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Often, we speak of heroes as if they are something out of a comic book or superhero movie. But did you know, that each and every one of you has the potential to be a hero right here, in your own community? My message to the senior class of 2015 is a simple but powerful one: Each of you has the potential to go out there and do amazing things, and be a hero to your community. I’m here to share some ideas of how you can do this.

What does it mean to be a hero? 
What does it mean to be a hero in your community? It might mean a lot of things.
Some heroes might give money to support nonprofits doing important work locally. Some might give time, volunteering to help the needy, save the environment, or grow the local economy. Others might lend their creative talents by writing, taking photographs, or speaking out at assemblies and events.

There are many ways you can be a hero. Some might resonate with you more than others. You don’t have to get up and give speeches…great news if you have a fear of public speaking.

You just have to be willing, and eager, to give what you can from your heart and show up for the people and causes that you care about.

Still want more suggestions of ways to be a hero? How about…

  • Volunteering to teach children or adults to read.
  • Practicing English language skills with community residents who are learning English as a second language.
  • Starting a garden in your community that donates food to your local food pantry, meals-on-wheels program, or soup kitchen. Or teaching disadvantaged individuals to grow their own food and become self sufficient.
  • Spending time in nursing homes keeping seniors company.
  • Organizing a food or clothing drive in your community.
  • Spending a weekend picking up trash from parks, playgrounds, or public areas in your community. Or starting an advocacy campaign to raise awareness of recycling laws in your community or get the community to place more trash and recycling bins in public places so that everyone can do their part to keep the area clean.

Now hopefully these ideas have sparked some interest and gotten you thinking about concrete ways that you can go out and do amazing things to directly support your community.

I just want to touch a bit on why this is important.

Giving back to your community isn’t just important because someone says it’s important. Its not just something you should do because maybe your school has a requirement about it, or your parents tell you that you need to do it.

Giving back to your community not only strengthens your community, it teaches you new skills, encourages a sense of civic responsibility, and makes you feel good when you see your hard work affecting the community.

Now that’s enough. Let’s all commit to go out there, and do amazing things!

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