Community service creates adventurous summers

Community service creates adventurous summers

Clip Art


What is service learning? A service learning component allows students to earn hours for their participation in service learning projects. It is a teaching method designed to get students involved with authentic and meaningful community service.

Freshmen and sophomores need to complete 25 hours of service per year or write three reflections about their experiences. There are also separate requirements for IB Diploma candidates and government students.

Sophomore Tessa Hawley participates in a service project every summer.

“I do service projects because they are usually pretty fun and it helps me figure out what I want to do in the future,” Hawley said. “Also, giving back to the community is a big deal since many do not have the opportunities I do.”

Hawley has not decided fully on her next project for the summer. However, she is looking at the Meals on Wheels project in DC, Habitat for Humanity, or the Yellowstone Project.

The Meals on Wheels Association of America supports the national network of more than 5,000 Senior Nutrition programs that operate in all fifty states and U.S territories. Their vision is to live in an America where all senior citizens have food on their plate.

On the other hand, Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit, nondenominational Christian Ministry organization founded on the idea that every man, woman, and child should have a decent, safe, and affordable place to live.

During the Yellowstone project, volunteers will work on three separate projects, traveling to three distinct areas of Wyoming and Montana. In between each service project, campers will have “rest days” filled with exciting activities like rafting, zip-lining, and rock climbing.

Last year, Hawley was a camp counselor at a Girl Scout camp for underprivileged kids. She has also participated in a Chesapeake Bay cleanup crew project and the Pollution project at Assateague Island.

“My most memorable experience was when I went to the Chesapeake Bay for a few days to clean up the watershed,” Hawley said. “One of my friends fell in and got stung by a jellyfish.”

Even though it can be stressful at times, Hawley enjoys being able to help others while simultaneously having fun.

“Service projects take a lot of devotion, hard work and you have to be prepared to take care of people,” Hawley said. “But do not get discouraged. They can also be really fun because you make tons of new friends and take part in cool adventures.”

There are many opportunities available for service hours. To learn more about these service projects, please contact your counselor or go to the sites below: