Doing Time

Tatiana Martinez, Section Editor

Many students find themselves surprised and overwhelmed when they’re told about the 40 community service hours they must complete by senior year. Luckily, the task is not as daunting as they think, and there are plenty of opportunities to gain hours in school and in the community.

Angel Winn, an academic counselor at Gunderson, suggests an easier way to divide the hours per year in school. “My recommendation is that every student divides the amount of community service hours they have into four years,” she said. “So basically 40 [community service] hours and you’re here four years. So I would do minimum 10 hours per year.”

There are various places and volunteer opportunities available within our community. “You have your animal shelters, you have your libraries, you have your elementary schools and middle schools that can use tutoring from high school students,” Winn said. “You have nonprofit organizations, you have food shelters, you have homeless shelters… stuff like that,” she said.

It’s easy to call or visit any of the suggested places and ask if there are available volunteer opportunities. 

It’s important to be proactive when it comes to hours because if students don’t fulfill their hours, they don’t graduate. “If you don’t complete your hours for the school district, you don’t get to walk across the stage and graduate until you finish those hours,” Winn said.

Students may think that community service doesn’t matter, when in fact it does. “Colleges, like private schools, they look at what you’ve done in the community to kind of show the kind of person you are, so that’s important too,” she said.

Make sure to try and plan accordingly so you’re not left with 38 hours and only two weeks left of your senior year to complete them. Time goes by fast!