In our school, involving oneself in service can be viewed in one of two different ways: either to complete one’s CAS hour requirements, or to give back to the community. While service activities are often associated with students, teachers also get involved in various projects that help the community, and for these teachers, the one main driving factor is the latter, to give back.

Mr. Kennedy, a high school geography teacher, is very much known for his enthusiasm for the environment and society. This fervor and passion for a better future has empowered him to pursue his goals of helping the Philippine community. “I believe in philosophies to give and never to receive,” Mr. Kennedy shares. His determination to lend a helping hand has also invigorated others to also join the effort to help our community.

        With the help of a few 10th graders last year, Mr. Kennedy began service trips for the Ngayon ng Kabataan Orphanage (NKOO), an institution for orphans. During these trips, the orphans were taught academic subjects such as math, science and even woodwork. When the hard work was done, the notion of helping out, for many, imbued a sense of happiness and fulfillment. Mr. Kennedy shares that, “for [him], the biggest reward is hearing a thank you.”

        Mr. Woods, our high school CAS and activities coordinator, is another teacher who, ever since he was a child, was a youth worker and an avid volunteer for service-related activities. He shares, “It all started when I was at school, where we used to work with a school in South London with children with mental and physical disabilities. We took them away to a center and we did really cool things—we swam, went rock climbing—and it was amazing.”

        ‘Purposeful’ was the word used to describe why Mr. Woods helps out as much as he does with his community. “I’ve never been a believer doing service for guilt,” Mr. Woods admits.  “I’ve been involved in service for years now, and ever since I became a teacher, which was a long, long time ago, I wanted to continue my youth work, so I’ve managed to keep it going—even up to now.”

        As anybody can see, Mr. Woods has definitely continued and lives up to his youth-work days. He tries his best and puts that 100% effort to get involved in any way to help out the community, whether that be to run an event, attend it, or even just to support it.

We can all see from Mr. Kennedy and Mr. Woods that service is about going above and beyond personal gains, about being humble and grounded. They are among the many unsung heroes of ISM. Hence, it’s important to realize that our heroes do not need supernatural powers to make a difference. All they need is the determination and resolve to make a positive change.

 Article by: Mavie Cruz

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