Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Parent to Parent: Community Service
Getting up early doing homework it's all part of the back to school routine. For high school kids, there's something else on the to-do list, community service hours. In today's Parent to Parent, a look at how community service can go from a school assignment, to a life-long passion.
WSVN -- Jared Tucker and Nicole Carpio are high school freshman on a mission. They're delivering hurricane preparedness kits to senior citizens to complete their emergency response training and to get the community service hours required for school.
Jared Tucker: "At first, I would say I was doing it for community hours I'm not going to lie, but as the week went on, I started to learn that helping the community was a big part in the world that we need to come together."
These kids are from high schools all over Miami, they are required to complete up to 80 hours of community service to graduate.
Under the guidance of the Hialeah Emergency Operations Center, and volunteer organization Hands on Miami, they spent a week getting certified as Junior Community Emergency Response Team members.
Nicole Carpio: "You just become more mature, you understand what people are going through by helping them and, so you feel for them, and then you just want to work and help them."
There's a reason why schools require community service studies have shown that participation builds character, improves leadership skills, builds self esteem, and gives kids a real sense of community.
Joe: "It's a win-win situation for students, your kids are somewhere for a whole week they're getting community service hours for graduation for high school, they're learning something they can carry on for the rest of their lives."
Hialeah's mayor even dropped by to encourage the kids, which brings us to another benefit of volunteering. Professional development, getting out in the community gives kids the opportunity to meet new people and expore a variety of careers, and helps them build a resume and develope contacts, and counselors say once the kids get a taste of volunteering many are hooked for life.
Stefanie: "They come out on the weekends or after school with us after coming to these camps because they learn that community service is fun and it's not something they have to do for school credit."
After a week together these kids agree they've made lots of new friends and developed new passion for reaching out to others.
Jared Tucker: "If there's somebody that needs help, I can help them and help the community and make it better."
Nicole Carpio: "It feels good to help other people like that feeling inside you, so it feels good."
For More Information:
Dr. Valerie Goode
Hands On Miami