Val Artis’s endeavor to complete 1000 community service hours

Eman Elnatour, News Editor

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Although some students procrastinate completing their 24 required community service hours until their senior year, others go above and beyond to serve others. The Sheriff’s Award lists many students who have achieved over 100 hours of community service, but there may need to be another for Senior Valenia (Val) Artis, who has finished 566 community service hours and is determined to complete 1000 hours of community service before she walks across the graduation stage in May.

“My community service goal is 1000 because before my mom passed away, she wanted me and my brother to be the first brother and sister to graduate with 1000 hours of community service,” said Val.

She spends most of her weekends throughout the community. She has volunteered at local animal shelters, nature centers, Sertoma Centre, a rehabilitation center in Alsip, and senior residence homes. Her weekend schedule involves waking up early at 6AM to volunteer from around 9AM to 5PM.

Even though Val has volunteered at many different places, her college aspirations include culinary arts, and becoming a pastry chef. She has served various organizations all in hopes of hitting her goal of 1000 within the four years she has at Sandburg, but her dream career has nothing to do with serving senior citizens or caring for animals.

Val said, “I think [my favorite experience] would be the senior citizens homes because I like spending more time with them and learning their stories from when they were younger. I started liking taking care of the elderly my freshman year, so they wouldn’t be lonely during the holidays and so they have someone to talk to.”

She is insistent on achieving her goals because of the life-changing benefit she sees in it for herself. Not only is she aware of the appreciation of those that she serves, but Val is aware of the skills and independence she’s acquired by maintaining her responsibilities at the different places she volunteers.
“I can actually have an impact in my life since I can be more appreciated because I completed these things all by myself….It helps a lot so I can make new friends and learn from new experiences before I go to college,” said Val.

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