Before you start panicking about how to earn your volunteer hours, hold your horses. You may have heard that you are required to do community service to graduate, but that is not the case.
“You are not required to do community service to graduate. It’s graded like any other project, so if you don’t do it, you just get a lower grade, but it won’t stop you from graduating,” explained Social Studies Department Chair, Sal Olivo.
However, the lack of clear instruction about the community service project may have lead to the propagation of false information around the school.
“I know [now] it isn’t required, but at first I thought it was something required to graduate, because I remember hearing someone say ‘you need 150 hours to graduate,’ and I [thought] that’s too much, so I had to make sure. I asked my counselor and she said no, but recommended [that I] do it,” said senior Alex Susano.
While some have received clarity from their counselors or teachers, others are still unsure about what is required for graduation.
“I thought it was a requirement because all my teachers and counselor have told me it is,” said junior Jose Arnez Real.
Regardless of whether it is a requirement for completing high school with a diploma, community service hours offer future opportunities for students with their eye on college acceptance.
“I will continue [to volunteer] because it will still help in getting into college and with many scholarships,” said Real.
Although community service makes college applications look stronger, the actual purpose of community service goes beyond any academic motives.
“I feel like community service is a part of being a good citizen,” school counselor, Rashida Williams said. “People shouldn’t do community service just to get into college. I think people should always try to give back. For colleges, it helps them see that you are a member of the community. Colleges are looking for students, but they are also looking for people to become a part of their community and you are more than just who you are in a classroom.”
The College and Career Center suggests these websites if you’re interested in volunteering: