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Students take part in Day of Service by cleaning up the Nutley High School Library.

Day of Service: Insight Into Volunteering

At Nutley High School, in mid-October and early Spring, students have the opportunity to take part in community service, either within the building or around Nutley. Not only does the community benefit from this day, the students do, too. They get their service hours for college which helps add to their college resume.  This event was organized by the NHS Student Council. 


This year, the school offered a plethora of volunteer options at locations such as the Nutley Family Service Bureau, Washington Elementary School, NHS.


Mrs. Melissa Petrillo, a Nutley High School teacher, was a force in the planning and execution of  Day of Service happened. As the head of the Student Council, Petrillo helped organize and develop this day. The day was important to Mrs. Petrillo since she participated in similar experiences in high school. “When I was in high school, I had a service hour requirement," Petrillo said. "At first I completed service hours over the summer and I worked at a camp which I thought was so rewarding. Throughout the years in high school, I was looking for service opportunities at different school, so I used to go tutor at local schools.” This service inspired her to be a teacher. 


The day is meant to provide benefits to both the Nutley community and the students. “It gives all students an opportunity to give back to the community,” Petrillo said. “Also, it’s important that students volunteer in high school.” As an advocate for volunteer work, Petrillo was excited that there were more opportunities than last year such as cleaning up the school library. With her help and the rest of the Student Council’s help, she was excited for it to all go seamless this year.


Along with Mrs. Petrillo’s contribution, Student Council officers Shristy Tamang and Jenny Gavazi, gave some insight on some of the behind the scenes of planning this event as well as what this day means to them. There was help from other class officers as well as people from the administration such as Principal Williams. Because of the group's camaraderie, the planning and organization went smoothly. 


“To me, Day of Service is all about doing what I can to help others,” Gavazi said. “I like to support others and offer my help any way I can.” Gavazi likes to volunteer anyway, so Day of Service was another opportunity to give back to her community. 


Tamang feels the same. “Day of Service to me is us going out in the world, and lending a hand to people who need help,” she said. “You don’t have to help everybody, but even one person can affect so much because you are giving out your positivity to that person hoping they will do the same to others.” She believes it’s the perfect opportunity to learn about yourself and the people around you. 


To no surprise, both girls participated in Day of Service. Jenny helped reorganize the library while Shristy went to Washington Elementary School to help out the teachers and assist them throughout the day. With their efforts in Day of Service, both organizing and participating, they definitely made a positive impact on their community.


This year, Day of Service was a huge success due to Student Council and the participating students. Day of Service is just the beginning of influencing the high school of doing more good for their community.