Service Hours, Not Just for College


AP Images

Service hours provide important life lessons and help for those who need it.

Emily Thomas, Opinion Editor

      At Gulf Breeze High School, meeting a minimum for service hours is not a graduation requirement. However, there are still many benefits to getting service hours, including earning Bright Futures scholarships and showing your support for community issues. Colleges even look at service hours as a way of telling whether an applicant is a caring and well-rounded person. Luckily, the many clubs at GBHS offer several opportunities to attain service hours.  

      One club that is very motivated to engage in service projects is Key Club, which happens to be the largest international student service club in the world. Sponsored by Ms. Montcalm, Key Club is constantly participating in beach clean ups, car washes, and has volunteered to help at many community hosted events. Additionally, Key Club also sponsors many of their own groups including K-Kids at Gulf Breeze Elementary and Builder’s Club at Gulf Breeze Middle.  

      Similar to Key Club, Junior Optimist Club also offers many volunteer opportunities. Gulf Breeze High’s Optimist Club is an extension of Optimist International, which aims to promote positivity, and of course optimism, through volunteering and service. This club is sponsored by Mrs. Whibbs and Ms. Duffy. Likewise, Ms. Hall sponsors Good Deeds, another service oriented club aimed at giving high school students the opportunity to give back to their community. 

      In addition to the previous groups, Best Buddies is a great club for service and building friendships. Best Buddies is another international club that allows students to enhance the lives of people with intellectual or developmental delays through one-on-one activities with peers. Best Buddies hosts many activities and fundraisers throughout the year. Since the beginning of the year, they have held a fundraiser at Sweet Frog. Ms. Truax, Ms. Hobbs and Ms. Walsh sponsor this club.  

      For students interested in learning about the local government and building an understanding of international processes and issues, Interact Club, partnered with the Gulf Breeze Rotary Club, supports students in the creation of community service projects and the development of leadership skills. Ms. Lopez sponsors this club and they have so far met twice at City Hall for club meetings.  

      Aside from the many service geared clubs, many of the school’s Honors Societies require several hours of student given tutoring sessions, where one can also earn service hours. A couple of these societies include Spanish Honor Society (Ms. Montcalm), Science National Honor Society (Ms. Meredith), and Mu Alpha Theta (Mr. Phan and Ms. McMorrow).  

      Outside of school, students can also find other volunteer opportunities. Chain Reaction, an organization in Pensacola, is yet another great, teen led service group that offers a variety of different projects depending on differing interests. Whether it be helping animal shelters or creating book packages for elementary school kids, Chain Reaction emphasizes the difference between volunteering and service, and lets high schoolers dive deep into their impact on the community. 

      Whatever one’s interests may be, there are countless opportunities in and around Gulf Breeze to foster personal and community growth. Service and volunteering allows everyone to give back to the community and show support for issues that matter to them.