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Community service hours: Needed or an inconvenience?

The minimum of 200 community service hours are required for graduating seniors in the Detroit Public Schools Community District. For some students, this seems like an impossible feat. 

Many seniors have little or no out of school work experience and trying to attain 200 work hours is an added burden to a senior’s an already exciting, but exhausting school year.

Senior La’Trice Buford has completed 110 service hours so far.

“I don’t think it’s too hard to finish 90 more hours,” she said. “Because there’s always a need for volunteers at my church and I love helping people.”

But senior Eric Major said: “Community service hours shouldn’t be a graduation requirement. We already have so much on our plate this year, being burdened with the responsibility of trying to collect 200 hours is pointless.”

Why is necessary to have community service hours? How are these hours important to students’ school achievement? 

A student’s transcript is a record of their four years in high school. It shows how well the student did in subjects; it gives assessment results and tracks a student’s quarterly and yearly grade point average. 

With all this information on a student, why does the district require community service hours? 

Counselor Ayanna Kumasi said, “Students should be required to perform community service; it would help them gain real world experience, and that’s something they can’t get in classrooms.

“Students can and do give back to their community in many positive ways.”

What if a student has been active in organizations, clubs and sports? When do they have time to work and earn community service hours? 

Students should not have to interrupt their school activities schedule just to get community service hours by finding a job that may force them to quit sports teams or clubs. 

“Students can earn credit and money on a paying job and volunteering also has advantages,” Kumasi said. “Nonprofit organizations, clinics, churches, community centers are always looking for volunteers to help with their programs.”


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