Community SERVE-ice

Why volunteering is important
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Artist Statement: The first volunteer work I thought of was volunteering at a food pantry.  I decided to use pencil since its easier to layer shadows and highlights.
Artist Statement: The first volunteer work I thought of was volunteering at a food pantry. I decided to use pencil since it’s easier to layer shadows and highlights.
Tristan Mattingly

To many high school students, community service is nothing more than just a graduation requirement or box to check off when applying for college or scholarships. To others, though, community service is a way of life.

Senior Avery Hlivko does independent community service at the Nebraska Humane Society and in her mother’s first grade classroom. She is also an officer of the Nebraska State Student Council.

“So for the past two years I was NSSC vice president, which is the Nebraska Student Council,” Hlivko said. “I was in charge of executing the state service project, and so we chose to do foster care bags, and so for a period of the year, the schools in the state were collecting items and we all brought them together to bring all those to Project Harmony so that they can give them to the foster care communities across Nebraska,” she said.

I think that, for one thing, just the very simple fact of doing something that’s not for you is an important feature for everybody, so being able to focus on the needs of other people is incredibly important

— Student Council sponsor Kyrie Nehls

Student Council is an organization whose purpose is to improve communication between the student body and faculty, but it is also to participate as a group in the community.

“Community service is a requirement for all of our Student Council members,” advisor Kyrie Nehls said. “We divide it into two different categories, so we require five hours per category per semester. Our categories are in-council hours, which are things that our council does as a group.  And it’s not always everybody, but it can be us going as student council, so sometimes it’s us going to an elementary school and helping with a reading night. Or at Central Middle School we help with their dances and activities and things. So, if they’re wearing their Student Council shirt, they are part of Millard South Student Council, those are our in-council activities.  And then, the requirement is five out-of-council hours to do on their own time.  Sometimes other Student Council members come together, but it’s not actually an organized idea.  That can be volunteering at Lydia House, or it can be things like if you’re doing community service with a Boy Scout troop, things like that.”

Another organization that values community service is the Leo Club.

“LEO Club is where you have a bunch of opportunities to do your community service hours,” sophomore Dylan Nguyen said. “There’s a lot of things you can do to help out the school, or there’s other stuff, like bell ringing at Hy-Vee, and you can basically just help out the community and the school too,” he said.

Community service is also beneficial to students. 

“I think that, for one thing, just the very simple fact of doing something that’s not for you is an important feature for everybody, so being able to focus on the needs of other people is incredibly important,” Nehls said. “I also think that community service allows for students to have experiences that are not necessarily comfortable?  In a sense.  Getting some experience and some exposure to other people,” she said.

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