Lending a Helping Hand
Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.
Email This Story
During the four years a student attends Brashier Middle College, they are expected to become “valued contributors to the community and their school.” The school seeks to accomplish this task by requiring that students complete fifty hours of community service each school year, but whether this should be a requirement to walk across the stage at graduation is often debated by students.
“I think that community service should be a requirement, but not to the extent it is now. [The school] expects you to have fifty hours a year, do all the homework they give you, participate in sports or go to games, and then you are somehow supposed to find time to study, spend time at home, get a job, and get 8 hours of sleep a night,” says sophomore Emma Fretwell.
Students who are nowhere near the required two hundred hours of community service needed to walk at graduation are obviously not fans of this requirement, but even students who volunteer regularly have negative views towards this obligation.
“I already have over 100 hours of service hours, but I still don’t think that volunteering should be necessary for graduation. The point of community service is to do it out of the kindness of your heart, and by making it a requirement you have a lot of kids who aren’t doing it because they want to, but because they have to. I enjoy certain community service projects, like volunteering with kids, but others I do just to get the hours,” says junior Skylar Brown.
Even though some students only do community service to meet the requirement, teachers hope that community service helps make students more conscientious members of their community.
“I think that it’s a really big deal that students recognize that they are not the only people in this world, and it’s really easy for anyone to think that their life is the only one that matters, and when you volunteer you are forced to recognize that other people matter as well and that it’s not just about you,” says math teacher Mike Diener.
There are numerous benefits to volunteering; not only does community service show students that other people matter, but colleges often look for individuals with a history of helping their community.
“A small amount of community service should be required, [because] volunteering helped me get into all of the colleges I applied to, but fifty hours [total] is more realistic than fifty hours each year,” says senior Skyler Cook.
There are numerous organizations that rely on volunteers to function, such as non-profit organizations like the Humane Society, but these organizations seek out driven individuals with a desire to help, not students trying to reach a minimum amount of volunteer hours.
“I think that community service helps the community by allowing people to get the help that they need without having to pay someone for it, but when people are forced to do community service, they will not try their best because they are only there for the hours, not because they want to help or care if they do a good job,” says Fretwell.