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Community service: Serve Fresno

In the eyes of some outside the home or campus, the younger generation seems troublesome, too free spirited and problematic. But some high school students make the decision to serve their community and volunteer at local shelters, hospitals and other community sites and may change the way people view teens.

Community service has become a large part of a student’s high school career. On campus, underclassmen need five hours of community service per semester while seniors require ten hours to fulfill graduation requirements.

“The seniors have extra hours because it’s important that they have one more opportunity to integrate what they’ve learned together, in the 12 or 13 years of going to school,” Jon Endicott, associate principal, said. “There should be a connection with what you’ve learned in the Book.”

Though most fill the hours required, some continue service projects because of the sheer enjoyment of it. Rachel Kruger, ’08, works at the daycare at Saint Agnes Hospital, where she plays with young children whose parents are at work.

Though Kruger’s service is valid for community service hours, she does not stop volunteering when the required clock stops ticking.

“I don’t care about getting community service hours,” Kruger said. “I just do it because I love children. I have been working with the kids for four years, and I don’t plan on quitting.”

Although many students seek hours at a church or hospital, the campus also provides many opportunities for community service. Some of the most popular are the annual projects on campus, which include the Book Buddies, Walking Buddies, Pen Pals or serving at sports events.

“I know a lot of people who help out at booths at football games,” Matthew Andreatta, ’09, said, “but last semester, I went with two different churches to feed homeless people downtown. It was really fulfilling to see these people who never got food actually eat something.”

While community service is required school, some focus on hours for college applications. High schools throughout the nation follow a community service policy, so those hoping to receive special treatment because of their hours of service might be turned down.

Gabriela Espinosa, volunteer coordinator from the Poverello House, voiced her concerns about community service. She posted a bulletin on Sept. 9, which restricts students from volunteering after Nov. 15 for the first semester and no later than April 15 for the second semester.

Students must also make an appointment to attend an orientation before serving, and need to follow proper procedures. Orientations are Tuesday at 9:30 am and every first and third Saturday at 11 A.M.

Now that the holidays are only a few weeks away, several Fresno community organizations, such as United Way’s Day of Caring and One by One Leadership, have collaborated to get the community involved in service.

On Nov. 18, volunteers from businesses, schools, churches and other agencies will meet for a day of service called Serving Fresno Day from 7-8 A.M. at 1727 “L” Street for service assignments and a kick-off rally. From there, volunteers will travel all over Fresno to sort food and clothing, build houses, plant trees, visit seniors, and clean schools, as well as many other opportunities.

Another occasion for community service is available at the Boys 2 Men, Girls 2 Women Foundation Inc., where the hours for service are flexible and the jobs widespread. The foundation offers work ranging from construction projects, mentoring and tutoring, and mechanics such as marketing and graphics.

To find out more information on the Poverello House, call Gabriela Espinosa at 559-498-6988. To volunteer at the Boys 2 Men, Girls 2 Women Foundation, call 559-225-9300 or visit To register for Serving Fresno Day, visit or go to

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