An interesting fact about the Cormier Honors College (CHC) is that although service is an important pillar of the organization, service hours are not mandated for its members. I really respect this pillar for that exact reason. I believe that community service should be voluntary and only performed with the intentions of making a difference. Community service should not be performed to complete a requirement for something.
Although service hours are not required for Honors students, the CHC still provides the community with LOTS of opportunities to give back to the community. One of my earliest memories volunteering in the CHC was during the annual Honors Leadership Retreat!
During my first year at Longwood University, I was very involved in my community service. Even before the school year actually began, during the Cormier Honors Retreat, the other Honors students and I got the chance to work at a local Horse Ranch and volunteer our time! We all split into groups to perform different tasks and my group was tasked with cutting branches, digging holes, and hauling trees. A few others guys and I dedicated the day to digging holes for the signs we needed to put into the ground and the day was filled with hard work. While we were cycling through digging the holes I would help the others in my group cut branches and haul the trees. Although I only dug two big holes that day, it was quite rewarding. The horse ranch really appreciated everyone’s help that day and I got the chance to workout without going to the gym!
At the beginning of the first semester I joined the Honors Student Association and the organization gave us the chance to go on a volunteer retreat to Hull Springs. I was very excited! We all drove a few buses to Hull Springs, split up in groups, and helped the local areas with different activities. My group went to a local animal shelter and we helped clean the cages, bathe the animals, wash the buckets, bring the animals food, and we walked a few dogs. It was a very tiring day. My friend and I were washing washing the food and water buckets for hours where our muscles and skin were battered by the mounds of dirt and cleaning chemicals. After we were finished cleaning the buckets, we washed some of the small puppies and walked some of the big dogs. Some of the dogs that I walked were very energetic and STRONG. I was being dragged like a rag doll by some of the dogs and I often found myself sprinting behind the dogs trying to keep up with them. By the end of the day, I was drenched in sweat, my muscles were exhausted, I was covered in dog hair, and I had a heart that felt really good after what I had just did.
While I was completing these hours of community service, I can honestly say it was making me a better person. I was able to see the positive impact I was making in my new community i was going to call my home. This also helped me become a better citizen leader because it allowed me to learn about the issues involving my community and what my community would need in the future.