Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Challenge Day #3

Some high schools require community service for graduation. 

Do you think there should be a national community service requirement for all students?

This is a super easy one for me.  Yes!

As you know, if you follow this blog, I have two girls.  I refer to them as my Part-Timer and my Full-Timer.  The Part-timer went away to law school after completing her under grad locally.  Hence the name - Part.  She really isn't even a part timer around here any more.  When she does make her way back home, she rarely brings her work gloves.


The Full-Timer has just started her grad school classes, and she really is never around either.  She still lives at home, but with school and a new job, I rarely see her.  She does pitch in when she can, and the girl is known to work holes in a pair of leather work gloves.  She has tiny hands, so finding new ones that fit has always been a challenge.  I recently lucked into a pair and you would have thought it was Christmas when I gave them to her.

she is a weird kid.

Long story short, our high school did not require community service, but it was an offered program starting their freshman year.  If they completed so many hours per year, they were given a service cord at graduation.  The Part-Timer being the older of the two, enrolled in the program first. 

The Part-timer has always been a motivated child.  Grades were important.  Extra curricular activities were important.  This program was important.  She was the first one in our family to volunteer at the local riding center that I mentioned yesterday.  I have no doubt that she started the program for the recognition.  It was all about the hours, and it was all about the cord.  That may seem harsh, but I know her.  Very competitive.  She also was a high school girl.  Take a minute and go back there.

Every day is crucial.

Every moment is:  "The best day of my life!"  or "The worst day of my life!"

The drama is at a life-time high at this point.

From friends, to clothes, to boys - every moment is life-altering!

So, going in, I knew it was all about her.  The interesting change came about after she started spending time with children and adults that actually lived with real challenges.  It may have been a physical disability or a mental disability, but every day, they got up and lived their lives.

Huge change in my child!

I could not have given her the perspective on life that four years of volunteering at this center gave her.  She volunteered well above and beyond the requirement.  The staff joked that she lived there.  She was involved in every aspect of the program. 

And, she drug me into it.

If she hadn't been there, making a change in the lives of others, and changing in her own right, I would not have started volunteering there myself.  She saw the need with Special Olympics, and she quickly said,

"Oh, I'll get my Mom to do that."

The Full-Timer followed right along with us.  She probably had the minimum amount of service hours in before she ever entered high school.

The facts are - it was an amazing opportunity for my kids. 

This is an age when they typically only think about themselves because whatever is going on in their lives is life or death.

Imagine the impact a program like this could make on a National Level!

1 comment:

  1. She's not joking. I'm not too far removed from high school to forget, but I recently worked at one as well. At that age everyone is just coming into their own and they don't have the ability to see beyond their own experiences yet. Volunteering, especially when it's with a program like horsemanship for people with disabilities, will give ANYONE perspective. But I think it has the most impact on the fresh little minds of teenagers who are acutely aware of their emotions. Nothing will give your kid more perspective than seeing the PURE JOY on another persons face when they accomplish something as small squeezing with their legs, or actually being able to control and curl their fingers around a piece of leather or a handful of horse hair, especially if your kid has been right there with that student all along, sharing in their struggles and successes. Make your kids get up and actually go interact with other humans. You'll be amazed at the results.

    The Part Timer.