The Process of Training Hearts

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The Nichols motto states that it strives to “train minds, bodies, and hearts for the work of life.” The academic and athletic departments here take care of the mind and body aspects respectively, but like Mr. Powers said in a recent speech to the school, there is no “heart department.” However, a recent survey, asking questions related to community service among the four grades, provides evidence that despite not dedicating a whole department to community service, Nichols students still receive training of the heart.

20 students were surveyed from each grade, and the findings show that overall, 75% of Nichols students volunteer outside of school-mandated events. The remaining 25% that do not volunteer stated that they are either “too busy” or “not interested.” Throughout high school, Nichols students are involved in various community service activities, ranging from helping out at soup kitchens to being volunteer firefighters, but their motives for this involvement change, as the graph below represents.

At the beginning of high school, students mainly volunteer because their parents force them (50%). Also, the majority of the freshmen who do not volunteer said that they are “not interested” in doing so (83.33%). In 10th grade, when students become more aware of the college process ahead of them, most volunteer to enhance their future college applications (43.75%). As 11th grade starts and the pressure of the college process heats up, the majority of students volunteer for this purpose as well (57.15%), but more students begin to find community service as a passion of theirs (42.85%).

One might expect most seniors to be trying to enhance their applications as well. However, most seniors are volunteering because it is a passion of theirs (66.66%), making the senior class have the highest percentage of students motivated by passion in the school. Another example of the training to the heart students receive throughout high school is that 100% of seniors who do not volunteer say that they cannot because they are “too busy,” a dramatic change from the main freshmen response of not being interested. Although there is no “heart department,” this data show that most students who volunteer for whatever initial reason end up developing a passion for their work throughout their time at Nichols.

By Jacob Zarzecki ’15

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