A wise person once said, “If you light a lamp for someone else, it will also brighten your path. ” This particular quote has helped me realize that not enough teenagers are helping their community become a more desirable place to live. Implementing community service into the senior project outline as a requirement would ultimately benefit the students and the community. Not only will the students become more aware of the activities that occur in their community, but they will also have a greater sense of self.
Each student has his own reason for volunteering.
Many volunteer for the joy of helping others, and some volunteer to seek career opportunities. Simply volunteering at a place that is related to the career one is interested in will help him determine whether that career is suited for him. Bill Jensen, Superintendent of Curriculum for Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation, agrees with community service being connected to career choices and provides examples. “We’ve seen students that have gone in to help at the hospital and all of a sudden see that the job is something they are really passionate about.
Then we see some students that volunteer at the animal shelter and they find that they would never be able to euthanize an animal, so they have to consider finding a different career” (Jensen). Selecting a career is challenging enough, let alone discovering that the career one chose was not the best and having to choose another. Volunteering provides teens with opportunities outside of finding a career that gives them the necessary skills to help them survive the real world.
Students will gain knowledge from volunteering that will lead to increasing their communication and interpersonal skills (Keeler). It can also help with the confidence of stretching one’s wings at work, because he or she has already been taught the necessary skills for that job. (____). Community service would be in the best interest for the students that are seniors in high school, so that they have time to commit to a career before going to college and spending time and money on classes that are not necessary.
Meeting new people while participating in community service can help students build a network of individuals who could be valuable resources when deciding a future career. The greater number of people one comes in contact with will increase the possibilities of making a productive contact. In order to meet new people, one must step out of his comfort zone. “Anytime you step out of your comfort zone, you are going to grow as an individual,” says Mark Newell, Principal of Columbus East High School (Newell).
While some people are naturally outgoing, others have a hard time meeting new people. Meeting with people on a regular basis that posses the same interests can help with developing social skills(_____). Finding the confidence within oneself to reach out to different groups will allow a better understanding of the numerous cultures that are present in the community. The diversity in American communities impacts Americans’ perception of the world. Americans can observe the countless actions of people from different cultures that differentiate them from the American culture.
Since each and every person is unique, Americans are taught at a young age not to judge others. Not one person is the same, whether it is the customs between cultures, or just simply looks and personalities. Each culture has a different way of communicating, and community service can help a person develop the skills to be able to communicate with someone outside of his culture. Finding ways to interpret language into a relatively easy way of understanding is difficult, but it also challenges critical thinking and problem solving skills.
People often tend to only think deeply about the issues that involve them, are important to them, or that they are interested in. This is why Americans have such a difficult time learning about other ethnic backgrounds. If the culture and traditions are far different from their own, they will refuse to accept any others because Americans were raised to believe certain things and choose not to adopt anything new. In some studies, it has been shown that there are multiple academic and personal development benefits in socializing with other races (Chang).
Volunteering is a great way to interact with people from other cultures. By volunteering, individuals learn to appreciate other cultures’ initiative and hard work that they put into helping the community as well as teaching the volunteer more about the world, and the people that surround him each and every day. Less fortunate people in various places attempt to reach out for help all the time. The minute people take time out of their busy schedules to assist an individual will be the moment in which they open their eyes to the world outside of their own.
To help the less fortunate is to demonstrate a concern for the welfare without judging them or blaming them for their circumstances. Compassion does not blame a victim, but seeks to offer assistance no matter what the situation (____). Many people lack the resources that some others have, and possessing necessary items and being successful in life cannot be controlled. The desire to obtain the necessary items is not always present, but who is to say that they are not trying? The failures in succeeding lead to negative attitudes towards continuing to give effort.
Some people object to offering help because they believe it may cause dependency, or they believe that leaving them alone will teach them some personal responsibility. What is not understood is the difference between offering assistance, and creating a co-dependent relationship (___). Instead of pushing someone everyday to change their life around, one can give something small and still make a big difference. Community service gives support and relieves the negative energy directed to the less fortunate from society, while attempting to develop better habits for a better life.
The process of transforming an unknown human being into a person with importance is time consuming. “The time it takes to help someone else in a small way is not wasted when it improves someone else’s well-being” (Brannagan). Once the volunteer feels as though he has improved the life of another person and there is evidence to show that the other person is no longer living in disadvantaged conditions, then the frequency of giving and the amount given from the volunteer is increased.
To witness the improvement is a priceless matter and should give the volunteer the feeling of unconditional giving. Making a difference in someone’s life gives personal satisfaction and helps teens develop a better appreciation for the little things in life (Keeler). Community service is the voluntary work intended to help people in a particular area. It should never be mistaken with a paid job or a guaranteed career. Volunteers can help communities save money by allowing them to spend the money on local improvements rather than using the funds to hire help.
Studies show that communities with high rates of participation apply for and receive more funding than those with less participation. In addition, participating communities achieve greater citizen satisfaction with their community (Reid). There are a variety of opportunities given for students to volunteer. Examples of volunteer work include babysitting, house chores for the elderly, tutoring, mentoring, park clean-ups, coaching a little league sports team, or collecting cans for food banks to help feed the hungry, all of which are just a few compared to the millions not listed.
The choice of service to which the volunteer devotes his time depends upon his personal interests or experiences. If someone has an interest in dancing, he or she might teach young girls ballet twice a week. If someone grew up in an abusive home, then he or she might volunteer his time towards helping others that have been abused seek help. “The only ones among you who will be truly happy will be those who have sought and found how to serve” (Heim). The strength of the community becomes persistent when there are many volunteers to contribute to the everyday duties that need to be fulfilled.
Requiring community service of students, either as a course or graduation requirement, will continue their engagement with community service organizations beyond their mandatory completion. It is very common for students to become emotionally connected to the communities that they serve while performing required service and for the students to want to maintain their connection with those communities (Khanna). The connection between the student and the community reveals how much the student truly cares about giving. Community service will show him the functions of the world and the people around him on a daily basis.
Once he is involved, he will soon realize that there is more work to be done than there are people willing to voluntarily help out. The volunteers that have assisted many people have most likely experienced good karma. What goes around comes around, and one act of kindness can expose this proverb. This saying connects to the saying that I originally was inspired by that told of how lighting a lamp for someone can help with finding one’s own way. Making community service as a graduation requirement shows students how it benefits them as well as the community in many different ways.
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Community Service as a Graduation Requirement. (2017, Feb 01). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/community-service-as-a-graduation-requirement-essay