Urban School students continue service throughout the summer

Summer vacation is a perfect time to have fun, put away school binders, and relax. But this summer, many students in the Urban community continued to work, participating in community service projects. Urban requires students to engage in community service  starting sophomore year.

“The overall objective of the service learning class is preparing you to be able to get involved in an issue that you’re passionate about on your own” explained the Director of Service Learning, Amy Argenal. Many students continue to pursue their service learning projects during the summer, or use this time to volunteer with other programs and organizations. Here are some service experiences students shared from this summer:

Many students volunteer to gain job experience in a career of interest, like Lena Galinson (‘16), who wants to be an obstetrician. She spent 8-10 hours a week working at CPMC in maternity care. The experience “reinforced her passion for mothers and babies,” said Galinson.

Christian Perez-Wilson (‘19), volunteered at Escuela Bilingue Internacional (EBI) in Berkeley. In addition to helping out the young students, Perez-Wilson said, “it was a good opportunity since [he] got to practice [his] spanish at the same time.”

Some students like Brad Bell (‘18), work on service projects annually. This summer, Bell engaged in service in Peru and Tanzania. “Honestly I can only make such a big impact, but I am having a lot of fun and it is a good experience for everyone,” Bell remarked. He is already looking forward to next summer, when he will be traveling to India with the same program.

Jade Barnblatt (‘18) also did a service trip this summer through the organization Rustic Pathways. She traveled to Fiji, where she helped to build a school, which she chose to do based on her strong passion for education.

Sophia Vahanvaty (‘19) spent the majority of her summer working at the Boys & Girls Club of the Peninsula, where she will continue volunteering throughout the school year. Vahanvaty spent about three hours a week tutoring, helping with homework, and occasionally teaching a nutrition class. Vahanvaty reflected on her experience, saying she “learned a lot about the different issues about low income youth and a lot pertaining to education, the public school program, common core, and how many homeless kids are moved around so often in school.”

Although Urban does not have summer service hour requirements, it is evident that many students take the knowledge they gain from their service learning class and apply their passion and drive for community service outside of school and throughout the summer.

Whether it be in Fiji, Tanzania, or CPMC hospital, Urban students’ strong passion for community service is seen not only during required service learning class and projects, but also over the summer when students set aside time for the well being of their community or someone else’s.