OPINION: Service should be done for more than just a grade


Staff photo

A group of sophomores participate in the school-wide Rise Against Hunger service project last fall.

Katie Mae Kisla, Staff Writer

The feeling of helping others is unlike any other. Community service can help connect and raise social awareness to the people around you. Many students at St. Pius X view service as an obligation to merely meet the campus ministry requirement, but I think that people need to look at service as an opportunity to make a positive impact in the world and in their own life. 

Many people in our world perform acts of service daily without realizing it. Whether it is making a card for the homeless, assisting an elder, or donating to a charity of your choice, these acts all have a positive impact on those who need love most. 

According to Habitat for Humanity, “Service does not only have positive effects for your community but it is seen to bring benefits to your life and personal growth and development.” 

Community service should be taught at a young age and is seen as “one of the best ways to teach your child the value of empathy. Not only does volunteering show kids kindness, compassion, and selflessness, but it can also teach them a variety of life long skills as well,” according to the Children’s Bureau.

Additionally, service teaches real-world skills that we will need in the future.

“Service can also help students gain a better understanding of the value of teamwork, decision-making skills, development of leadership abilities, and the gain of practical skills,”  according to Prep Scholar. “Importantly many students learn about their personal strengths and weaknesses while trying to help others.

St. Pius X does an amazing job introducing service to students at a young age, and the school provides numerous service opportunities throughout the year. This includes projects such as food banks, donating clothes, creating care bags, and even making blankets for the homeless. Teachers and students participate in organizations outside of school that help others in need, and they say it offers a wonderful experience with so many benefits.

“Service has affected me in so many positive ways. It has shown me to be grateful for what I have and to help others. I am very passionate about raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. It’s important to me to help others and truly has helped me become a better person while serving those in need.” said junior Mia Riepe who is also the Random Acts of Kindness Club leader. 

Chaplain Fr. Michael also believes in the importance of service. 

“I always found something really life giving about either giving my time, effort, or energy to somebody else,” he said. “When I was growing up, my mom would frequently take my sister and I to soup kitchens to serve people. I think service is important because it teaches me a lot about myself, others, and oftentimes the beauty of a relationship even with a stranger. 

He added that service has enriched his life and helps him see the value of helping others.

 “It has given me a good perspective on life. When you encounter somebody who allows you to serve them, you recognize what you take for granted. Also seeing the gratitude of people made me realize from a young age that I am good and there is something that I can contribute to the world. One of the best things it taught me is that I can be a gift to others,” he said.

 Although service is a requirement for St. Pius students each school year,  Fr. Michael encourages students to view it as more than just a grade. 

“Yes, service is a requirement for this school but rather than seeing it as just a grade, think about the good it does for you and the ones around you,” he said.

Theology teacher Mrs. Lindsey Farrell agreed. 

“I definitely struggle with the requirement part, but I think that grades are a good motivator. I wish people didn’t see it as a force, but as an opportunity,” she said. 

Mrs. Farrell has been involved in service for most of her life and hopes to motivate others to begin at a young age as well. 

“When I was growing up, my mom and I ran this thing called the ‘Turkey Drive’ at our local church. It was this wild day where we collected hundreds of frozen turkeys from our parish, then drove them down and packed meals for families who could not afford a Thanksgiving meal.  As a little kid I remember it being such an amazing memory, and now grown up I have realized how it impacted people. It really contextualizes the solidarity of our world, and how everyone can help,” Mrs. Farrell said. 

Similar to Fr. Michael, she also said that serving others deepens her faith. She shares that service has helped connect her to God.

“ I think the biggest thing that has impacted me is how we are genuinely called to serve the people next to us. This has made me realize that you might not know what your next-door neighbor is going through, or is in need of. It helped me understand why we are called to be brothers and sisters of Christ, it helped faith come alive for me,” she said.

Yes, service is a requirement for this school but rather than viewing it as an obligation or chore, think about the good it does for you and the ones around you. There are many positive outcomes of helping others, so why not take an hour out of your week to serve those in need?