Community service opportunities are everywhere



Racing to get all of the required community service hours before graduation can be stressful for high school students, but with proper planning, completing hours can be easy. In DCPS schools, students are required to do 100 hours of volunteer service during their four years of high school, but Montgomery County schools allow their students to begin earning the required 75 community service hours the summer after 5th grade. DCPS students clearly have a much shorter time period to collect the hours they need and a greater number of hours to complete.

One hundred hours may seem like an impossible goal, but living in DC offers exposure to a wide variety of unique community service opportunities. The many free museums in DC offer great programs for students. The Smithsonian National Museum of African Art has a program in which youth can act as teen ambassadors, earning community service hours while learning about African art, leading tours, and working in the museum business.

Tenth grader Ben Korn takes advantage of being in our nation’s capital, earning community service by interning at Councilmember Mary Cheh’s Ward 3 office. He feels like he makes a difference to his community and school. “So far I have loved it. I feel like I do meaningful work and I get to deal with issues affecting Wilson as well as the Ward as a whole,” he says.

If you’re still stumped about a fun way to get your hours done, Wilson and the World Wide Web give you hundreds of options to choose from. The new Red Kettle Club at Wilson will have its first meeting in Room 219 on Monday, November 2nd during STEP, to earn hours in with the Salvation Army.

If you work well in a quiet environment, Wilson’s librarian Pamela Gardner is in need of student volunteers. If you are a cat or dog lover (or both!), you can take care of either animal at the Washington Animal Rescue League with the company of an adult. There are also a large number of websites providing service ideas based on your location and interests, like,, NeighborGood, and Hundreds of volunteer options are literally at your fingertips, leaving you with no excuse to not get started and give back.