, and other improvements to aid and support the community members who need the most assistance. Then, Kim focuses on its importance to individuals, the community, and the country. The essay showcases how community service improves social, interpersonal, and decision-making skills. It also allows students to explore and find their interests. Ultimately, Kim believes that the real-life experience of volunteering assists in determining one’s career path, providing advantages when applying for a job.

“This experience has helped me to cherish my ability to influence and impact others in a positive way, and it helped me to look at community service as a benefit for myself, instead of just another obligation to fit into my schedule.”

In this essay, the writer reflects on their community service experience, sharing the gains they reaped from the program. They discuss how their undying love for animals and tight-knit communities made them realize the gravity of sharing. They also had the opportunity to strengthen and develop a new set of talents and skills from the encounter. However, the author also mentions that when the desire to do good morphs into a forced responsibility, it leads to failure. The writer says they often receive more benefits than the people and animals they help, as the experience makes them more patient, flexible, and responsible.

“True volunteering lies in an individual’s will and drives to help other and enforcing it eliminates that drive.”

Mullins focuses his essay on explaining why it should not be mandatory for students to do community service. For him, mandatory volunteering takes away the true meaning of volunteerism. Students only view it as additional work – an obligatory criterion they must check off their list to graduate. He claims that students will gain nothing but stress instead of new skills and knowledge when compulsory community services are in place.

“As for me, I consider community work as a good opportunity to get the main idea of some particular services, still, I would not have the same great desire to participate in social life if the services would become obligatory for graduation.”

In modern society, volunteering is becoming a necessary factor in many organizations. People with experience in community service have more opportunities to get a job. The author delves into community service’s importance but also criticizes that making it a requisite takes away its value. With various arguments from professionals like Alina Tugend , the essay further argues that no one would want to receive help from people who consider it an obligation.

“The community service project is different from other school educations the community service can teach us how to love others and how to fulfill our heart with joy.”

Molly dislikes homeless people because of their appearance and smell, but this all changes when cleaning and selling preloved items to homeless people becomes the best experience of her life. Community service taught her that the homeless are no different from her. She also learned to be thankful for her situation. She concludes that after the program, she became more respectful, responsible, and caring to other people.

Do you want to secure that A+ Grade? Check out our round-up of the best essay writing apps for students and academics.

8 Helpful Prompts on Essays About Community Service

If you’re still confused about the topic and can’t choose what to talk about, you can use the prompts below:

To write this prompt, the first part of your essay should discuss the meaning of community service and volunteering. Next, identify and examine the different characteristics of a community service worker and volunteer to clearly explain their similarities and differences. Then finish your essay with your opinion on the matter or look for more information you can expound on in your own words. 

This prompt shows how people’s definitions, processes, and perceptions of community service changed over time. Research and write down how community service started in your country or area to make it more relatable. Include examples of community services that made a big difference for the community and consider how these services impacted people’s lives.

Essays About Community Service: Why we should volunteer?

Explain to your readers what voluntary work means and why exposure to it is crucial. Next, write the advantages and disadvantages of volunteering and what they should expect if they decide to be a volunteer. Finally, share your experience to clarify your comments, suggestions, and other points.

The decision to make community service mandatory in every school is still up for debate. First, pen your opinion on this topic and whether or not you agree with compulsory community service. Then, discuss your reasons and provide examples or factual evidence to support your arguments.

Identify and scrutinize the positive and negative effects of community service. Find news articles where one type of community service impacted its volunteers, community, and people differently. Write down how the organizer dealt with different situations and if it affected the program’s outcome.

There are three kinds of community service: direct, indirect, and advocacy. First, discuss and give examples for each one. Then, explain how these services differ from programs under service-learning. For example, direct community service includes directly serving homeless people food and clothes, while in service-learning, volunteers will teach people to garden and earn income. 

Use this prompt to share your memorable experience while doing community service and what you learned from it. It doesn’t matter if it’s a short program at your school, work, or organization. The important thing is that you have experience in community service. Include your initial reaction and if it changed over time while you were doing the service.

Some choose to donate money to various organizations that perform community service. Others join the program and personally help other people. In this prompt, share your opinion on the topic and whether you consider donating as community service. To make your essay more intriguing, look for prominent personalities who consistently contribute or engage in community service versus those who only present monetary assistance. 

AI grammar checkers are powerful resources that can help you improve your writing. See our guide on how to use an AI grammar checker. For help with this topic, read our guide explaining what is persuasive writing ?

community project essay

Maria Caballero is a freelance writer who has been writing since high school. She believes that to be a writer doesn't only refer to excellent syntax and semantics but also knowing how to weave words together to communicate to any reader effectively.

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How to write the community service essay

Whether in an interview or an essay, all college applicants should be prepared to talk about the ways they have worked to improve their schools and communities. No college wants to admit a passive recipient of community, they would all much prefer to admit an active and engaged citizen who understands that community requires contribution. Use this essay to define a community (see the community essay for more examples of this) and then talk specifically about how you helped to make that community better. You have a lot of latitude here to define your terms and to define the boundaries of your engagement. Don’t pass up any opportunity to share your active citizenship. These essays will vary in length but are often a “mid-size” supplement of 250-350 words.

Example Community Service Questions:

  • U of California: What have you done to make your school or community a better place?
  • MIT: At MIT, we bring people together to better the lives of others. MIT students work to improve their communities in different ways, from tackling the world’s biggest challenges to being a good friend. Describe one way in which you have contributed to your community, whether in your family, the classroom, your neighborhood, etc.  
  • Princeton: Princeton has a longstanding commitment to service and civic engagement. Tell us how your story intersects (or will intersect) with these ideals.


This is an important question! If you have an option to select an essay question among several prompts, choose to write this essay! Why? Colleges want to know that you have made your community a better place. This makes you a compelling applicant. Why else? Because you have done something that can answer this question – even if to you, right now, it looks small in comparison to solving global challenges.

“Community” can be defined however you choose! Be sure to use a few words of this essay to outline the boundaries of the community you identify.


Additional tips and tricks:.

  • Column 1: Identify the problem. Describe the challenge you were (or are currently) facing. The problem could be something global, like an environmental issue, or something more local, like a lack of creative opportunities in your high school.
  • Column 2: Raise the stakes. Help us understand: Why was (or is) overcoming this challenge important? What might happen if this problem went (or goes) unchecked?  
  • Column 3: Articulate the vision. What might the world look like if this problem were solved? Inspire us to dream with you.
  • Column 4: Describe what you did. Tell us the specific things you (or you and your team) did to solve the problem.
  • Column 5: Clarify your role.   Describe your particular involvement. Why were (or are) you crucial to the project’s or club’s success?
  • Column 6: Share the impact you had, lessons you learned, or values you gained. Provide specific evidence that gives us a sense that your work mattered.

Don't forget to use active verbs! Additionally, you can absolutely re-use this essay (being mindful of word count) to respond to multiple community service prompts from different schools.

community project essay

Elise holds a BA in Political Philosophy from Williams College and an MEd in Administration & Social Policy from Harvard. She has spent the past twenty years working in top-tier independent schools.

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Home — Essay Samples — Life — Personal Experience — The Benefits of Community Service Experience for Me


The Benefits of Community Service Experience for Me

  • Categories: Community Service Personal Experience

About this sample


Words: 1112 |

Updated: 4 November, 2023

Words: 1112 | Pages: 2 | 6 min read

The essay explores the author's personal experiences with community service and the profound impact it has had on their life. The author begins by highlighting the altruistic nature of community service and the satisfaction they derive from dedicating their time to a cause they are passionate about. They mention volunteering for organizations like the SPCA and the Ithaca chapter of United Way due to their love for animals and the sense of community within United Way. The essay goes on to discuss the transformative effects of community service on the author. They describe how assisting abandoned animals made them a more empathetic person and provided a source of happiness and stress relief. Moreover, the experience taught them responsibility, flexibility, and patience. The author reflects on their initial reluctance to engage in community service due to academic stress but reveals how reconnecting with their passion for animals revitalized their commitment. They share stories of making a difference in the lives of children through United Way and bonding with childhood friends who inspired them with their charitable endeavors.

Table of contents

Personal growth and development, the true impact of volunteering, works cited, video version.

  • (n.d.). Retrieved from
  • National Service-Learning Clearinghouse. (n.d.). Retrieved from
  • Points of Light. (n.d.). Retrieved from
  • SPCA International. (n.d.). Retrieved from
  • United Way. (n.d.). Retrieved from
  • Chan, A. Y. K., & Lee, S. Y. (2018). Effects of community service on social-emotional outcomes: A meta-analysis. Child and Youth Services Review, 86, 1-10.
  • Conway, J. M., Amel, E. L., & Gerwien, D. P. (2009). Teaching and learning in the social context: A meta-analysis of service learning's effects on academic, personal, social, and citizenship outcomes. Teaching of Psychology, 36(4), 233-245.
  • Eyler, J., & Giles, D. E. (1999). Where's the learning in service-learning? San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
  • Moely, B. E., McFarland, M., Miron, D., Mercer, S. H., & Ilustre, V. (2002). Changes in college students' attitudes and intentions for civic involvement as a function of service-learning experiences. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning , 9(1), 18-26.
  • Zaff, J. F., & Catterall, J. S. (2003). Studying out-of-school arts participation via the quantitative case study method. Studies in Art Education, 44(3), 227-245.

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Your chance of acceptance, your chancing factors, extracurriculars, writing a community service scholarship essay.

I'm applying for a scholarship that requires an essay about my community service experiences. What are some tips or ideas you could give me for writing a strong essay to impress the scholarship committee?

When writing a community service scholarship essay, here are some tips and ideas to help you create a strong essay that will impress the scholarship committee:

1. Start strong: Begin your essay with a compelling anecdote, a thought-provoking question, or a powerful statement to grab the attention of the scholarship committee and make them want to read more.

2. Emphasize your motivation: Explain why you were drawn to community service and what motivates you to continue volunteering. This could be a general passion for helping others, a desire to give back to your community, or a specific cause that resonates with you.

3. Focus on your impact: Emphasize the positive influence your community service experiences have had on you, the people you've helped, and the community as a whole. Include specific examples, stories, or outcomes that demonstrate the impact you made.

4. Showcase your personal growth: Explain how participating in community service has shaped your overall character, values, and perspective. Discuss personal lessons you've learned, challenges you've faced, and how you've grown as a result.

5. Highlight your leadership skills: If you've held any leadership roles in community service projects or organizations, be sure to mention them. Describe the responsibilities you had, the decisions you made, and the results of your actions. These concrete outcomes will show the scholarship committee that you possess the skills necessary to be a successful student and community leader.

6. Be specific and detailed: Don't just list all of the community service activities you've participated in. Instead, choose a few significant experiences and delve deep into the details. Describe the organization you volunteered with, your role, the number of hours you dedicated, and any accomplishments you're especially proud of.

7. Stay organized and focused: Organize your essay in a logical and clear manner. Create a strong, central message or theme, and stick to it throughout your essay. This organization will make your writing more coherent and easier to follow.

8. End memorably: Conclude your essay by summarizing the key points you've made and reinforcing your passion for community service. You could also include a call to action or a vision for the future to leave a lasting impression on the scholarship committee.

9. Proofread and revise: Once you've completed your essay, be sure to proofread for spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors. Ask for feedback from friends, teachers, or family members to get a fresh perspective and polish your essay further.

10. Make it personal and authentic: Lastly, ensure that your essay is genuine and true to you. Write in your own voice and share your unique experiences and perspective. That way, your essay will stand out and connect with the scholarship committee on a deeper level.

11. Take advantage of CollegeVine's resources: CollegeVine has a blog post breaking down how to write a successful community service essay ( , and also offers both a free peer essay review tool and paid reviews by expert college admissions advisors - sometimes, a more objective set of eyes on your writing is just what you need to determine whether or not your impact on your community is coming across clearly.

Best of luck with your essay!

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CollegeVine’s Q&A seeks to offer informed perspectives on commonly asked admissions questions. Every answer is refined and validated by our team of admissions experts to ensure it resonates with trusted knowledge in the field.

Gagosian Quarterly

Summer 2024 Issue

Notes to Selves, Trains of thought

Dieter roelstraete, curator at the neubauer collegium for culture and society at the university of chicago and coeditor of a recent monograph on rick lowe, writes on lowe’s journey from painting to community-based projects and back again in this essay from the publication. at the museo di palazzo grimani, venice, during the 60th biennale di venezia, lowe will exhibit new paintings that develop his recent motifs to further explore the arch in architecture..

community project essay

Rick Lowe, Diplopia , 2023, acrylic and paper collage on canvas, 72 × 192 inches (182.9 × 487.7 cm)

community project essay

Dieter Roelstraete is the curator for the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society at the University of Chicago, where he has organized exhibitions on Gelitin, Rick Lowe, Pope.L, Martha Rosler, and, most recently, Christopher Williams. Photo: Richard Pilnik

When a fortunate age of pure production has ended, reflection enters, and with it an element of estrangement.

—Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von Schelling,  The Philosophy of Art , 1859

We’ll stand our problems all in a row / Watch them fall like dominoes.

— Donald Byrd, “(Fallin’ Like) Dominoes,” 1975

For well over three decades, Rick Lowe’s name has been closely associated with the social-practice paradigm in contemporary art. The Houston-based artist helped pioneer this activist and in many ways quintessentially American offshoot of Joseph Beuys’s famed  Soziale Plastik , or “social sculpture”—the most widely feted example of which continues to be his Project Row Houses (1993–2018), an arts-and-culture community project located in his adopted hometown’s historical Third Ward.

The story of Lowe’s rise to prominence as one of the primary practitioners of said paradigm has become relatively well known by now, but it justifies summary recounting nonetheless. Born in Russell County in rural Alabama in 1961 as the eighth of twelve children, Lowe grew up on a sharecropping farm, where, somewhat improbably and incongruously, he began to develop a talent for drawing in his teens (exposure to art of any kind, let alone art education, was conspicuously absent from Lowe’s upbringing). In an interview with the  Wall Street Journal published in September 2022, Lowe recalled how “my artistic side awakened just after I turned six, when I chose a cotton crop sack based on its bright orange material.” In that same interview, Lowe reminisced about how, starting in his early teens, although he “wasn’t artistic yet,” his talent was emerging: “I could draw states and copy images of presidents.” 1 Mapping, in short, has been a foundational element of art’s appeal for Lowe since the very beginning—and cartography a key component in his conception of art as a mode of knowing and navigating the world. Lowe was an avid basketball player in his youth, and he has been an ardent basketball enthusiast ever since. His athleticism landed him a scholarship to Alabama State University. He then transferred to Columbus College in Georgia, where he enrolled in a drawing class and first felt fully immersed in a creative environment. Further encouragement from observant and supportive teachers deepened Lowe’s exposure to art and art history—a crucial early art-making class instructed him in the basics of landscape painting—and sometime in the early 1980s, the fledgling artist started making his first paintings, based on protest signs and similarly charged political imagery. (Growing up in the South between Montgomery and Tuskegee, both in Alabama, and Atlanta, Georgia, Lowe was inevitably molded, however indirectly, by the protest culture of the civil rights era. It is sobering to think, in this regard, that the infamous Tuskegee Experiment wasn’t discontinued until the early 1970s, well after the cresting of the civil rights movement, and around the time of Lowe’s adolescence.) 2

Continuing his practice as a politically engaged painter, Lowe moved to Houston in 1985 and increasingly involved himself with activist, community-building work in the city’s historically Black Third Ward. However, a chance encounter with a young visitor to his studio—who asked the artist, upon seeing paintings dealing with a wide range of racial injustices, “If you’re so creative, why don’t you come up with actual solutions for our problems?”—fatefully altered the course of Lowe’s trajectory, compelling him to give up on painting and decisively shift his focus to art’s potential for effecting real change in the social world. (The confidence and determination with which Lowe decided to take up his youthful visitor’s challenge is part of what makes his brand of social practice a “quintessentially American offshoot of Joseph Beuys’s Soziale Plastik ”: a stronger and more pragmatically minded belief in “art’s potential for effecting real change in the social world” than ever animated the rivaling paradigm of relational aesthetics, for instance, which may retrospectively be theorized as Europe’s ludic foil to social practice’s earnest can-do ethos.) 3

community project essay

Rick Lowe, Untitled , 2023, acrylic and paper collage on canvas, 72 × 60 inches (182.9 × 152.4 cm)

The rest, as they say, is art history—the best-known chapters of which have become decisively entwined with the recent cultural histories of the sites in which they were (and often continue to be) rooted, as the following list of Lowe’s signature projects attests to: Project Row Houses in Houston (1993–2018); the Watts House Project in Los Angeles (1996–2001); Transforma Projects  in post-Katrina New Orleans (2005); the Anyang Public Art Program in South Korea (2010); the Victoria Square Project  in Athens (2016); the Greenwood Art Project in Tulsa, Oklahoma (2020); and most recently—the occasion for my own deepening acquaintance with Lowe’s work— Black Wall Street Journey in Chicago (2020–21). Place names, in short—“places and spaces”—have come to define Lowe’s founding contribution to the development of social practice as an art form rooted in community engagement and participation, in conversing, dialoguing, and relating—a living art of “pure production” made for , by , and with “others.” 4

Almost three decades after Lowe abandoned painting in favor of a conception of art that afforded him a more direct sense of actively helping to shape the world around him—a conception of art, that is, as a species of problem solving —it is tempting to regard his return to art’s most archaic and canonical form (as well as its most individualistic and marketable) with some trepidation, even suspicion. It is not necessarily an admission of defeat, of course—Lowe was originally trained as a landscape painter, after all, so this “return” effectively signals a homecoming of sorts—but a kind of retrenchment. Why pick up the paintbrush again now? (“Now” being a time of excessive economic investment in the umpteenth of painting’s revivals.) The answer to this question is implied, in part, in the title of Lowe’s most ambitious monographic exhibition as a painter to date— Meditations on Social Sculpture , organized at Gagosian, New York, in the early fall of 2022—in the suggestion, that is, that his return to painting has allowed Lowe to (finally?) take stock of three decades’ worth of work made outside the studio and out on the streets. Lowe has chosen the private art of painting, in other words, to better “meditate” on the public art of his social sculpting.

Nowhere is it written that these two art forms should exist in a state of mutual exclusion. Painting operates here as a species of afterthought: as a way of visually thinking through the legacy of community projects from the artist’s past—as evinced, for instance, in the use of photographs documenting Project Row Houses in some of the large-scale paintings included in Meditations on Social Sculpture . An exhibition of Lowe’s works on canvas that I curated at the University of Chicago’s Neubauer Collegium in October 2022 was similarly titled Notes on the Great Migration . Lowe likes to think of his painterly practice as deeply reflexive, responsive, ruminative—an impression that was naturally enhanced, in the case of the suite of works on view at the Neubauer Collegium, by the scroll-like paintings’ graphic, scriptural character, i.e., their physical appearance as jottings and scribbles, the secretive, coded writing of extended notes to selves. 5

All that said, it is hard to resist the temptation—especially given the sheer number of paintings Lowe has produced in the past few years—to frame this “return” to what is in essence a solitary studio practice and exclusively indoors activity within the larger context of the covid -19 pandemic, and its corrosive impact on socially engaged art practices and strategies in particular. For many months it was impossible for Lowe to physically meet the people who are so integral to his larger-scale, socially complex community projects. This was nowhere felt more keenly than in the case of the Black Wall Street Journey project, much of the findings of which went on to visually inform the contents of Notes on the Great Migration .

If the art market appears in such robust health emerging from the depths of a public-health crisis that has otherwise affected the public life of the global art world so disastrously, it is in large part because the pandemic unwittingly reinforced the perfect conditions for the flourishing of the oldest, toughest, and most economically viable of studio practices—namely, painting. We surely all remember at least one painting acquaintance rhapsodizing about the forced isolation of the pandemic’s early days, expressing their gratitude for the sudden luxury of long days of uninterrupted studio time: the perfect circumstances for the flowering of the most asocial of art practices. In any case, a spectral sense of the lost sociality of the covid -19 years resonates in the central “sculptural” gambit of Notes on the Great Migration . Eight of the paintings in that exhibition were placed horizontally on glass-covered tabletops, and the tables could be moved about in such a way as to allow the assembly of a much larger meeting table—of the kind one could easily imagine being central to the process of launching a complex community project. Indeed, on the handful of occasions when actual meetings were conducted, behind closed doors, around this meeting table, a real sense of the prickly question of the possible applications of art—of art’s presumed social use value —came back to haunt the site of Lowe’s art.

Lowe’s paintings are the work of an artist compelled, because of a variety of circumstances, to look back upon a lifetime devoted to public art—but they are also the work of a self-described workaholic who refused to allow the demands of social distancing to halt his “social works” entirely. 6

Lowe’s newfound faith in front of the canvas—a renewed confidence in the power of imaging as well as of symbolizing—was obviously not achieved overnight. In fact, the artist’s interest in drawing and painting was first reignited in the mid-2010s, sparked, interestingly enough, by his growing preoccupation with the visual language of dominoes. Dominoes continue to be omnipresent in the artist’s work. Lowe’s first works on paper after more than two decades away from the two-dimensional realm of “mere” representation and symbolization were quick sketches of domino games whose snaking patterns had piqued the artist’s aesthetic interest. Those familiar with Lowe’s world will be aware of the importance of dominoes as a social tool within it—as the social practitioner’s primary implement and/or bonding element.

community project essay

Rick Lowe, Untitled , 2023, acrylic and paper collage on canvas, 48 × 48 inches (121.9 × 121.9 cm)

Lowe is as obsessive about playing dominoes as he is about work more generally, and playing dominoes has long been integral to the chemistry of his “social work” in particular. Allow me to quote the following fragments from Lowe’s sole published artist statement:

The paintings and drawings I make are deeply rooted in the experience of what I call “domino culture.” While dominoes are a board game like many other board games played around the world, I find that dominoes in particular generate a kind of culture in communities where they are played. Dominoes are part chess, part checkers, and part contact sport. They have the contemplative element of chess along with the rapid maneuvering of checkers, but unlike most board games, dominoes are often slammed to the table with great force, highlighting the physicality of the game. For me, the culture is informed by the sounds of the dominoes clacking on the table (in places where dominoes has generated a culture, it’s not a silent game), the boisterous bluffing to gain advantage, and most important to me, the beautiful shapes that form as the dominoes are laid out. . . . I’ve also learned that dominoes is oftentimes a kind of academy where much is taught and learned. I feel fortunate to have been a student of many great thinkers who may be locked out of traditional academic institutions. These thinkers have keen eyes, ears, and minds to what is happening in many areas of life that range from the social, political, to the economic. 7

This is a reference, in part, to the informal use Lowe has made of dominoes to both build relationships—as well as, more recently, works of art—and to better understand the relationships undergirding certain communities. (Lowe often played dominoes on the street with Jesse Lott, a well-known assemblage artist and pivotal figure in Houston’s Black art scene, whose mentorship was instrumental in the founding of Project Row Houses. ) 8

Lowe’s artist statement continues:

From the start of my playing in the early 1990s, I was fascinated by the shapes and patterns made throughout the game, but it wasn’t until I played with black dominoes on a white table that I could really see the distinct quality of the shapes. Eventually I started taking photos of these shapes on the tables. During this time, I was not making traditional art objects, but I was asked to make a drawing for an exhibition. For this exhibition, instead of photographing the shapes, I decided to trace the shapes after each game—a way of recording the different games as layered patterns. This led to a fascination with the abstract forms that emerged from the multilayering. I found it interesting how layering the patterns of the shapes of such a logical and ordered game could result in a complex narrative formed from the everyday activity of a game. My interest in the phenomenon ultimately led to the domino drawings that I create.

And concludes:

I did not know the reason I was drawn to tracing the domino patterns until one day I realized that the patterns were simply mapping knowledge of the time I spent with the people I played with. Because of the presence of mapping in the early domino drawings, I continued to make the work as an investigation into how mapping domino games could help me better understand the mapping related to my interest in urban development and other social and political realms. 9

I’ve already mentioned the tabletops that served as an idiosyncratic mode of display for Lowe’s paintings in the context of Notes on the Great Migration . Those tables, each measuring three feet by three feet, are perfectly suited for domino playing, and close scrutiny of the paintings’ surfaces reveals the contours of dozens of snaking domino patterns. In fact, one group of four paintings in this constellation is titled Notes on the Great Migration: South , while the other is called Notes on the Great Migration: North , and the traces of domino lines fanning out from south to north are obviously meant to echo the dynamic of northward movement—from rural Alabama to Chicago, say. The Notes on the Great Migration: North panel contains three broad swaths of blue that clearly reference the Great Lakes, whereas the hues of green dominating the Notes on the Great Migration: South  panel presumably allude to the South’s agricultural economy. (The snaking domino lines are train tracks as well as “trains of thought.”) Much like so many of Lowe’s recent paintings, in other words, these are really maps that resound with the artist’s thirty-year experience navigating urban environments and large-scale landscapes of all kinds, invoking associations with anything ranging from the everyday imagery of the fraying fabric of our inner cities to the intricately woven webs of diasporic and migratory patterns. The fact that these paintings use the cut-up book covers of histories of the Great Migration as their primary building blocks—Isabel Wilkerson’s much-lauded The Warmth of Other Suns , from 2010, is only the best-known title in this library—alongside Lowe’s signature domino stones helps to dramatize their discursive charge as “notes” of some sort, as the literal marginalia scribbled across these sprawling histories’ pages, or as marks on a map of one’s own making. 10

In addition to mapping and writing, finally, another frame of reference for our reading of Lowe’s paintings can be found in the aesthetic of data visualization—in the kinds of graphs and statistics used to illuminate the types of economic histories that are so close to Lowe’s heart. Taken together, these paintings resemble a suite of blindingly colorful concrete poems dedicated to the vagaries of city life—a map of both city and country as delirious palimpsests made up of past, present, and future tenses.

community project essay

Rick Lowe, Untitled , 2023, acrylic and paper collage on paper, 30 × 30 inches (76.2 × 76.2 cm)

Speaking of the future, I want to conclude these reflections on Lowe’s return to painting on a seemingly minor linguistic note, one having to do with the artist’s preference for the language of “projecting” ( Project Row Houses , the Watts House Project , Transforma Projects , the Victoria Square Project , the Greenwood Art Project , etc.). Indeed, encountering the notion of the project time and again while navigating the wilds of Lowe’s social-practice portfolio—none of his paintings, for obvious reasons, are called “projects”—I was reminded of an essay published in 2002 by the Russian art theorist and philosopher Boris Groys: “The Loneliness of the Project,” one of the defining documents of millennial art culture. Starting off with the dramatic claim that “the formulation of diverse projects has become the major preoccupation of contemporary man” and that “these days, whatever endeavor one sets out to pursue in the economic, political or cultural field, one first has to formulate a fitting project in order to apply for official approval or funding of the project from one or several authorities,” Groys maintains that “above all else, each project strives to acquire a socially sanctioned loneliness.” 11 That is to say, the formulation of a project requires a certain degree of conscious long-term isolation that is nowhere more generously accommodated, it often seems, than in the contemporary art world. This is partly why Groys believes that “in the past two decades [starting in the 1980s, in other words] the art project—in lieu of the work of art—has without question moved to center stage in the art world’s attention.” (Lowe’s social practice belongs to a first generation of art-world developments that corroborates Groys’s hunch.)

The exemplary solitude of the artist is a function of the centrality of “project management” to contemporary art practice—and the artist’s career (“trajectory”) has become the supreme project that demands 24/7 management. Groys continues, “Each project is above all the declaration of another, new future that is supposed to come about once the project has been executed. . . . If one has a project—or more precisely, is living in a project—one always is already in the future .” 12 I reread Groys’s visionary text with all the ambiguities and complexities of Lowe’s return to the studio in mind. That is the subject of this essay: the image of the prototypical social practice pioneer, alone in front of the canvas, trying to make sense of pasts and futures alike—all the while seeking solace in the solitude of social work as seen from the painter’s remove. I think .

1 Rick Lowe, quoted in Marc Myers, “Rick Lowe Went from the Fields of Alabama to a Solo Exhibit,” Wall Street Journal , September 6, 2022.

2 Tuskegee was the closest Alabaman city to Lowe’s childhood home. The experiment that is so fatefully bound up with its name was officially known as the “Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male,” a scientific investigation led by the United States Public Health Service and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 1932 until 1972. The main purpose was to observe the effects of syphilis when left untreated. The scandal of the experiment resided in the fact that syphilis had effectively become treatable as early as the mid-1940s, and that none of the participants in the study (which led to the avoidable deaths of more than 100 individuals) were ever informed of the nature of the experiment.

3 The trailblazing German Conceptualist Joseph Beuys (1921–1986) first developed the now-canonical notion of “social sculpture” in the late 1960s, formulating the well-known Beuysian motto “ jeder Mensch ist ein Künstler ” (Everybody is an artist) in 1967 as its founding creed. The term “relational aesthetics” first appeared in the context of the exhibition Traffic , curated by Nicolas Bourriaud at the CAPC museum of contemporary art in Bordeaux, France, in 1996, and was further developed in Bourriaud’s book of that name, published in 1998. (The vast majority of works invoked in Esthétique relationelle were made in the first half of the 1990s, mostly by European artists.) However schematic the distinction, much of the contrast in ideological emphasis between the two Beuysian legacies resides in the opposition between “social” practice and “relational” aesthetics —a dialectic not without geopolitical overtones in the juxtaposing of Anglo-Saxon and “continental” traditions, respectively, in the adjoining realms of social thought and theory. It is quite telling that Lowe’s work is hardly ever discussed in the latter terms. (To further dramatize the aforementioned transatlantic dialectic, one could make the case that the Ronald Reagan–era dismantling of the welfare state hastened socially minded American artists’ embrace of social practice, while Danish, French, and German artists continued to dabble in aesthetic debates in the false sense of security guaranteed by the seeming inviolability of the European social-democratic contract.) Indeed, one could argue that the founding moment in Lowe’s turn toward social practice—meeting a teenager whose simple question, in Lowe’s own phrasing, just “pulled the rug out from under my whole career up until that time”—required a wholesale repudiation of the aesthetic . And it is precisely this aesthetic impulse, as we shall see, that has made a dramatic return to the forefront of Lowe’s practice of late—as anything repressed is sooner or later wont to do, perhaps, no matter how counterintuitive its social logic.

4 Places and Spaces is the title of an album released by the jazz trumpeter Donald Byrd in 1975 that features the song “(Fallin’ Like) Dominoes,” which I have quoted in the second of this essay’s epigraphs.

5 It was illuminating to learn, upon visiting the artist in his Houston studio in the spring of 2022, that one of the books that made the deepest impression upon him as a young man—a book, moreover, that he continues to reread in older age—is Boethius’s Consolation of Philosophy , the sixth-century classic of melancholy thought. An undeniable charge of melancholy thought permeates Lowe’s use of painting as a tool for reflecting upon the inheritance of the artist’s activist past. It is this “blues”—a mood powered by gnawing doubts about the powerlessness of art as much as by its more widely touted opposite—that informs my use of the Schelling quote at the beginning of this essay, which alludes to a long history of presumed tension between making art and overthinking the making of art. The classic Hegelian hypothesis about the “end of art” states, pace Michael Inwood, that “thought[s] about art, and philosophy of art, arise only when art is in decline,” and that “reflective thought is inimical to artistic creation and impairs the art into which it intrudes.” Michael Inwood, introduction, in Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Introductory Lectures on Aesthetics (London: Penguin, 1993). Hegel and Schelling could not have anticipated that a whole new chapter in art history would be written based on the understanding that artistic creation can be a form of reflexive thought (even if it remains limited to reflecting upon artistic creation alone). This, in my view, is what Lowe’s paintings propose to “do,” and their reflexive labor—looking back, somewhat wistfully, upon some of social practice’s finest achievements—is what constitutes the consolation of art for Lowe and artists like him.

6 Social Works is the title of a group exhibition curated by Antwaun Sargent at Gagosian in the summer of 2021, which led to Lowe joining Gagosian’s artist roster shortly afterward. Considering “the relationship between space—personal, public, institutional, and psychic—and Black social practice,” and timed to coincide with “today’s cultural moment, in which numerous social factors have converged to produce a heightened urgency for Black artists to utilize space as a community-building tool and a means of empowerment,” the exhibition also featured the work of David Adjaye, Theaster Gates, Titus Kaphar, Carrie Mae Weems, and others. The timeliness of naming an exhibition Social Works  was not lost on those aware of the tremendous loss inflicted on the art world by the demands of social distancing and self-isolating amid the covid -19 pandemic, and there was some poetic justice to be salvaged from the fact that when Lowe’s solo exhibition opened at Gagosian, New York, in September 2022, it turned out to be a densely packed, major “social” event indeed.

7 Rick Lowe, “Artist Statement,” in Rick Lowe: Paintings & Drawings 2017–2020 , exh. cat. (Houston: Art League Houston, 2020), p. 5.

8 Lowe generously took me to meet Jesse Lott in his studio during my visit to Houston in March 2022. It is interesting to view Lott’s protean, sprawling brand of assemblage art through the same “relational” prism I am using here to theorize Lowe’s use of dominoes: as an art, in essence, of connecting and relating. In an interview published by Artnet on the occasion of Lowe’s exhibition at Gagosian, the artist reminisced about his early days exploring “professional” options living in the South. Having left Alabama and Georgia behind, he briefly lived in Biloxi, Mississippi, and “of course had the idea that I should, like every artist, go to New York. I thought about it and I’m such a country guy, I can’t handle cold weather. I thought about LA but then I said, maybe Dallas”—which later became Houston. “It was such a weird place, it was desolate. It had a rawness to it that I could really connect to. It felt very Southern in a sense, and almost rural in some of its urban pockets.” Needless to say, Houston’s subtropical climate is conducive to a very different variety of socializing than that of New York (or Chicago, for that matter), where the conditions for year-round open-air domino games do not obtain in quite the same fashion. Lowe, in Folasade Ologundudu, “‘That Just Shattered Things for Me’: Rick Lowe on the Moment He Realized His Art Had to Escape the Studio to Have Real-World Impact,” Artnet , September 19, 2022. Available online at (accessed February 29, 2024).

9 Lowe, “Artist Statement.”

10 Other titles visible underneath the patchwork of Lowe’s painterly scrawls and scribbles are Blair Imani’s Making Our Way Home: The Great Migration and the Black American Dream  (2020); Jacqueline Woodson’s This Is the Rope: A Story from the Great Migration (2013); James N. Gregory’s  The Southern Diaspora: How the Great Migrations of Black and White Southerners Transformed America (2005); Alferdteen Harrison’s Black Exodus: The Great Migration from the American South  (1991); and James Grossman’s aptly titled  Land of Hope: Chicago, Black Southerners, and the Great Migration (1991). As Lowe’s first solo exhibition in Chicago, Notes on the Great Migration is inspired in part by the midwestern metropolis’s hallowed history as an emancipatory mecca for generations of African Americans from the Deep South. Insofar as the escape from the South was driven by the promise (or mirage) of economic opportunity, one could think of this odyssey as a “Black Wall Street Journey”: a quest for Black America’s own spin on the gospel of wealth. In a sense, Lowe’s “notes” on the Great Migration double as musings and meditations on the distance traveled on this particular “Black Wall Street Journey” thus far.

11 Boris Groys, “The Loneliness of the Project,” New York Magazine of Contemporary Art and Theory 1, no. 1 (2002).

Artwork © Rick Lowe Studio

Photos: Thomas DuBrock

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Community outraged after alderman posts photo of severed human arm on Facebook

An alderman in Illinois is under fire after he reportedly posted an image of a severed human...

WAUKEGAN, Ill. (WISN) – A gruesome social media post made by a city leader in Illinois has drawn backlash from constituents.

There was horror and outrage at the Waukegan City Council meeting Monday from the community and Waukegan Mayor Ann Taylor after a photo appearing to show a human arm showed up on Waukegan Alderman Keith Turner’s Facebook page.

“I literally, myself, almost passed out when I saw that picture, so I can’t even imagine what this poor mother went through,” Taylor said.

Taylor referred to the mother of Sade Robinson. Robinson was a Milwaukee woman who is believed to have been killed and dismembered after a first date last month.

Experts are still trying to determine if the arm found May 11 in Waukegan belongs to Robinson. Alderman Turner’s original post included a photo of a severed arm and a caption, but there has not yet been a report or mention from the administration if it was identified as Robinson’s.

“I was outraged like most people should be. All I could think of was this poor family and what they were going through as a mother and a grandmother myself. I can’t even imagine what they’re going through and then to have to see that, it’s despicable,” Taylor said.

The post has since been deleted.

However, Alderwoman Lynn Florian said the council has not forgotten. It would fall on the city council to censure Turner.

“I’ve already talked to some of my fellow aldermen and we plan to do that at the next city council meeting,” Florian said.

Robinson’s family called on Turner to be fired.

“I have been longing for my child in that moment when I saw her body again, should have been and only for my eyes and my family,” Robinson’s family wrote in a letter from their attorney.

Turner declined to speak at Monday’s meeting.

“Waukegan cares about them and that this is not something that the city supported in any way, shape or form. This was an individual,” Taylor said.

Copyright 2024 WISN via CNN Newsource. All rights reserved.

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Computer Science > Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition

Title: mambaout: do we really need mamba for vision.

Abstract: Mamba, an architecture with RNN-like token mixer of state space model (SSM), was recently introduced to address the quadratic complexity of the attention mechanism and subsequently applied to vision tasks. Nevertheless, the performance of Mamba for vision is often underwhelming when compared with convolutional and attention-based models. In this paper, we delve into the essence of Mamba, and conceptually conclude that Mamba is ideally suited for tasks with long-sequence and autoregressive characteristics. For vision tasks, as image classification does not align with either characteristic, we hypothesize that Mamba is not necessary for this task; Detection and segmentation tasks are also not autoregressive, yet they adhere to the long-sequence characteristic, so we believe it is still worthwhile to explore Mamba's potential for these tasks. To empirically verify our hypotheses, we construct a series of models named MambaOut through stacking Mamba blocks while removing their core token mixer, SSM. Experimental results strongly support our hypotheses. Specifically, our MambaOut model surpasses all visual Mamba models on ImageNet image classification, indicating that Mamba is indeed unnecessary for this task. As for detection and segmentation, MambaOut cannot match the performance of state-of-the-art visual Mamba models, demonstrating the potential of Mamba for long-sequence visual tasks. The code is available at this https URL

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    For my community service project I did a large variety of projects. I completed a total amount of seventy-one hours, which includes: eleven hours of in school hours, and sixty hours of out of school service. The groups I worked with include: The Immaculate Conception School, The Merimack Heights Academy, and the Mad Science program.

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    Dieter Roelstraete, curator at the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society at the University of Chicago and coeditor of a recent monograph on Rick Lowe, writes on Lowe's journey from painting to community-based projects and back again in this essay from the publication. At the Museo di Palazzo Grimani, Venice, during the 60th Biennale di Venezia, Lowe will exhibit new paintings that ...

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  21. Community outraged after alderman posts photo of severed human arm on

    An alderman in Illinois is under fire after he reportedly posted an image of a severed human arm on his Facebook page. (WISN) WAUKEGAN, Ill. (WISN) - A gruesome social media post made by a city ...

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    Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts.A copy of the license is included in the section entitled GNU Free Documentation License.

  23. [2405.07992] MambaOut: Do We Really Need Mamba for Vision?

    Mamba, an architecture with RNN-like token mixer of state space model (SSM), was recently introduced to address the quadratic complexity of the attention mechanism and subsequently applied to vision tasks. Nevertheless, the performance of Mamba for vision is often underwhelming when compared with convolutional and attention-based models. In this paper, we delve into the essence of Mamba, and ...

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