BY BELA PATEL
The Carmel High School community service fair will be held Nov. 20, where 30 to 40 local non-profit and civic groups come to the high school gym and present volunteer opportunities to students.
This biennial fair, organized by ASB clerk Diana Vita, gives the opportunity for students to expand their horizons and complete the mandatory 60 hours of community service in order to graduate. Each non-profit group will have a table with information about their mission and how students can become involved, with groups including the Food Bank for Monterey County, Carmel Public Library, Monterey Sports Center, Nancy’s Project and the Habitat for Humanity.
All kinds of groups are represented, giving students diversity in their options and encouraging students to volunteer more and take part in activities that they are interested in.
“It’s for people who are struggling to connect with a group, like freshmen who just don’t know where to start, and it gives a good idea of all the things you can do,” Vita says.
Students go to the fair in three 20-minute shifts during fifth period, and each group is teacher-assigned. Fifth period is also extended by 20 minutes to make up for lost class time.
Leigh Cambra, adviser of This Club Saves Lives, says that the high school she attended did not inform students of things happening in the community. However, Cambra says students at CHS are more encouraged to do community service and are properly informed of the things happening. Throughout her time at CHS, Cambra has seen tremendous change in community service with Vita’s guidance.
A student who has gone above and beyond with volunteering is senior Michael Meheen, who has a total of 947 hours of community service, most of which come from helping drama productions and the baseball teams. Some of the tasks for drama that Meheen takes on are creating and building sets and being the spotlight operator at New Wharf Theatre, Carmel River School, Pacific Repertory Theater, Forest Theater and CHS.
“[Volunteering] gives me something to do. I hate not having anything to do,” Meheen says. “If people want community service hours, there’s a lot out there, they just have to find it.”
Senior Cassidy Fasulo has a total of 242 hours of community service, and like Meheen, she volunteers at the Carmel River School and New Wharf theaters.
“Volunteering is super fun, and it’s a great way to build connections,” Fasulo says. “It’s also fun to get out and do something you enjoy. The fair helped me realize that I can basically volunteer in anything I’m interested in. For example, I love animals, so I could volunteer at the SPCA if I want.”
Make sure to mark your calendars for Nov. 20, the community service fair. The daily bulletin also has an abundance of volunteering opportunities for those who are worried about graduation requirements.