By Luke Anema
Faith in Action (FIA) hours are a need for Eastern Christian High School. They are easy to complete by helping people with everyday chores over the summer. Except it's not so easy this summer. Coronavirus has made it hard to get hours over the summer and students to get hours at the normal pace.
Students at Eastern Christian need 50 FIA hours to graduate high school. Five to ten of those hours need to be in-school and 40 to 45 hours need to be out-of-school. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, there is a lack of opportunities to get FIA hours. During the summer is a popular time to get hours because there is more free time without school. Coronavirus has made it harder to find opportunities to get FIA hours over the summer. It has left some students behind on their hours and it could be hard for them to get the required 50 hours before graduation.
“Lots of things closed down during COVID, making volunteering hard, but it should get better now that things are opening back up again.”
That’s what sophomore Jaden Ritsma had to say when he was asked why the Coronavirus made it hard to get FIA hours. He shared that even though there is a lack of opportunities, he isn’t behind and is keeping up with the hours he should have right now. Especially with the delta variant, most people won’t want high school students to help them. For the underclassmen, they’ll still have more time to get opportunities, and hopefully, places will open up to help a little bit more by next summer.
It's been proven that getting out of school hours is hard, but some people, like Austin Vander Pyl, have chosen to focus on in-school hours, “I have gotten service hours in the past year at school helping Mr. Wright in art class. Other than that, out of school, I have not had a ton of opportunities. Only volunteering for a couple [of] hours at a time.”
Lucas Genuario did the same, focusing on in-school hours first. “I got them during class actually, [a] very nice break in class, I thought it was very reasonable.” Clearly, this is a popular thing to do and it might be the best way. While out-of-school opportunities may be hard to find with the Coronavirus, it could be good to get in-school hours over with, while out-of-school opportunities slowly become available.
Austin Vander Pyl says, “FIA hours have been tricky to find and I hope everyone is able to [meet] the requirement by senior year.”