With everything going on in the world, it can be easy for students to forget about volunteer hours. And with the many restrictions across the country, it’s hard to know where to even start. But there are endless opportunities available to students.
The Douglas Anderson Counseling Department has worked hard to find in-person and virtual opportunities for students to get the volunteer hours they need for scholarships, like the Florida Bright Futures scholarship. The counselors have many relevant documents and resources listed on their website, as well as in the files section of the DA Student Counseling page on Microsoft Teams.
Kathy Anderson, counselor for students with the last names A-F, believes students should find opportunities that interest them, and go from there.
“Providing service to your community can help students feel a sense of accomplishment, in turn helping them with their self-confidence and personal satisfaction, among other things,” Anderson said.
Although it is not a graduation requirement to have volunteer hours, some argue the act in itself can benefit students in many aspects.
Through volunteering with Twin Lakes Middle School, Caroline Guiler, senior Vocal student, set up a program to help schools who lost their arts classes in her freshman year. By her junior year, some of the same students she had helped became freshmen at DA.
Volunteering can give students a chance to try “different careers,” as Guiler put it, saying it allows students to get a glimpse into their future, as well as earn volunteer hours and scholarships. Guiler has volunteered with the United Service Organization for a few years now, and it has aspired to join the military.
Even volunteering to enjoy some time with some furry friends can make all the difference.
Owen Burow, junior Band student, has been volunteering at Animal Care and Protective Services for about a year and a half. In his time volunteering there, he’s acquired what he calls, “About 135 hours of giving dogs a chance to leave the cage and go outside for at least 5 minutes a day.” Though he has already acquired the number of volunteer hours he needed to qualify for the Florida Bright Futures scholarships, Burow still continues to volunteer.
It can seem like a lot to give up so much free time, yet many find the experience can be rewarding. Guiler and Burow have spent the last few years bettering themselves and their community, and from it, Guiler found her dream career in the military, and Burow has helped many dogs find homes.
Even Anderson volunteers with the National Alliance on Mental Illness in her free time, even though she certainly doesn’t need any service hours or scholarships. Volunteering doesn’t have to end when you graduate, or because you need a scholarship.
“Volunteering can be really fun,” Guiler said. “It is not a chore.”