Volunteering: 160 Hours Good?

Principal+Mrs.+Emmons+shares+her+views+on+volunteering.+Students+will+be+required+to+turn+in+40+volunteer+hours+at+the+end+of+the+year.

Photo: Kelleigh Hogan

Principal Mrs. Emmons shares her views on volunteering. Students will be required to turn in 40 volunteer hours at the end of the year.

Kelleigh Hogan, Columnist

160 hours- that’s almost a week. 160 hours is 20 eight-hour workdays. At Horizon Honors, high school students are required to turn in 40 hours of community service each year, for a total of 160 hours during high school. That is five eight-hour workdays each year. Can you give five days up each year to help someone else?

I have been volunteering for the past few years. During junior high, I had to complete ten hours each year. However, I ended up loving volunteering and helping other people. Last year, I did a variety of things including helping with an after-school tennis club for elementary students, and becoming a challenger buddy, where I worked with Maricopa Little League for about 20 hours a week. I also started tutoring a friend of mine, and helping at various school events. I even won the Volunteer of the Year award this summer from Maricopa Little League. I love volunteering because I believe that volunteering can help you make other people and yourself happy.

Key Club is a new club at Horizon Honors that focuses on community service. Mr. Vitagliano is the advisor, and senior Anja Asato is the president. Asato says volunteering is “a really good way to give back to your community and school.” The Key Club emphasizes volunteering and gives students opportunities to better the school and the community.

Mrs. Emmons, Horizon Honors principal, also strongly believes – on a personal level – that volunteering is very important. She said that volunteer hours requirements were started to help students put something on their college applications. She says that the current 40 are very easy. In fact, she believes there should be more. Emmons said that she started volunteering for causes such as muscular dystrophy, participating in activities with her church group, and taking part in beach cleaning. “I think that the biggest thing now is to find something you think sounds fun to start with,” she says in regards to what advice she would give students.

Volunteering can be an opportunity to meet new people and grow on a personal level. Many people enjoy helping those in worse circumstances, or working with groups that set out to better the community. Volunteer hours, if helping the community isn’t enough, also look very nice on college and scholarship applications.

However, the only thing I will say against volunteering is that it shouldn’t be required. Students should want to help out without being forced. If forced, they’re more likely to be less helpful or open to the experience.