Students shine through community service hours

Service hours become opportunities


Special to the Gazette/ Natalie Ruybal

A student hugs a child while volunteering at Mexicali. The Mexicali trip through Bayside is a popular volunteer opportunity for Granite Bay High School students. Many students volunteer through Bayside Church for service hours.

  Every community requires the help of others to thrive and flourish, hence the reasoning behind Granite Bay High School’s senior community service requirement.

  In order to graduate, seniors are required to serve the community for at least ten hours and describe their experiences in a short write-up.

  However, the extent students serve the community goes way beyond the requisite hours.

  Many students find this box being easily checked off by an activity that they have done for sheer enjoyment.

  “I volunteer at Breakaway every single year and I love it,” senior Natalie Ruybal said. “It’s one of my favorite volunteering opportunities. I just do it for fun, I don’t use it toward my required hours.”

  Other students are involved in organizations dedicated to different charities or multiple service projects, such as the National Honors Society, Key Club and National Charity League.

  “The main volunteering I do is through NCL, which I joined in seventh grade,” senior Piper Wenstrom said.

Obviously volunteering looks good on college applications, but I think that it should be about giving back and doing something good for your community,

— Piper Wenstrom

  A personal connection to the type of community service also reinforces the passion to give back to the organization, program or community as a whole.

  “I volunteer at Roseville Theatre Arts Academy and I’ve been volunteering there on and off for about 3 years,” senior Chloe Boyan said. “That theatre really helped me learn and grow so I love volunteering there because I can meet the kids that I used to be like.”

  It’s also popular for seniors to find a volunteering opportunity in line with their career interests, such as Ruybal and Wenstrom who were able to combine their passions for the medical field and giving back to the community.

  Wenstrom found her passion volunteering at Sutter Hospital every Sunday morning.

  “I would basically assist doctors, nurses and patients in whatever they needed. Sometimes I would bring flowers to patients to cheer them up or grab coffee for their family members to get them through a rough day,” Wenstrom said.

Volunteering helped me to build relationships in my community.

— Natalie Ruybal

  Ruybal currently volunteers at the Cal Urgent Care in Rocklin for sixteen hours a week as part of her ROP class. In addition to learning more about medicine, it is also a way for her to give back to others.

  “I work as if I’m a medical assistant. I help patients out with their paperwork, give them shots and take their vitals,” Ruybal said. “I get to build connections with people.”

  Junior Collin Wills takes another approach to community service by participating in St. Baldricks.

  “I got involved in second grade. My first year I raised about $200 and the past few years it’s been around $1,000,” Wills said. “It’s a great way to spread awareness about children’s cancer.”

    Even for those who aren’t yet seniors, community service is always a great way to help others, get involved and make a difference.  

  “Since I was moving so much when I was little, I always tried to get involved in my community because I never knew if I was going to move or stay,” Ruybal said. “Volunteering helped me to build relationships in my community.”

  Despite the fact that community service is a requirement for graduation, Granite Bay students have found the joy in helping others.

  “Obviously volunteering looks good on college applications, but I think that it should be about giving back and doing something good for your community instead of using it for selfish reasons,” Wenstrom said. “I highly recommend dedicating at least one day a month volunteering somewhere you are passionate about.”