For most students, service requirements were a part of their secondary and post-secondary education. Service hours are required for some scholarships such as Florida Bright Futures. While community service hour requirements have the potential to mold passionate volunteers who want to give back to the community, school officials do not adequately help students select volunteer opportunities rewarding enough for the student to develop a passion.
When students learn they have service hour requirements for their educational program, they often push that requirement immediately to the back of their mind. As the time in the program progresses, the advisor reminds students of the required service hours and the their submission date. As the date approaches, students look for opportunities to meet the service hour requirements. Students often meet their requirements through volunteering at multiple events. While this may seem beneficial for students, the process makes volunteering a chore to be done instead of an opportunity that lets students partner with an organization and develop a passion for its mission.
Volunteering is a great way for students to give back to the community; however, several circumstances hinder them from finding valuable volunteer work. When school faculty assigns service requirements, students often do not know how to find opportunities suitable to their interest. While ultimately the student chooses their community partner, faculty should provide a list of organizations that could serve as a guide to students who are required to do service hours.
Community service is rewarding. Participants have numerous opportunities to work with their community. Volunteering changes lives, and it allows students to gain a different perspective for life and other groups of people effected by varying circumstances. With the proper guidance and opportunities, students can gain meaningful experience from doing community service and become lifelong volunteers.