Community Service

In order for students to satisfy the community service requirement for Bright Futures eligibility, they must:

Identify a social or civic issue or a professional area that interests him or her, and develop a plan for his or her personal involvement in addressing the issue or learning about the area. The student must through papers or other presentations, evaluate and reflect upon his or her volunteer service or paid work experience. Such volunteer service or paid work may include, but is not limited to, a business or governmental internship, work for a nonprofit community service organization, or activities on behalf of a candidate for public office. The hours of volunteer service or paid work must be documented in writing, and the document must be signed by the student, the student’s parent or guardian, and a representative of the organization for which the student performed the volunteer service or paid work.

In alignment with the guidelines above, Orange County Public Schools is providing clarifying examples in this document of types of service that are and are not permitted. Each district reserves the right to determine what types of activities are acceptable (Bright Futures Handbook, Ch.1, pg.4) which may differ from surrounding districts. If the activity is determined ineligible for Bright Futures, the student may still add the service to their resume and note it for college admissions, scholarships, or professional skill building. Bright Futures requires that hours must be submitted to the student’s school counselor/designee no later than the student’s high school graduation date. It is recommended the student submit their hours each year of high school or as they are completed.

This table does not include all possible activities. The school designee has the final 
determination of activity approval or denial if the service activity cannot be agreed upon.

Activities that Count Activities that do not Count
Volunteering at a food pantry Donating non-perishable foods
Activities on behalf of a candidate for public office, supervised by a non-relative with the campaign Walking around in a neighborhood posting political signs with a family member
Teaching English skills to a foreign exchange student under the supervision of a non-relative, non-profit staff member Hosting a foreign exchange student
Volunteering at an animal shelter under the supervision of a non-relative shelter staff member Fostering an animal at home
Helping at a church carnival open to the public and free of charge, supervised by church staff Helping at an event that is not fully open to the community, where people must pay to participate
Required training prior to a service activity (ex: Training on building a well prior to a mission trip where that will be done.) Claiming hours for an activity that is required for academic credit or licensure (ex: First Aid/CPR, school course, school drama production where course credit is earned)

Steps for Students to Complete Prior to Volunteering
•Determine an area/topic in the community where you would like to make an impact.
•Research the types of volunteer activities available in your community.
•Contact the organization with whom you are interested in volunteering and determine 1) the steps to become a volunteer, 2) if they have volunteer openings for the dates/activities you are interested in, 3) who the contact will be to verify your hours and participation in the activity. Note: Supervisors must be non-family member with organization who directly supervises the student during the activity outside of the home.
•If you have a question regarding whether the service activity is acceptable, reach out to your school counselor or school community service hours designee.

Steps for Students to Complete During Volunteering
• Keep track of hours, dates, and activities completed during service to verify with your community service supervisor.

Steps for Students to Complete After Volunteering/Paid Work
• Have the supervisor of your service provide a signed letter on the organization’s letterhead describing the type of service performed, who in the community the service benefited, and a description of the service event.
• For paid work, students will need to submit a copy of their pay stub to their counselor or designee.
• Make a copy of all completed forms for your records.
• Students provides letterhead and reflection log(attached) to the school counselor or designee with all required signatures included.

Community Service Log & Reflection

Volunteer Search Websites:

Volunteer Match 

Hands on Orlando


Check out volunteer opportunities by clicking here.