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Why Community Service Shouldn’t be Required for High Schoolers to GraduateAn overwhelming amount of people believe community service should be required by high schools for graduation, and many high schools have begun to enforce these requirements. They argue that community service helps students gain new skills, become more civic-minded, and prepares them for the future. However, while these are the ideal benefits of community service, students who are obligated to volunteer do not receive these benefits. High schools should definitely encourage community service, but making it compulsory will in the end hurt the students’ future careers, turn them away from future community involvement, and will not benefit the community itself.   First of all, community service, despite what many educators think, does not somehow turn high schoolers into better citizens. In my personal experience of tutoring children for a non profit organization, kids that came from high schools with community service as part of their graduation requirements were not committed to the tutoring job they were given. They didn’t show up to all of the sessions they were assigned to, which resulted in their students achieving  less compared to those with tutors who were consistent. In the end, both the organization and the organization’s beneficiaries suffered from these volunteers. From these types of experiences, where high schoolers are given work they don’t identify with, they are actually put off from performing volunteer work in the future. According to an article by classroom.synonym.com, “when students…perceive that they are being controlled externally, the natural human response is to lose enthusiasm for the project and toward the behaviors that are being promoted.” By obligating students to perform community service, high schools are turning the idea of community service in the mind of the students into a chore, rather than volunteer work that will in fact enhance their community and themselves. The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE), reports that the majority of teenagers who volunteer in the U.S have a negative view of required community service. Mandatory volunteerism at a crucial stage in students’ lives, in which they are beginning to figure out their interests, takes away from time they could use developing skills for the careers they plan on going into, which will benefit the community in the future. Many people argue that community service helps students with their careers and prepares them for college, but it can actually have the opposite effect. For example, a student that already has an idea of what they enjoy doing, like playing basketball or creating art, would find that the hours they put in towards community service would be better spent taking extracurricular classes that would further enhance their passions and interests. According to Ian Fisher, a former college admissions officer and author for getintocollege.com, “colleges want students’ extracurricular profiles to reflect their interests and personalities as much as possible; they’re not looking for the same cookie-cutter applicant with the same number of service hours completed as everyone else.” So forcing students to volunteer a certain number of hours for a cause they care nothing about will not improve their college applications, or increase their chances of getting into college, like many people think. As colleges are interested in applicants that are unique, schools are actually decreasing the value colleges have for community service by making it a mandatory requirement. Supporters of high school mandated community service argue that it is the responsibility of students to give back to the community whose tax dollars are paying for their education. However, teen volunteering actually does more harm than good for the organizations involved. Nonprofits and charities are often bombarded with calls from seniors who want to fulfill their community service requirement at the last minute, and often find themselves with more volunteers than they need at once. Derek Mace, a manager at Coastline Care Homeless and Social Exclusion Service said, “for volunteers to be effective and for clients to be safe, it is essential investment into volunteers is made by the organisation in terms of induction, training and supervision.” In other words, some organizations prefer volunteers who are trained and have the skills to complete specific tasks rather than a bunch of temporary volunteers who need to be taught and supervised. In conclusion, forced community service places unnecessary pressure on high schoolers and does not benefit the community or nonprofit organizations looking for volunteers. Popularizing community service as a way to provide advantages to getting into college can injure students’ applications by making them assign too much value to the importance of community service in college applications. Volunteering should, by definition, be voluntary, and if students participate in community service just in order to graduate they are missing the real point of volunteering altogether. They will not gain the benefits and feel the happiness that accompanies truly selfless volunteer work and helping others. Community service must be discovered through one’s own decision, because only then will it be about something you’re genuinely passionate and eager about.                                              Works CitedFisher, Ian. “Colleges Don’t Care About Community Service | College Coach Blog.” The Insider: Your Expert Guide to College Admissions, 2 Mar. 2016,15 Dec. 2017 blog.getintocollege.com/colleges-dont-care-about-community-service-college-coach-blog/.Smedley, Tim. “Which Would You Rather Have: a Volunteer’s Time or a Funder’s Money?”The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 3 Mar. 2014, www.theguardian.com/voluntary-sector-network/2014/mar/03/which-would-you-rather-have-time-or-money. 15 Dec. 2017″Volunteering/Community Service.” CIRCLE RSS, civicyouth.org/quick-facts/volunteeringcommunity-service/. 15 Dec. 2017