Ceremony Recognizes Volunteer Service


Mindy Luo, Staff Writer

162 students who completed over 12,000 hours of volunteering were celebrated with a Service Award ceremony on May 23.

According to parent organizer Lynne Fiorindo, “Community service is vital to us as human beings and to making our community– and, quite frankly, the whole world –a better place.”

During the ceremony, Principal John Walker read all 162 names of the volunteers and presented them with certificates.

The certificates denoted either the Campolindo High School Service Award or the President’s Volunteer Service Award.  The presidential award included bronze, silver, and gold distinction. Students were honored depending on the number of hours they had reported and whether or not they were over 16 years old. For students over 16, the minimum requirement is 50 hours.

Juniors Natalie Schlesinger and Sam Ghiselli delivered speeches that recounted their service accomplishments.

Schlesinger, who received the Presidential Silver Award for ages 16 and over, spent her hours working with Hands on Bay Area (HOBA), a volunteer organization for which she worked to staff soup kitchens, homeless shelters, and even mural projects at elementary schools in Oakland. It is her 3rd year receiving a volunteer award.

In her speech, Schlesinger spoke about her love for volunteering and encouraged young people to pursue it. “My favorite part is just meeting lots of new people from volunteering. I met a lot of people that I wouldn’t have met otherwise and they became some of my closest friends and I’m really thankful. It’s really interesting to be exposed to different communities,” she said.

Sophomore Emma Dillard, who has been volunteering through the National Charity League since she was in 6th grade, believed her volunteering was a valuable experience she would never forget. would say that, even if it’s a hard task, or hard to get up early in the morning, it really is worth it to see whether it’s the looks on the people that you’re helping space or just the company that you’re working with, and giving them some extra help,” she said.

Many of the participating students were also grateful to be recognized for their hard work and believed the award system provided a beneficial incentive for new volunteers.“When you have a short little ceremony like this and give them a certificate and be like, ‘hey, you did a really good thing. You should keep doing it,’ it’s great because it encourages them and pushes them,” said Schlesinger.

Despite the appeal of the awards, Fiorindo is positive that students are willing to volunteer without it. “I think that these kids probably volunteer because they want to do the right thing to do. And then the service award is just kind of a bonus,” said Fiorindo.

Fiorindo and Schlesinger hope that students will continue to make volunteering a priority in their lives, and for those who have never volunteered, to at least go out and try it.

The best-case scenario is that you’ll find something you’re really passionate about. You don’t really have anything to lose. There’s like nothing to lose if you try it you just have to go out and try it and most likely you’ll find it’s very rewarding and something you’ll love,” Schlesinger.