Students gear up for community service

Students start the school year off finding their passion for community service. To qualify for Bright Futures, a minimum of 100 community service hours is required for graduation. Recently, there have been changes in the way hours are turned in and reviewed.

In the past, community service hours were turned in to guidance and could only be non-profit. This year, community service hours are being reviewed and signed off by the students’ guidance counselors.

“There is a little more flexibility since some rules have changed. In the past couple years, the majority of the students at West Shore’s volunteer hours tied in with their extra-curricular activities,” guidance counselor Spero Tshontikidas said.

When writing recommendations, Tshontikidas likes to have have a whole paragraph just for community service and wants to see students grow with their community.

“Consistency is the key,” Tshontikidas said. “Character isn’t defined by your grades, it’s how much effort you put into the subject. I want to see passion, teamwork, interpersonal skills and leadership. The hardest kids to write about are those who earn straight A’s and do not do any activities.”

Seventh-grader Ariel Wundke takes the challenge of starting his community service hours by participating in beach clean-ups.

“I would volunteer with my older brother at the recreation center, but I am not old enough,” he said.

By Isabella Serrano