Community Service as a Graduation Requirement

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Jasmine Santos
Mrs. Shafer
IU English
19 December 2011
Community Service as a Graduation Requirement
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...
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