At Vista High School, we have seen a rise in its Senior class and we believe that with a bigger Senior class, we will have a bigger impact on our community. As a school site, we understand the importance of community service and it has been embedded into our graduation requirements for quite some time. We also see the importance of helping out the community and see how it helps with the development of our students. We recognize the impact one act of selflessness can have on our community.
Vista High School graduation requirements require our students to complete five credits of community service. Some students have chosen their own way of completing community service hours such as volunteering at their church in their youth groups or in the Escalon Youth Center in town. Some students volunteer to help out at different school sites by guiding presenters and parents to the designated area of the event. The most recent event students have volunteered for was College Night, which was held at Escalon High School. Our students and staff have also volunteered to help set up events for the Senior Citizens Fun Bunch, which are held once a month at the community center. These events allow our students to earn their community service credits in order to meet their high school graduation requirements.
Community service is an important aspect at Vista High School. As a staff, we have seen community service help our students develop communication skills, team building skills, and help give back and be a part of the community. There is no replacement for the satisfaction students gain from real-world experiences and seeing how giving some time can be so beneficial for others. Through community service, students learn that volunteering offers them the opportunity to apply their classroom learning to practical scenarios that have real implications. For example, when our students went to set up tables and chairs for the Escalon Senior Fun Bunch event, Alonso Castellanos, a student at Vista High School, said, “That was so easy and fast.” Little did he know that giving so little of their time went a long way. He and other students had made a difference for some members in the community in helping out. In return, the Escalon Senior Fun Bunch sent our students and staff thank you cards and their words of gratitude for helping them set up for their event. The students’ response to that was “That’s pretty cool.”
As students continue to support our community through community service, the remainder of the school year will be busy with various speakers from local communities, who will give presentations and expert advice on a variety of topics relating to vocational education opportunities, career pathways, as well as workshops. Some speakers that will be joining us at Vista High School are a Golden1 representative, giving students a presentation on finance, and a Paul Mitchell representative, giving students a presentation on cosmetology. Our students have also had the opportunity to continue to attend the 16th Annual Construction Trades Career Fair in Stockton. We will also have presentations and workshops from our local community colleges such as Modesto Junior College and San Joaquin Delta College. We will also have the Army, Navy, and Marines give presentations on the benefits of joining their branch and be provided with information on the types of jobs available within those branches, and life opportunities after their service. Along with those presentations, students will have the opportunity to take the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) test, which allows them to identify which jobs would best suit them.
As we look forward to a full year of college and career pathway presentations, students are looking forward to the next opportunity to volunteer and make a difference at other sites and in our community.
Principally Speaking is a monthly article, contributed by principals from Escalon Unified School District sites, throughout the school year. It is designed to update the community on school events and activities.