Model General essay in response to a question seen in the Philippines in June of 2012

(This question taken from

Some people believe teenagers should be required to do unpaid community work in their free time.  This can benefit the teenagers and the community as well.  Do you agree or disagree with this point of view?  Share personal examples if applicable.

Volunteerism is the practice of providing service without monetary compensation.  I argue that adolescents should be required to engage in volunteer community work in their free time.  The advantages this arrangement brings to both teenagers and the communities they come from will be shown in this essay.

For one, teenaged community workers gain life experience that could be helpful to their development as empathetic individuals.  For example, as a high school student I once washed and folded bedding for a non-profit group that provided housing to the homeless in Ottawa.  This philanthropic endeavor helped instill in me an understanding of the challenges other people face in their day to day lives.  As my experience shows, humbling volunteer work should be made mandatory to help youths recognize and respect people from other walks of life.

In addition to being beneficial to young people, adolescents who engage in community service provide valuable work for society.  For instance, while in Shanghai I remember seeing young members of a church community donate their time to picking up street garbage.  As anyone who has been to Shanghai knows, the litter that lines most streets gives the city an unwelcoming appearance.  Thus, the value that these young people brought to their community illustrates yet another reason why mandatory youth volunteer work should be supported. 

After looking at how adolescent volunteers benefit both themselves and their communities, it is clear that compulsory public work among youths is a positive thing.  High schools everywhere would be best to arrange programs that help their students contribute time to society.

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