Community service is an admirable endeavor as it allows you to work for something you believe in and give back to the community. By participating in community service, you can feel connected to your community. While some students at Marta’s Vineyard Regional High School do community service because it looks good on a college transcript or meets a requirement, other students intrinsically want to help their community. Regardless of their motive, many students at the high school are often confused as to how they can actually get involved and what types of things they can do.

There are over 150 nonprofit organizations on our Island. Organizations like after-school programs, the thrift shop, the YMCA and numerous other nonprofits offer opportunities for community involvement. But it isn’t always easy for students to find what’s right for them. It might take a little something extra to find your spot. Joining school-sponsored or community-run clubs and joining sports teams are both great ways to make a difference in our community. These organizations are always looking to contribute to the community in positive ways. For example, the high school lacrosse team helps run the bike tour for MS every year and the National Honor Society raises large amounts of money for different causes and mandates community service hours for each member.

There are few challenges that students face finding community service that they like. All it takes is a little looking. We have a small, tightly knit community and almost every event put on requires community service. Whether it is the film festivals if you’re into movies, or a road race if you are an athlete, almost all our community events rely on young people to work and help with their events. Students who have participated in the high school child care program may be interested in helping a grade school program. Even with the diverse interests in our school, there is community service that anyone will find satisfying.

The opportunities for high school students are endless. There’s always Safe Rides, the community sponsored program which helps high school kids have a safe ride home in bad situations. Some students may think, “I’m only helping kids at my school, there’s no community benefit.” But think of the parents and the police officers that work hard to try to keep kids out of bad situations. There are always calls for community service on our school’s morning news PowerPoint. If you are involved with sports you may consider helping coach a younger age group, or participating in a program like the Learn to Skate class at the ice arena. And if any high school student really can’t find any community service they are attracted to, you can visit the Community Services hub across from the high school which always has a running board of what help is needed and when. Things like these make participating in community service easier than ever. And it is those students who take initiative and get involved who are truly respected by their elders.

It is very important that students participate in some community service. There is never a time on our Island when help isn’t needed. And being a high school student, you already have all the resources you need to get involved. It is important to give back to the community to which we owe so much. Think of our school, without our local taxpayers we wouldn’t have the books or the computers, we wouldn’t have anything. Many students have the mentality that community service is not necessary. But it truly is. There are many opportunities that are given to our high school students to participate in community service, all it takes is a little initiative. We have everything from beach cleanups all the way to giraffe trainer (true story). We owe so much to our local community, and with the resources provided every student should know how to get involved and pay them back.