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The opportunity for people to give back to their community is one of the greatest feelings in the world. It allows people to help the less fortunate around them. The lack of motivation is a common setback for the small number of volunteers in the community, but there is now a possible solution: participating in community service could be mandatory for high school students to graduate. According to Sparks, “More states and districts are adopting policies to incorporate service-learning into their requirements for high school graduation”. Requiring community service as a part of earning a high school diploma is beneficial to young adults and the community since it builds life skills and impacts the surrounding environment.
One of the most important reasons for community service is it turns students into shining American citizens since it teaches valuable lessons and builds character. Although many students and parents argue that a graduation requirement is a form of “involuntary servitude,” which was banned by the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, it will actually benefit them in the future. According to Sparks, “Prior studies have found students who volunteer more frequently tend to be higher-achieving, more engaged in their communities, and less prone to risky behaviors as adolescents”. While adjusting to the new tasks of volunteering, students would gain greater time management skills that would help them later in their life. The students would also have to stay organized if they want effective results in their work.
If the purpose of high school is to prepare the students to meaningfully participate in society, making community service a requirement of graduation will only further bolster that effort by building students’ leadership. According to Sortal, community service gives students the ability to learn essential leadership skills. It will be necessary for the students to step out of their comfort zone and take charge in some areas. These skills will not only help them later in life, but they will gain better knowledge when applying them to their school work now.
Through community service, students take ownership of their projects and engage in a deeper level with their communities. The new responsibility will shape students into a more-improved, all-around people. This is important as “This is where our leaders come from”. Working with the community will not only benefit the other citizens, but the student volunteers too. They could use their volunteering experience to give them the upper hand on college and job applications.
An additional benefit of mandatory volunteering as a teenager is that it’ll give the students feedback on their likes and dislikes in the workplace. The program that they volunteer through could help determine possible college majors and jobs in the future. According to a current events article, “Some school administrators think community-service requirements teach students valuable citizenship and job skills”. It would allow them to start working in a number of different fields, but if they realized they didn’t like it, they could quit and start somewhere else without major penalties.
Without a doubt, volunteering for the community at a young age will benefit teenagers by giving them life skills and preparing them for the workplace later on in their life. With the mandatory rule of needing to volunteer in order to graduate, teenagers don’t have to worry about their lack of motivation. The community gains the new leaders of tomorrow a little earlier. The pleasure of giving back to the community and helping out the less fortunate is something unbeatable and will only make a positive impact on the world.
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