If they want to move on, they must learn to give.
It is a policy in the Newport-Mesa Unified School District, and there's no way around it. Students must complete at least 40 hours of community service during their four years of high school to graduate.
How students decide to spend their time varies, and results in ideas that are sometimes routine, sometimes inspired.
Newport Harbor High School sophomore Natalie Cernius' idea had its genesis close to home. She started a Friday Night Club at her school in an effort to give her older brother, who is autistic, more opportunities to meet people and have fun.
She said participants are special-needs teens, including those with Down syndrome, autism and physical disabilities.
Natalie collaborated with the United Cerebral Palsy of Orange County and Talk About Autism, which provide a clubhouse for the club to meet once a month. The group also meets at Natalie's house monthly.