Community engagement, arts and sports are all requirements to graduate at Menlo. Among these three requirements, the community engagement program is most unique to Menlo. In order to graduate, students must earn 10 community engagement credits via various community-related activities along with three unique experiences throughout the year. One way to get involved in the community is through Menlo’s Knight Vision club, which focuses on giving back to the community while earning credits to graduate.
Chris Donnelly, a sophomore and member of Knight Vision, believes that community engagement is a valuable experience for students. “I think that [community engagement] provides insurmountable advantages at Menlo,” Donelly said. “As Menlo students, we are privileged to receive such an educational experience, and it is thus essential for us to help those [who are] less fortunate.”
Knight Vision co-president Reena Kagan also believes that CE offers important experiences and values for students. “It’s important because of the values that it involves: the values of helping others [and] the values of doing what you can for others,” Kagan said. “It really adds a sense of communal feel.”
Director of Community and Civic Engagement Ava Petrash believes that Menlo’s Community Engagement program benefits the school. “I came to Menlo in this role, and I see what kind of a benefit [Community Engagement] can be to students,” Petrash said. “I think it’s really amazing that the school has this role and dedicates a lot of time and resources to it because I think it really shows how much the school values it,” Petrash said.
Petrash also believes that Community Engagement at Menlo serves to help some students recognize their privilege. “I think [Community Engagement is] really important for students who have the privilege to go to Menlo […] to be able to understand the gift that their education is and the fact that there are so many people in our neighborhood, in our state, in our country [and] in our world who don’t have access to the same opportunities,” Petrash said.