Volunteering builds character and educates students

Delaney Sullivan, Staff Reporter

High school students are required to do many things that may often seem pointless like many
assignments they receive. However, they should be required to do something that really could impact
them. Every state across the country should require students to obtain a minimum of 40 volunteer
hours across their four years in high school.
Volunteering provides people with many important life lessons. It prepares teenagers for having a
real job and working with others. It’s a great way to learn to put aside all differences to help each other.
Being involved as a volunteer teaches people to be well rounded and provides a perfect opportunity to
make new friends. Meeting so many new people and experiencing new things is a major part of
volunteering. Recent studies by the Mayo Clinic Health System have shown that volunteering often
increases mental health and decreases depression. This is due to the fact that people are able to feel
more confident by helping others and meeting new friends. These are skills that prepare teenagers for
the real world, which school does not teach them.
Many people think that volunteering only benefits the people they are helping. But volunteering is a
two-way street. Seeing the impact made on people who need help feels amazing. Making a difference
gives people confidence and allows them to connect with their community. By helping people to be kind
rather than for the money, it makes people feel good and provides a sense of purpose. Helping people in
need changes their life and makes them feel appreciated.
Another reason to consider volunteering is because of how it could benefit a college application.
Colleges often look for how one has contributed to their community and what they did to give back. By
having at least 40 hours of volunteering on an application, colleges are more likely to consider that
individual. In fact, colleges are 82% more likely to choose someone with volunteer experience. That

makes an application stand out to them. Getting to learn and grow as a person through the life lessons
volunteering has to offer also benefits a college application.
Although it is understandable why students would be hesitant to volunteer because they are so busy
with school work and their own extra curricular activities, volunteering should still be a requirement. It
is a fun thing that teaches many life lessons and benefits people in need.