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Paly students honored for community service

Original post made on Dec 7, 2011

More than 150 students at Palo Alto High School will be recognized for their service to the community in a presentation Friday (Dec. 9) of the President's Award for Volunteer Service.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, December 7, 2011, 9:47 AM

Comments (11)

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Posted by togfg
a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 7, 2011 at 1:50 pm


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Posted by Interested
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Dec 7, 2011 at 8:39 pm

Great job! It's nice to read about community contribution and not only academic success. Amazing how kids find time for everything!
Any ideas where those kids volunteered?

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Posted by palo alto mom
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 8, 2011 at 12:48 pm

For most of these kids - this is an awesome accomplishment! For some, a few weeks over the summer on a "community service" trip to somewhere cool adds up to a lot of hours and an award! I think that classes such as Stage tech, InFocus, etc. can also earn community service hours once their required hours have been completed.

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Posted by Erin Kiekhaefer
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 9, 2011 at 11:14 am

Good job Amigos kids!

Shaheen Essabhoy, Skyler Tom, Matthew Bungarden, Victoria Tse, Kelly Stern, Elizabeth Silva, and everyone else!

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Posted by Moira
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 9, 2011 at 3:51 pm

Sorry folks, no comment on the individual kids, but if there were no awards or place to discuss on college applications, you show me how many of these kids would volunteer on their own. Another part of the college-resume building process. Arranged largely by parents, with the more connected parents able to secure the more impressive volunteer positions.

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Posted by Susan Colb
a resident of Menlo Park
on Dec 13, 2011 at 9:19 am

Congratulations to all you kids! What an achievement!! I hope PAOnline will publish some of your stories. Community Service is such an impactful experience for young and old alike -- a win-win for everyone involved and better communities, as a result.

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Posted by palo alto mom
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 13, 2011 at 11:20 am

Moira - there are a number of kids who would still volunteer even without the impact on their "resume" especially those who coach younger kids sports or volunteer at something they have a passion for (I think the extra hours kids put in for school clubs/classes such as theater or InFocus count as volunteer hours). But many of the kids are only doing it for their resumes. There are a number of parents who pay for "volunteer" trips over the summer that cost thousands. I personally want to take the Costa Rica Surfing camp! Web Link

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Posted by Are you kidding
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Apr 3, 2013 at 1:37 am

Moira I am someone who volunteered for amigos and I honestly want to hit you for saying that. Amigos was one of the most meaningful experiences of my life and I learned so much about myself and the world around me because of it. There was no parent prodding. If anything there was the opposite; my parents were terrified at the idea of me spending 8 weeks in a foreign country. Having spoken to many volunteers I don't know a single one who would do this solely for adding stuff to their application. Amigos required a lot more commitment then someone only interested in furthering their college eligibility would be able to give. It's also disgusting to see you making that assumption. I wish I could see you eat nothing but beans and tortillas for 8 weeks and treck up a muddy mountain every day in sweaty clothes. Amigos is a learning experience and a great accomplishment. Congratulations to everyone who completed it!

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Posted by Chris Zaharias
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 3, 2013 at 10:08 am

Let me try to be a peacemaker here. Moira's statement certainly has some truth to it, as anyone who has kids knows from talking with other parents here in Palo Alto.

That said, she's wrong to say the college entrance benefits are what motivates most/all of the youth who participate in a program like Amigos. From my POV, most of the college benefit thinking comes from the ***parents***, not the kids.

I want my kids to work, to see the world from other perspectives, to feel what it's like to not have all they have, and know they'll benefit from those experiences regardless of whether it gets them into a more highly ranked school or not. I'm also of the opinion that where you go to college matters less and less every day, and what you're made of matters more and more.

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Posted by B. Hori, retired Paly teacher
a resident of Green Acres
on Aug 14, 2013 at 5:04 pm

Kudos to those volunteers and those who benefit from programs that exist! But also agree with 1st statement from Zaharias. Sounds like familiar comments.

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Posted by Truth Be Told
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 15, 2013 at 12:17 am

My son had to volunteer 15 hours for the Living Skills class requirement. No, he would not have volunteered to help pack food for the homeless if it weren't for the requirement. But it was a good experience and he volunteered many times after.

I am not sure how colleges view this award. My senior earned the award in freshman year by doing something he enjoyed. The only difference in earning this award vs. collecting community service hours is the time factor. The hours must be completed within one year to earn this award. I doubt colleges distinguish between 250 hours and 250 hours in one year.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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