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Science Hill Standouts Talk Community Service, Leadership

Science Hill Standouts Talk Community Service, Leadership

Cleaning up hiking trails, building a food pantry, public speaking, and raising nearly 100 thousand dollars for charity are only some of the experiences and accomplishments Science Hill students have witnessed as a result of partaking in community service. In order to graduate, Science Hill students must complete ten hours of community service for each year they are enrolled in the school, but most students regard this graduation requirement as a nuisance. Many students wait until their senior year and cram their community service hours into a matter of weeks or months. Although many students may frown upon community service, its benefits are plentiful and enriching.

According to Om Patel and Julia Gilmore, two Science Hill students who are highly involved in community service, participating in volunteer work and community service can enable you to make new friends, strengthen your ties with your community, create a sense of accomplishment, and open new avenues of opportunity.

First, community service enables you to make new friends and develop stronger ties with your community. For example, Om Patel describes the impact of a Scouting program experience he had in third grade.

“We would participate in cleaning up hiking trails, doing food drives, and other community service projects. The scouting program showed me the importance of giving back to your community and its exponential effect on it.” Patel adds, “[Doing community service] also makes me feel like a more integrated part of society knowing I can make a difference”.

Julia Gilmore, who has raised over 94,000 dollars through a nonprofit for St. Jude’s Children Hospital, explains community service has given her “a lot of opportunities to meet a lot of people that are like minded.” She also says, “I’ve found a lot of other friends and community members who are really driven like I am.”

Furthermore, community service generates a sense of accomplishment and opens new avenues for opportunity. Julia Gilmore has experienced both. She explains, “The people I’ve been able to meet and the lives I’ve been able to contribute to has just really made me feel like a better person.”

Similarly, Om Patel states, “I started doing community service because I saw the immense benefit it was giving others.” He also explains, “The main benefit of community service is seeing your hard work pay off by making others happier.”

However, in addition to creating a sense of accomplishment, community service opens new doors of opportunity. For example, Gilmore states, “I’ve traveled to so many places and done lots of different speeches. It’s given me the opportunity to meet so many cool people.” As a result of her volunteer work and contributions, Julia Gilmore also mentions she was able to get a summer internship with St. Jude’s volunteer and fundraising teams.

In regards to opportunities, Om Patel states, “When people know that you care about the community, they are more likely to invite you to come to other service projects.” Clearly, both Julia Gilmore and Om Patel have seen the benefits of volunteering.

Finally, both Om Patel and Julia Gilmore agree that community service teaches many valuable life skills. As a result of community service, Om Patel states, “I have developed better communication and social skills.”

“I learned that anyone and everyone can make a difference. Imagine how much better and cleaner the community could be if everyone did something for the community. Anything that goes around comes around and that basically means that when you do something for the community, it benefits you as well, creating social skills, self-esteem, a sense of community, time management, and leadership.”

“It gives you a lot of perspective on how other people live and kind of the situations other people are in,” says Julia Gilmore.

Om Patel began his community service journey in third grade with a Scouting program, and Julia Gilmore began her journey at the age of 9. Although both started their community service journeys early, it does not mean it’s too late to begin your own. Julia Gilmore suggests finding something you are passionate about.

“Find something you like to do and that you’re interested in,” says Julia. “I have a lot of friends who really like to do the animal shelter stuff or they like spending time with older people in retirement homes or with kids. I have a few friends who like to bake, so they will make little baked goods for the homeless in the community. Find what you like to do and what’s really good for you and then it will just come naturally when finding community service opportunities.”

Om Patel states, “There are no prerequisites to community service, just be selfless and bring a good attitude. There will always be opportunities year-round; you just have to look for them. When you do find them, bring some of your friends so that not only will you get your hours, but you will have an enjoyable experience as well”.

If you need help locating community service opportunities, you can speak to your counselor or visit the Science Hill website.

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Erick Trejo, Staff Writer
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