People wonder why teenagers don’t get more involved in community service, but they don’t know our struggle. Nowadays, teenagers have school, sports, clubs, Minnesingers and work. Some teenagers do not have the time for community service. But there are many opportunities for teenagers. Teenagers just need to look a little more carefully in the community for the right place for them.

Every week, on Sundays and Tuesdays, there is a Sunday school class. You could be a teacher helper. I did that for two years. Be a leader. Spread the faith. If you don’t want to teach Sunday school, become a coach of a sporting team, little league baseball or football. Getting involved with little kids will help them with their problems and show them that older teens do really care about them. If they have something they really need to talk about, they can share it with you. Sports are a great way to spread some knowledge. Teaching younger kids is a good way to give back to the community without doing something you dread, if you would like to have a profession with kids.

If you do not want to do it with kids, volunteer with the elderly. You could go to Windermere and read to someone. Play checkers or cards. You could create a party or a get-together with all the people. Maybe a seniors night, just make sure they don’t throw out a hip. This will make them feel young again and not restricted by their age. Let them tell you about their life stories and their experiences. They would appreciate someone to listen to them and would love the youth asking to know about them.

They might have thought their life was boring and pointless, like many kids today, but you wanting to know would let them feel like their life was worth living. When you share with each other your lives and dreams, you may have more in common than you thought you did.

Sometimes teenagers do not do much community service for a simple reason. Nothing on the Island appeals to them. Off-Island there are more opportunities. Here, maybe someone wants to be a carpenter, but there is no community service place for them, except Habitat for Humanity, which is not always working. For someone who wants to be a lawyer, there aren’t many law firms that would take a kid in. If you want to be a film director, there are not many on the Island for you, the only real opportunity is in school or with a film festival. Sometimes there are no Island sports teams, like volleyball, swimming, or wrestling. That makes it harder for teenagers to do community service.

Community service is something that everyone should do at some point or another. It is a good thing to do to get involved with the Island and mold our future. But there are many opportunities that off-Island kids get that we do not get. This does stop us from doing a lot of things, but sometimes it does not. We just have to look really deep into the Island to find community service that we would like to do. Maybe one day more teenagers will be able to do more than they thought and help with different kinds of community service.