Categorized | Features

Service Makes a GIANT Change

Junior NHS members help organize the English department's storage room.

Junior NHS members help organize the English department’s storage room.

by Dalton Lafferty, Technology Manager

Waynesboro High School currently has four extracurricular service organizations: National Honor Society, Beta Club, Key Club and Interact Club. Although these organizations offer a variety of opportunities for involvement, the amount of students volunteering has been on the decline. Ms. Laliberte, advisor for Waynesboro’s chapter of the National Honor Society, has seen a drop of about ten members from last year. Laliberte speculates this may be because the values of students are changing, or because of stereotypes people may have about NHS or volunteering.

The four pillars of National Honor Society are scholarship, character, leadership, and of course, service. Laliberte hopes to begin branching out to focus on the other pillars because scholarship and service are required to stay in the organization, but leadership and character are not necessarily highlighted in the member’s duties. She thinks all students could benefit from the pillars, but that service would be the bonding factor for students.

Waynesboro’s National Honor Society has worked with multiple national organizations such as Relay for Life and the SPCA, but Laliberte thinks looking locally for service projects would benefit not only the community more, but the students as well. The student population could become closer if it looks for local service projects to work on. Sadly, most students are only volunteering and joining the National Honor Society because they view it as something to put on their college applications. Laliberte says “I wish students knew that NHS wasn’t as big of a factor on college acceptance as students think it is,” but she says they view volunteering as a “necessary evil”. Even though students may be volunteering just to look good for college, Laliberte thinks adults don’t volunteer enough. This isn’t a good thing because adults should be setting the example for teenagers to volunteer, and some do. Many adults are members of adult service organizations, and they are motivated and committed to serving the community. Mixing the adult and high school service organizations would help bridge the age gap and break stereotypes both groups may have against the other.

Carly Edwards, senior, describes Key Club as a nationwide service organization “run by the students.” Key Club does several service projects including filling stockings in conjunction with the Salvation Army and boosting morale, says Edwards. She says she wishes that volunteering was “pushed and stressed even more” on college applications. Edwards thinks that service is genuinely important to people. “Some people actually do care about it (service and volunteering).” There are a number of Key Club members that are genuinely interested in improving the community. Edwards thinks that volunteering should be a requirement for graduation, but that each student should volunteer on their own. Otherwise some students may slack off and leave the more motivated students with all the work.

Another WHS senior, Janelle Harris, has risen to the role of president of Beta Club. Harris refers to Beta as a club for honor students with opportunities for community service where the students work as a group to better the community. Harris thinks members of Beta Club are making a positive impact and says they work really hard on projects we give them. “Keeping a positive attitude makes efficient work,” says Harris. When asked whether or not volunteering should be a requirement for graduation, she said “I don’t see why not” and that it should be completed on the student’s time.

Although it may seem that teenagers are not volunteering as much as they have in the past, it still makes an impact on the community. Even performing small tasks for other people will improve the overall moral of the community, so take time to help someone out today. Some acts may seem small and some may seem large, but together they can make a giant difference.

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