They are the motivators, the leaders, the adults that care; they are your high school counselors and service directors! Without the heart behind what they do, volunteer service programs would simply be another check list item for students to complete on their way to graduation. Instead, service becomes a meaningful experience that impacts the lives both of student volunteers and the community around them.
At x2VOL we have the privilege of working with counselors and service directors across the nation that manage their students’ service hours. They spend much of their day approving hours and being a liaison between nonprofits and student volunteers.
One of the counselors based out of Connecticut says it best, “The reasons for volunteering and participating in community service far out-number any argument not to!”
From her experience she has seen that volunteering has physical and mental benefits that help reduce stress when the focus is on others, which brings a sense of optimism and joy. In her words, “When we volunteer, everyone emerges as a winner!”
Brenda, a counselor in North Texas, agrees that service has benefits beyond the act itself. Their guidance and counseling mantra is that every student needs to feel cared for, connected and capable. Berry says, “If the students feel connected to their school and their community, they’re going to do better personally, socially and academically.”
Another counselor in Texas, Kristy, shared with us that she has seen many students profoundly changed by their community service experience. They have become more appreciative of what they have, more attentive to others’ needs, and more invested in their community and how they can help others succeed. She says that this has led to more personal success as well.