For all of you people just trying to get through high school, do not forget that you still have to do your student service learning hours (SSL hours) in order to graduate. Students are required to receive a minimum of 75 SSL hours. In reality, you only need to earn 45 SSL hours because you perform 10 hours for each year of middle school (based on specific community events you participate in such as outdoor education). Some people may have a hard time finding ways to meet the requirement because they cannot find an activity, or activities, that they would have an interest in doing, but there is something for everyone. Look at the SSL website, it is posted on the school’s website, but if you cannot find anything you would want there, here are a few more suggestions: join school clubs, volunteer for a teacher and/or find a job that offers SSL instead of money.
Joining a school club is not only a great way to be involved with the community, but some school clubs will offer SSL hours for the activities you participate in. For example clubs like Key Club, Smile Moco and Lucky Dog will reward their members with SSL hours for helping coordinate, participate in and promote specific club events. Events could range in anywhere from 30 minutes to multiple hours, so it would be a shame to miss out on these fun and beneficial activities. As the president of Key Club and Smile Moco, senior Trent Folk said, “Joining clubs is a great way to earn SSL hours and meet new friends. SSL hours are not hard to earn if you are willing to put in effort and it could also be fun.”
Another great opportunity to take advantage of is to volunteer for a teacher. I did this and it was something I loved doing. You could pick any teacher who you know, or maybe even do not know as well, and ask if you could help them out for maybe two hours every week. The hours add up quickly and you form a great relationship with the person you are volunteering for. From personally experience, I can say that I worked for a kindergarten teacher at Dufief Elementary School and she and I have continued to stay close although she retired two years ago. She has been one of my references for multiple job applications and has given me great advice. Folk also said, “A consistent opportunity such as this would quickly increase the amount of hours you would have.”
Lastly, you could get a job that offers SSL hours instead of money. This may not be your first choice on how to earn SSL hours, but it definitely is another option. Some examples of this could be working at a summer camp or finding another job and asking if they would offer SSL hours instead. For example, if you are a certain age, Bullis Summer Camp will offer SSL hours to be a CIT or counselor at their summer camps. The most important thing “is to get your hours done early so you are not stressed about them later in high school,” senior Nisha Ramamurthy said.