Volunteering should not be a graduation requirement


A youth volunteer at the Virginia Aquarium shows a sea turtle shell to a young guest.

Ryan Lala, Staff Writer

People make a choice to volunteer for their community, but making it a graduation requirement negates the meaning of volunteerism.

Many states around the country have mandated that students perform a set number of volunteering hours in order for them to graduate. With recent talks about bringing that requirement into Virginia City Public Schools, it sparks the question: If volunteering is mandatory, is it considered volunteering?

Required or not, volunteering helps other people who are struggling, or help the community as a whole. Requiring students to volunteer will increase the amount of people that help the community around them, but people volunteer out of the goodness of their hearts. They should not be forced to volunteer by someone else.

“When students are told what to do or think, they lose motivation to do it because their beliefs are ignored,” according to an article by Brillianto, titled, “Why volunteering should not be mandatory.”

Another problem with forced volunteerism is the fact that not all students have transportation.

“I don’t think it should be required to graduate. I think it should be an option like it already is, because some people just don’t have the ability or transportation to do that,” said sophomore Leila Alpaugh.

The phrase quality over quantity also comes into play when it comes to volunteering. If forced to volunteer, some students who don’t care about the cause will diminish the passion of others of who do, and it can end up causing problems for the organization and the others who volunteer at the organization.

So, instead of making volunteering mandatory, schools should encourage students to talk to a guidance counselor about current service projects that they could participate in.