The St. George’s Service Program: Find Joy in Volunteering

The service program at St. George’s School thrives to better society by holding everyone accountable to make a positive difference.

According to the St. George’s website, the service program thrives to inspire students to “make a lifelong commitment to charitable involvement and to recognize the importance in doing so”. The boys who are actively involved with the service program all benefit from the opportunity to develop leadership skills, establish positive contacts, and the chance to meet new people with similar interests. Furthermore, it is important for Saints boys, from our position of privilege, that we aspire to serve and volunteer for our community. 

The Saints service program is one of a kind. When asked what makes the program so unique, Tyler Gilman, the service prefect, responded via email that “the Saints service program is unique because it focuses on such a wide variety of global and local issues…Saints has a broad service network.”

On Wednesday, November 1st, Grade 10 students were introduced to their first of three sessions regarding this year’s theme of Environmental Stewardship. The experiences ranged from trips to clean up Jericho Beach to watching documentaries on sustainability. These initiatives are examples of how Grade 10 students address some of the local issues.

Despite the benefits, it is possible that not every student is motivated to volunteer or knows how to volunteer – after interviewing roughly 50 students in Grade 10 (we chose to interview Grade 10 students, because they have had 2 years of experience with the program), we found that only some individuals choose to volunteer on their own. 

When the students were asked about their last volunteering experience, the most popular answer was at the May Fair – a mandatory program for everyone. Furthermore, many of the students we interviewed said that they are less inclined to undertake volunteer opportunities if there are no clear incentives, such as service hours. For example, one student who asked to remain anonymous said: “without service hours and recognition, I would probably not volunteer”.  

In order to expand its influence, the service program will need to find ways to motivate boys to give back to their communities. “We can inspire more students to participate through encouragement, as well as passion of our own.”, said Tyler, “If we can show that doing service can be fun and internally rewarding, that will allow for more students to get involved”. As Tyler suggested, one will instinctively volunteer if they find joy in their contributions. 

The service program is one of the best ways for students to get involved with the Saints community; there are opportunities every week for Saints boys to make a positive difference. Don’t miss out!