Rant: Make community service compulsory

Young people can positively impact the local environment, its preservation and the area’s sense of place by doing compulsory community service.

It can reduce stress, will make young people in Marrickville healthier, and improve their mood. Furthermore, it will give them work experience, unite them with people from diverse backgrounds, enhance their teamwork skills and teach them to working towards a goal.

Doing community services will allow children to build or discover on their existing skills while exploring leadership qualities. And, by doing community services it will boost their teamwork skills and gives them a sense of place and pride.

Participating in community services will help students explore and improve new skills that can be useful later in life such as motivation, judgment and decision-making. Doing community services is a way students can find potential careers. The skills learnt and used in community work can be used in and outside of school.

Some community service jobs for younger children include gardening and using produce. For example, using lemons for lemonade, to raise money for good causes which builds on the child’s persuasive and persistence skills.

Older kids could also participate in community services that help the community and local environment. They can actively look for ways to help people and they coordinate with others in different capacities.

By doing community service young people will be more confident. They will be able to work in teams easier because of the skills they have learnt. Also, they will learn leadership qualities.

For example, the buddy system used in schools could be used in young people’s community service. It pairs up kids who are new with an older buddy. This helps with friendship across different ages, guidance and acceptance. This service is a great example of teamwork, which benefits both children immensely. Older students use their leadership skills and feel valued. While learning teamwork skills you are also making yourself and other children feel good.

By doing community services you are making yourself feel good and helping the environment at the same time. Therefore, all children should do community service because it lets them explore new skills and lets them build on their existing skills as well as teaching them about teamwork and leadership qualities.

Its time for all young people to give back to the community and compulsory community service is the best way to do this.

Here is a link to some Marrickville community programs and projects that can get them started:

Words by Jamie. This opinion piece won Marrickville Library’s 2016 Anne Nguyen Young Environment Champions Award.