It wasn't until I started attending a charter middle school in Wisconsin that I understood the true reward of performing community service. Once a week, the whole school, which only had 50 kids would go out and perform community service as a group at the end of the class day. I remember my 13 year old self glancing down the trashed dirty streets of Milwaukee and dreading the idea of having to clean up someone else's filth. We moved in a group picking up one item at a time, making our way slowly, but surely down the cold filthy path. Finally we reached the end of the street and as I glanced back behind us, I saw a completely changed environment, clean, sparkling pavements and clear green grass. The beauty was there but just hidden under the thick layer of one's inconsiderate mind. It was then that I realized and appreciated what my class did for my town. Even then, I still did not truly grasp onto the real importance of community service until my class visited a nursing home. As I sat down across a pale old lady and pulled out an old fashioned game of checkers, I saw her eyes light up and a feeling of happiness vibrated and surrounded her presence. It was then that I finally came to the realization the true reward of community service is the satisfaction of knowing that you somehow impacted someone's life, maybe even changed it. Honestly, a smile means everything.
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