Why Community Service Should Be a Requirement for High Schoolers


Kate De Prima, Staff Writer

Ask any student hoping to graduate from AHS, or any top tier high school, and they will agree that the requirements to graduate are stacked. The many “A-G” posters hanging the classrooms are a constant reminder of what schools believe students must accomplish to be a successful graduate. Most requirements are fairly standard, involving traditional core subjects, such as how many years of Math, English, and History classes are needed to graduate. But one important requirement is missing — the one that requires students to complete a minimum number of community service hours. 

Community service has a multitude of benefits – for the community and for the volunteer. Many projects would not be complete without the hard work of volunteers.  For example, if it wasn’t for the many volunteers, it would be impossible to get donated food organized, prepared, or served to the many people who would otherwise go hungry at homeless shelters. According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, 7.7 billion hours of community service were completed by 62.6 million Americans in 2013; the combined time and effort of these volunteers are estimated to be worth around $173 billion. 

There is no doubt that volunteering is personally fulfilling and rewarding. Whether you’re working in a soup kitchen or helping kids read at a local elementary school, you are making connections with others. Seeing your hard work pay off from start to finish and how it benefits others is one of the best feelings in the world. Community service can also inspire individuals to consider career paths they had not considered before. Whether working independently or in a group setting, putting effort into a project encourages students to use life skills, such as patience, time management, problem solving, teamwork, communication, and public speaking. 

AHS already has many clubs that are specifically dedicated to helping Arcadia and other surrounding communities. With all the benefits that volunteering brings to the table, there is no reason why it should not be a graduation requirement. 

Graphic courtesy of FAVPNG.COM