Mandatory Community Service Program: A Case Study of Young Nepalese Canadians Experiences

  •  Nabin Maharjan    
  •  Tom O’Neill    


Canadian schools introduced community service program in 1999 to engage youth in diverse communities of Canada. Many studies have identified the gap in understanding immigrant youths’ experience on mandatory community service but has yet to study immigrant youth’s experience. Therefore, this paper explores the experiences of young Nepalese Canadians aged 18- 24 who participated in mandatory community involvement for graduating from high schools in Ontario, Canada. The findings are based on qualitative data gathered from ten interviews with young Nepalese Canadians who went to Canadian high schools, and are currently living in the Greater Toronto area (GTA). The study provides a nuanced understanding of visible minority immigrant youth’s experiences of mandatory community service in high school. The findings suggest that participants experience the program as merely an obligatory requirement to graduate from high school rather than a platform for learning civic skills and engaging in diverse Canadian communities. In addition, this case study of Nepalese Canadian youth depicts how young Nepalese Canadians depend on informal sources, mainly peer-to-peer sharing, for engaging in community, and illustrates how they conceptualize what community involvement means to them. Finally, based on this study, we argue that amendment to this mandatory program is an urgent call for engaging visible minority immigrant youth civically and meaningfully in Canadian communities.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1927-5250
  • ISSN(Online): 1927-5269
  • Started: 2012
  • Frequency: bimonthly

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