The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

WJ provides endless SSL opportunities

With COVID slowing down the SSL process and volunteer opportunities skyrocketing, students see this as a perfect opportunity to get back on track and complete their SSL requirements.
Photo courtsey of USA Softball Houston
With COVID slowing down the SSL process and volunteer opportunities skyrocketing, students see this as a perfect opportunity to get back on track and complete their SSL requirements.

Student Service Learning hours (SSL) are a graduation requirement issued by MCPS; It requires students to participate and volunteer in activities that contribute to the community. With spring break right around the corner and the rise in SSL opportunities recently, looking for an activity to complete SSL requirements won’t be hard. 

WJ has made its resources for SSL very clear. Anything SSL related can be found in the counseling office. There are links and QR codes that are available to scan and can provide SSL opportunities, SSL forms and questions regarding SSL. 

Information regarding SSL can also easily be accessed on the school’s website. Emails are also regularly sent out to students regarding opportunities. Social media can also be useful when looking for opportunities. “Mcpsvolunteers” on Instagram can be a helpful resource for not only SSL but other volunteer activities such as student leadership.

“I haven’t done any SSL in a while so I was just looking into this and it’s surprising how easy it is to find an activity. It’s like unlimited resources and so much to pick from right now. I’m impressed how easy it is to access anything SSL,” junior Matteo Palma said. 

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Completing the minimum 75 hours is a requirement but students can always do more and be an active contributor to the community. Students who complete 240 hours and more are awarded an extra tassel at their graduation. 

“I was done with my SSL hours in like 7th grade but I still do it because I know it is beneficial and also it’s just fun in general especially when I’m with friends. I usually volunteer for stuff in my middle school so I can catch up with my old teachers,” freshman Maddox Zuniga said. 

Students can currently volunteer for the Rockville Weed Warrior workday which has numerous upcoming dates in April and May. They can also pick from the numerous other activities on the Montgomery County Volunteer Center website. 

“I recently did one [activity]. It was okay and I felt pretty good afterward having done it. Everyone else there seemed to have a similar mindset. I can’t say I personally feel the need to do more SSL than is required, but I think there is a valuable lesson in it and it’s fun all around,” junior Cooper O’Hair said. 

For many students, Covid is a constant barrier to their SSL requirements. There were far less options for volunteering activities back in January during the Omicron surge and students started forgetting about SSL. As things go back to normal students, once again, are feeling comfortable joining back in and continuing their SSL journey. 

“Covid basically stopped the whole process for me and I even forgot about it back then. It wasn’t until a couple of months ago when I started to realize that I have to prioritize this. I think I’m going to take advantage of spring break and get some hour done,” Palma said.

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Ishaan Ramola
Ishaan Ramola, Photography Editor
Ishaan is a senior, and he's the Photography Editor for the Pitch. He loves to watch movies, take photos and videos in his free time.
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