Look, I get community service. As an Eagle Scout and a former Boy Scout, I understand the value of giving back to the community that has helped raised you through adolescence. Giving back to one’s community provides an invaluable asset to any city, and should in every aspect be promoted from birth. I truly understand the importance of community service; yet I still cannot view any positive outcomes of Project SERVE’s mandatory implementation for seniors at Casa.
Since the actual process of the creation of Project SERVE was kept secret from us students (and I suspect the rest of the staff as well), I can only surmise that the thought process for a project went something like this: Well, teenagers are lazy and do nothing, so we need to stop that by adding on more work for them to do that gives back to the community in some way. There are some major flaws in this logic, starting with the fact that such a vast projects groups together four hundred students, assuming near unanimous actions and attitudes. Here’s my message to the framers’ of this project: not all students are the same. Some of my peers invest hundreds of hours a month working on projects benefiting the community, and yet they ultimately still have to do a senior project because according to the foundations of the project, the students that skip every class, stay home getting high while watching BoJack Horseman are socially equivalent to those who selflessly gives all of their time to their school and community.
That’s hardly the worst part though, by mandating community service, we are switching students’ motivation for giving back to their community from doing so because they actually want to help, to doing it in order to graduate. Now students are becoming extrinsically motivated to do good for their community, which is worse than them just doing no community service. Project SERVE is attempting to solve an issue of lack of community oriented mindset of adolescents by forcing these students to work on an individual project. Here is the thing: this issue begins in grade school, and for Casa officials to believe that they can fix such a big issue with just a single project is absurd. Community service is something that should be promoted starting late elementary school, not the last year that students are going to be at school. Here I will offer my humble opinion that 0
Further more, if the school just wants students to spend 20 total hours of their time working for their community, why not just mandate this time as part of the graduation requirement? Why is the project necessary? In order to teach time management skills? Even though the deadlines that the project propose are complete arbitrary that no one really cares about? Even though the forms and signatures are not collected by any advisor or teacher? Is it to teach website skills? Here’s a message to the framers: NO ONE USES WEEBLY IN THE REAL WORLD.
Project SERVE may have good intentions, but until the framers’ of the project can begin to understand that having one universal project for four hundred students is an absurd idea, students will continue to gain nothing from the project, and further their irritation of administration.