Tackling Community Service requirement is easier than expected

Community service can be anything that involves helping people without getting paid.

Monte Vista Christian School

Community service can be anything that involves helping people without getting paid.

Jesten Richardson, Editor-in-Chief

Several graduation requirements exist, that seniors must tackle before they can take to the stage this May, and one that students sometimes have misconceptions about is the 10 hour community service requirement.

Some students unintentionally make the community service requirement more difficult than it needs to be by making assumptions about the activities that count as community service.

“Some students think that community service has to be a big event,” said counselor Tracy Urian. “It does not have to be a big formal event. It can be something as simple as going to a library and reading to kids or going to a retirement or nursing home.”

The definition of community service, according to Merriam-Webster’s Learner’s Dictionary, is “work that is done without pay to help people in a community”.

Cabell Midland’s policy follows this definition, with any service that is done without pay, and for the benefit of others, counting as community service.

There are multiple community service opportunities in this area that students may be unaware of.

“There are opportunities at hospitals on a daily basis,” said Urian. “Also, Woodland’s Retirement Community in Huntington lets volunteers come in on a rotational basis. Everything from singing or playing an instrument for the residents, to playing cards or checkers with them counts as community service.”

Some students may see earning their community service hours as a chore, yet Urian encourages students to use it as an opportunity to give back to their community and cultivate personal growth.

“Community service is important, because it keeps people connected to their community,” Urian said. “It also is important, because it is the right thing to do. It teaches people to be caring and loving. It gives a sense of satisfaction. You may be in need one day too, and this way, you can pay it forward.”

Senior Ella Cooper is no stranger to community service, and she had a similar outlook.

“I volunteer at Cabell Huntington Hospital and with my church,” said Cooper. “We take food to widows, widowers and shut-ins who don’t get out. It is always good to see the way that you can bring joy to someone’s life and make them have a better day.”

Aside from being a kind thing to do, there is a practical side to completing community service.

“It makes you stand out on college applications,” said Cooper. “Also, it is required for participation in National Honor Society and Distinguished Scholars. National Honor Society requires 10 hours a year, and Distinguished Scholars requires 100 hours overall.”

Community service hours can be submitted in the form of a community service paper from the counseling office, or if a student is helping at an organized event that is company sponsored, a signed coversheet.