Community Service Is Not About Requirements | Teen Ink

Community Service Is Not About Requirements

May 20, 2019
By midnightmuser GOLD, Concord, Massachusetts
midnightmuser GOLD, Concord, Massachusetts
12 articles 0 photos 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship."
-Louisa May Alcott

This day in age, college applications put a lot of emphasis on community service extracurriculars. Most high schools have graduation requirements, and even job applications can involve community service dedication. Now, this is amazing! More and more people are volunteering their time, and nonprofits are thriving. However, I have begun to think that this may not be the best way to approach community service.

I know a few people who are quick to talk about their role in philanthropy. Smiling big and proud, they tell me that they are highly involved in an organization. I ask them to elaborate, and they reply with “oh, I have X number of hours.” This is almost always what they want to tell me, which is fine, but with further questioning I have sometimes discovered that these volunteers don’t even know the mission of the organization! Although this only happened two times, it deeply bothered me. At what point did community service spiral into the category of “Required” and “Step two to getting into a good college” rather than the categories of “Doing Good,” and “How to Give Back”?

Community service should not be about getting into college, or about gathering points for your resume. It should be about helping the greater community, and learning what it means to be a generous citizen of our world. About choosing, with your own free will, to help out, thinking not about your own self and how you will benefit, but how your actions will help others.

The main solution to this issue would be to enhance the college, highschool, and job requirements. Instead of asking “how many hours have you volunteered,” ask “how have your actions helped others,” or “how has volunteering impacted your character?” Ask applicants to elaborate, and look for dedication and personal commitment rather than concrete hours.

There are also ways that we, the students, can help fix this. Next time you are volunteering, try and forget the fact that your hours are important, because really, they are not. Choose organizations that you are passionate about, and educate yourself on the place you choose and the people you work for. Don’t volunteer because you have too, volunteer because it is the right thing to do as a human being.

Next time you hear a friend commenting on how many hours they have, remind them that is isn’t the numbers that change the world.

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This article has 1 comment.

on Jun. 22 2022 at 8:50 am
liltatz20 BRONZE, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
4 articles 0 photos 19 comments

Favorite Quote:
The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

WOW this is really impressive. good job