Serve In Order to Earn a High School Diploma?


Many school districts now require students to complete community service along with their academic requirements in order to receive a high school diploma.  Do you think this is fair?  I do.  In, fact, I love the idea.  I believe that volunteerism makes the world a better place for everyone. By helping others we also help ourselves.  Not only can youth make a positive impact on their community, but the best volunteer opportunities allow teens to have inspirational experiences and develop valuable social and professional skills.

We all want to spend time with people who are confident, compassionate, and cooperative.  Giving children the opportunity to make a difference in their families, at schools and in their communities increases the likelihood that they will grow up to become caring, productive adults.  Young people want to do well and want to be a part of something great.  Serving the community increases one’s awareness of the needs of others, encourages responsibility, and promotes leadership.  Meaningful community service allows youth to explore possibilities and seize opportunities.

I define “meaningful community service” as opportunities that are based on the needs, skills, and interests of volunteers.  Meaningful community service offers real –world experiences and provides the chance to make a real impact in the lives of others. Through these real-world experiences, students are exposed to new people, new things, and new ways of thinking and solving problems.  I believe that meaningful community service allows youth to appreciate education and very often motivates them to want to stay in school and work to reach their goals.

I believe that everyone should serve and that everyone has something to offer that will add value to the world.  Give it a try.  Here is a list of community service options to help you get started:

In-Direct Service

  • Organize a can food drive for your local food bank
  • Donate hand made crafts to shelters, hospitals, or senior citizens centers
  • Organize a school supplies drive for children in need


Direct Service

  • Visit senior citizens centers – read to them, talk, walk, play games, sing
  • Tutor younger children
  • Clean up your local park


Let me know how it goes!!


Nicki Sanders, MSW, Chief Visionary Officer
The Teen Toolbox provides youth portfolio development and civic engagement and academic enrichment opportunities to help teens set goals for life after high school and create a road map to reach those goals through its PACKAGED FOR SUCCESS™ Programs.

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