Dear members of the school board,
I believe there is no denying the importance of community service. Its benefits go beyond the mere help we are offering while doing it. Whatever it may be: feeding someone, offering shelter to the homeless, teaching kids how to read and write… I do believe we all are in this world to offer something more than just ourselves. And community service is a beautiful way to do so. We get to touch many people’s lives. We get to show that we care.
On the other hand, the idea of demanding community service as a mandatory activity in order to graduate takes much of its beauty away. My first objection to its being demanded from us is precisely the fact that, once it becomes an obligation, it will lose its true meaning. We won’t be doing it for the pleasure of helping, of serving others. It will be one more task to be completed, one more step to be climbed while reaching for a college education.
Also, even though one hundred hours are not as much as they may sound at first, they are still one hundred hours. We, as high school students, lack that availability as we have to focus on entrance exams, projects, sports… Those hours might be priceless to the people receiving our help, we are aware of that. But they are priceless to us as well. They might be the time of dedication that will lead us where we want to go. They might be what we need to go that extra mile toward our future career.
I’m not saying we should not do community service at all. Maybe we could compromise, find that middle ground reasonable people are always willing to find. Maybe a lower number of hours, maybe some flexibility in the distribution of those hours over the years… Those are possibilities that, if taken into consideration, might my own opinion and that of many of my classmates.
In conclusion, I do believe in the importance of community service. I believe it to be an essential part of human nature to help others. We are not whole living just for ourselves. But I also believe our help can be given in a structured, healthy manner, that will not interfere with our short and long-term plans for our future. I hope we can find a proper way to reach a decision together.
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