Your Donations at Work: Service Learning at Malibu High

“People can help in easier ways than they think,” says Rachel Young, a Malibu High School senior. Rachel learned this valuable lesson while volunteering at OneVoice, a local nonprofit that supports low-income families with a college-readiness program, crisis intervention, a summer camp and a holiday drive.

Rachel’s work at OneVoice is part of Malibu High’s Service Learning Program, which helps equip students for life beyond the classroom. In middle school, service-learning opportunities are built into the Social Studies/Humanities curriculum. In high school, students are required to complete 80 hours of approved volunteer service over four years. This introduces them to meaningful civic activities and integrates a sense of social responsibility in their education. Malibu High has chosen to use funds from their Ed Foundation stretch grant to run the Service Learning Program. Beth Soloway, the Service Learning Coordinator, says that the program is “a win-win.” Malibu High has “many outstanding students who are committed to making a difference in our community, in addition to other communities around the world,” says Ms. Soloway. “Not only are the recipient [organizations] of our Service Learning Program benefiting, but our students are as well. It opens their mind to things that aren’t classroom-based. It allows them to explore and find new passions.” Last year, 65 seniors completed 160 service learning hours, more than twice the required amount. One Malibu High student even worked with homeless teens in Nairobi and built houses in Tijuana. While international volunteering can be transformational, experiences close to home make a difference, too. Another student volunteered with the City of Malibu. His supervisors where so impressed with his hard work that they offered him a position with the City. Rachel’s experiences have also impacted her future. “I am passionate about helping,” she says. Rachel plans to take over OneVoice’s holiday food distribution program in the next few years and wants to continue in a career in social service. Thank you, Ed Foundation donors, for making this all possible!