Students should be required to complete community and service hours

Community and Service promotes positive traits in teenagers.

Community and Service promotes positive traits in teenagers.

Community and Service. Those three words are associated with affection, care and selfless giving.

Shouldn’t all students strive to exude the aforementioned characteristics? The answer is undoubtedly yes. Therefore, all students should be required to complete a specific amount of community and service hours in order to graduate from high school.

“I think that community service should be mandatory in order to graduate from high school…. you learn that it is important to help others who aren’t as fortunate as you are,” said Cara Cornatzer (’17).

Cornatzer is just one of thousands of people who have experienced the value of community and service. It seems that the majority of those who have participated in some various community and service activity have been changed by it for the better. This may be because the positive consequences of community and service are mind-blowing. The positive effects truly make the hard work worthwhile.

“It gives each person a chance to give back and help someone other than themselves. The values and experiences received in the outcome of this action are very important to a person’s development as a growing person,” said Cornatzer.

Clearly, community and service is a positive way to help the community and it should undoubtedly be required for all high school students since the positive and unique feeling accompanied with community and service work is only felt by those who participate in the service. All students should be able to experience that feeling, and in turn, become a more ethical and principled person as a result.

According to Santa Fe Institute’s, Alison Gopnik, this is because “children are better learners than adults are.”

“Childhood… may be evolution’s way of performing simulated annealing – that is beginning with a wide high-temperature search of a problem – space and gradually “cooling” to more narrowly defined searches,” said Gopnik.

As younger beings are more adept to learning, the principles associated with community and service must be instilled at a young age. Therefore, the reasoning behind community and service being required for high school graduation is justified.

Allie Shifton (’17), however disagrees with the idea of community and service being required for high school graduation.

“I don’t think that community service can actually be regulated,” said Shifton.

Despite Shifton’s beliefs, there are simple ways for community and service to be regulated. If students record the foundation or organization they are donating their time to on a community and service log, officials (principals, guidance counselors, etc.), can contact these organizations to ensure that the students are indeed volunteering the set amount of time written on their log. Thus, also instilling genuine and honest traits within teenagers.

The skills of morality and ethics, which will be gained by teenagers from community and service work, will have a major effect on the world; today’s teenagers are inevitably going to formulate into tomorrow’s adults. As adults, teenagers will have the right to autonomy, the right to choose. Adults have the ability to do what is right, but unfortunately are also able to do what is wrong. If teenagers begin in their younger year learning to behave as ethical beings, they will become more likely to shape into ethical adults!

Requiring community and service completion, in order for high school graduation, is absolutely necessary for the preservation of a morally principled human race. If community and service is required in high school, a brighter, virtuous, and extremely principled, future is in our midst.