The importance of community service is frequently debated at schools. Some establishments have already imposed volunteering as a mandatory activity for their graduates to enhance responsibility and academic performance. Many students and their parents, however, have not decided yet whether such a change is fully positive for them. Volunteering has a range of benefits for young people but a required community service can interrupt with the lifestyle of those students who cannot afford to spend their time on it.
In the first place, volunteering is an opportunity for students to explore social needs (which are not always clearly seen) and implement in practice the knowledge they gained at school. Social service is a chance to become useful and raise self-esteem. Former students who volunteered during their high school years admit that they reconsidered some attitudes due to their work in the community. At the same time, students who do not show a satisfactory academic performance or come from low-income families have other issues on their mind. Nearly a quarter of high school students fail to graduate in the US, and students who feel that they are in the group of risk still want to do something to save their diplomas. They are definitely not interested in taking more duties in such a critical period. The same refers to those students who earn a living alongside with their parents.
Considering all pros and cons of volunteering at high school, we shall make it desirable but not compulsory. Students have enough hurdles to overcome before graduation, and community service shall not be one of them. Currently, volunteering is highly appreciated by colleges and employers so that students have incentives to participate in the life of their community. But they shall not be forced by schools to do so if they have other priorities to focus on.