Service with a Smile

By Staff Writer Korben Dunlap

Graphics by Nico Randle

Community involvement hours are an integral factor to the graduation of students and with the end of the school year creeping up, few seniors are stressed about turning in their hours needed for graduation.

To seniors Lyric Gomez and Cameron Dyas, there is some definite stress to turning in the hours. “I was worried in the beginning because I didn’t know what to do,” said Dyas.  “I feel like a lot of people don’t really think about getting their hours.” As a senior, there are many things to accomplish before graduation, including multiple applications and forms for jobs, colleges and scholarships, and so often community service hours are forgotten until the last minute. The biggest issue for seniors getting their hours is where to even start. “It’s just finding places [to volunteer]… you have [to find] a place that’s flexible [with your schedule],” said Gomez.

Not only is turning in the service hours difficult for Blazers, but English teacher and community involvement coordinator Dee Flaherty also has to go through the process with students. The biggest problem for Flaherty is students not turning in their hours, as only one-third of seniors have turned in their hours, and some of them only having partial hours submitted, “There will be students turning them in the week of graduation, it’s frustrating, but not uncommon,” said Flaherty. Despite this, Flaherty still perseveres at her job, “It’s just tedious, it’s not hard, and I get to meet a lot of students who aren’t in my class.”

While some think 20 hours is too many hours to get before graduation, some seniors have gone over the minimum of required hours. Lyric Gomez, has gone far and beyond with her community service hours. “I’m probably close to 200,” Gomez said. “I did 150 for the varsity letter, and then I did 20 for just graduating and the 10 for civics, and then I just do other stuff without documenting it. I go every saturday [to] a dog adoption [center]” With so many hours, students have many more opportunities for after graduation including multiple scholarships and higher chances of getting into their first choice college.

Seniors must turn in all their community service hours for their culminating project by March 15 to Mrs. Flaherty in classroom 128.

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