Peers who volunteer their senior year

Alissa Luangrath, Staff Reporter

What can you gain from community service besides the possibility of earning a block W? What are the qualifications? A student can earn a block W if they have 100 or more hours of community service and turn in the application before the deadline. Seniors Jeffrey Southards and Himashi Goonesekera spend their free time helping the community in similar ways.

Alissa (volunteer2)Southards has not logged any of his hours, but believes that he has about 200 hours total. Most of his volunteer work is spent at the Tracy Interfaith Ministries and his church, where he does service projects, yard work and park cleanups with his family members. He recommends that students volunteer at nursing homes because they are so nice, loving and thankful. The people around him who work hard and are happy to serve are the people who inspire Southards to be who he is today.

“It’s always been a thing with my family. I don’t even think about it; it’s just something that I do,” said Southards.

With approximately 65 volunteer hours, Goonesekera helps the local animal shelter by working in the kennels, as well as the Environmental Club by cleaning up West High and nearby parks. She recommends that students volunteer at animal shelters because they are always in need of help. A few things Goonesekera learned from her experience are how to take on responsibilities, to build up her leadership skills and to work together as a team.

“I feel like I should always give back to the community. And it feels good to help others,” said Goonesekera.