Service Hours: The Good, The Bad, The Necessary


SBHS sophomore, Sean Alcide, participate in recycling week to gain service hours.

Jada Strachan and Shanaya Conley

SBHS senior Chana Vogel has cleaned beaches, worked concession stands at sports events, collected donations of food and clothes, and sold dozens of boxes of candy, all in effort to gain service hours and benefits for college.

“I really enjoy volunteering considering the amount of benefits that come with it, such as gaining experience and exposure, to further help me in college and throughout life,” said Vogel.

Although the minimum a student can have is 40 service hours, Vogel currently has 245 service hours. What started out as a graduation requirement, turned into a passion for Vogel, as she’s now aiming to complete 250 service hours to receive a silver cord.

“I think that along the way of completing my service hours and helping around my community, I gained an overall liking of doing service hours and used it to my benefit of getting a silver cord,” she said.

Vogel believes that service hours should be a graduation requirement not only to help better the community, but to benefit the individual. The act of volunteering does something for one’s conscience, which helps with overall self-esteem. 

Approximately 26% of high school students volunteer each year. Per Broward County Public Schools website, service hours help students to learn and develop a commitment to addressing needs in their communities, and help them develop a sense of responsibility to society. 

Ultimately, whether or not it’s beneficial, it’s still a requirement to graduate high school.

Testing coordinator Ashley Lehman is in charge of service hours at South Broward High School. She agrees that students do gain certain skills that will help them throughout their lives, as well as around the community.

“Depending what kinds of service hours they do, they can gain some experience in those fields, while also gaining a sense of social connection by helping in their community,” Lehman said.

Although service hours may be beneficial in some aspects, there are also some cons.

Veronica Brunns, who also oversees service hours at South Broward High school, stated that while service hours allow students to gain new experiences and opportunities to prepare them for jobs and life after high school, it can keep them from taking care of other necessary events in their lives.

“Some kids may see service hours as a weight that’s pulling them down, because they are not able to fulfill their duties with whatever they have going on at home,” Brunns said.

Take Mikayla Dunn, for instance. The SBHS freshman only has 10 service hours from a beach clean-up service act. She says that although it was very beneficial, she wouldn’t always have the ability and time to help in the environment. Due to so much happening in students’ lives, she doesn’t think it should be a graduation requirement.

“While I do think it’s great that we are able to help out in the community, some of us wouldn’t always have a way to get our service hours done,” Dunn said.

Service hours may be open to doubt as it can be important to some and useless to others, but nonetheless it still remains a necessity to graduate high school.