Students search for ways to finish service hours

Curran Nielsen, Managing Editor

Emma Shillington
Brennon Willkom awaits his diploma as he turns in his service hour sheet. “All of the hard work that I have done has been put to good use.” said Willkom.

As the semester wraps up, students are rushing to complete their required service hours, which are due for the fall semester Nov. 27. 

Many students who are balancing a busy schedule filled with sports, honors and AP courses, and clubs aren’t sure how to complete their hours. Students may think that the only way to get service hours is by volunteering at a homeless shelter or at a soup kitchen. However, Head of Christian Service Stephanie Hopkins said that there are many opportunities that students can find in their own communities that may match their interests and help them feel more personally invested in their volunteer work.

Emma Shillington
DONE BEFORE IT IS DUE: Freshman Samantha Sloan is ready to turn in her service hour sheet. “I have already done over two hundred hours and I am ready to do more before I graduate,” she said.

“You can serve in your own community; you just have to work at a charitable organization or agency,” Hopkins said. “So you could be at, say, the Boys & Girls Club because you love working with kids, or you can serve at the after-school daycare program, or if you’re a soccer player you can tailor to working with your AYSO coach … [or] if you have a neighbor that coaches little league or soccer, you can contact them and just help them run drills.”

Associate Director of Campus Ministry Kendra Hart said that if someone is unsure about where to volunteer, her office posts lists of agencies looking for volunteers on the Campus Ministry website and through flyers in their office.

Emma Shillington
DOING GOOD DEEDS: Sophomore Jillian Kridle and junior Kelsey Cox create a Campus Ministry flyer for this year’s Thanksgiving Outreach. “To give back to your community and to help others is a great part of kindness,” Cox said.

For seniors, completing meaningful service hours can also lead to receiving good recommendations for college applications, according to senior Camille McDonnell, one of the ASB commissioners of Campus Ministry.

“If they’re trying to get good recommendations from teachers here at Mater Dei, I think the best way to do that is get involved and do service hours here at school,” McDonnell said. “But if you’re doing them outside of school, maybe get involved at your church and do something through your church because then your parishioners and different people can write good recommendations that if you’re helping out there.”

Emma Shillington
THE END: Senior Brennon Willkom gets ready to end the fall semester by turning in his service hours to Campus Ministry Administrative Assistant Despina Kouridakis. “Service hours really helped me find new ways to serve my community that helped me discover more about myself and the world that I live in,” Wilkom said.

In order to find time to meet service hour requirements, Hart said that students can simply cut one activity a week from their daily schedules.

“It’s all about balance and there’s always time in your schedule for service if you follow your schedule completely,” Hart said. “So maybe you don’t watch TV Saturday morning, or maybe you don’t sleep in Saturday morning and you go work that morning for your service hours, or maybe you find something that you can do right after school and you help for an hour after school tutoring somewhere. It’s just kind of finding that time in your schedule but it also is rewarding and it gives back.”