Reflecting on my school experience, I get to take a step back and look at community service from a variety of perspectives. There is community service as a requirement at school, community service as a responsibility, community service as a passion, or maybe a combination of all of the above but it is interesting to think about the extent to which community service plays a role in the lives of people around the world. It is also interesting to think about what it means to “do community service.” Does it mean volunteering in your local community? In the global community? Does it mean donating money or advocating for a cause you’re passionate about? Does it mean taking a stand again an injustice? What I have come to realize is that it means all of that and it means something different to everyone.
For me, it has played an integral role in my life as a high school student. By being an active member of my community and opening my eyes to the world outside my high school “bubble,” I have learned what it truly means to be part of something and to be a citizen of the world. The service board at my school was my niche. It is where I found comfort, surrounded by other students who frequently volunteer and love giving back. That being said, community service isn’t a passion for everyone and that is okay, but I hope that in small ways, through the service board and my work with Girl Up, I can provide insight as to why your actions matter and give you confidence in your abilities to make a difference in a variety of ways.
What I can say for sure is that developing a habit of serving your community by donating your time and energy to a cause is one that develops in middle and high school. That is not to say that it is too late to start volunteering after you graduate from high school, but it is during those years when you commit to making the time that you develop a life-long commitment. No matter how busy you get, you will not stop making the effort to lend your time for the good of others once you have established a habit. And as we all know, habits are hard to break!
So as you end your school year and head into summer, however old you are, think about the ways in which you can use your unique talents and strengths to help someone else. Even if you do not make a huge commitment, you can better the life of one person and maybe more. So go out there, find what your passionate about or what you care about, and ACTBOLD.