The Student News Site of Flora High School

Flora High School Howler

The Student News Site of Flora High School

Flora High School Howler

The Student News Site of Flora High School

Flora High School Howler

sen walk movie
May 17, 2024

Class of 2014 embraces community service

By Becca Persinger

Lending a hand to others who have made multiple contributions to your education, helping out at community events to ensure a fun and exciting day for fellow townspeople, and having a strong sense of pride for your town is the main goal for requiring Flora High School students to complete ten hours of community service.

“Community service gives kids an advantage when applying for a job, scholarships, or to college,” guidance counselor Bobby McNeely said, “When looking through a mile-high stack of applications that were all submitted by highly qualified people, I would be looking for someone who took it upon themselves to give back to the community they grew up in, and show they have an interest in helping others.”

Every year, the Flora Academic Foundation distributes $30,000 to Flora schools, and this year, FHS students will be able to return the favor by working diligently in the community in efforts of making the town a better place.

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Around January of last year, McNeely and members of the school board began discussing community service, and the benefits it could have on FHS students. In such a short amount of time, the idea was passed, and the thought became a reality.

Halfway through the school year, 53 out of the 79 FHS seniors have completed their community service. Altogether, the class has spent 928 hours giving back by volunteering to work at multiple community events including Appleknocker, the Halloween Parade, and Red Cross Blood Drives. Students have also braved the cold and rang bells at Wal-Mart for the Salvation Army. This was organized by Salvation Army Vice President Rick Slaughter, and along with volunteers from the community, the group raised around $1,000 during their fundraising event.

“We had a great time ringing bells, and my volunteers showed so much enthusiasm,” Slaughter said, “I would definitely like to have more high school students help out again next year.”

Opportunities for completing the ten hours of community service pop up everyday. The Student Council will be needing help during their first Fish Fry Fundraiser, the Food Pantry needs volunteers to stock shelves, and there will be blood drives for the Red Cross later in the year.

“I have had multiple students say that even after they have finished their ten hours, they plan on continuing to perform community service,” McNeely said, “That alone is enough for me to believe that community service is having an extremely positive effect on FHS students, and that this might even grow to a much larger scale over time.”

All over the country, scholarships are becoming more scarce, and it’s necessary for students to have documented hours of community service to be eligible to receive the scholarship.

“I am very pleased with the attitudes of the seniors regarding community service,” McNeely said, “They have really taken action and taken pride in their community.”

After a student shows interest in volunteering at an event or for a local organization, they must make a commitment that they will work, and as of now, no FHS student has ever cancelled without a legitimate reason.

“The only trouble we run into by having community service is that some of the ideas that kids have for completing their ten hours can’t be approved, like mowing their neighbor’s lawn,” McNeely said, “The idea of making the requirement is so students can give back to multiple people, not just one person.”

Next school year, the school board plans to again, only require seniors to perform community service. Students will still be able to volunteer to work at community events such as Appleknocker and the Halloween Parade, and the Cancer Crusaders have asked for volunteers to help during one of their big events.

“Community service has changed FHS students,” McNeely said, “They are seeing how big of difference they can make in the world, and it’s exciting to think of how this might motivate them to help out in an even bigger way in the future.”

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