Building with the CMCB


A volunteer organization constructing a better community

No, it’s not building in the literal sense. There aren’t any hammers or nails; but there is the work ethic. The Claude Moore Community Builders (CMCB) is a teen volunteer program based in Loudoun County that instead works on building the community in a metaphorical sense. Through volunteering, the teens help to construct a better community by offering their time and effort to give a helping hand at various places around the county.

First, in mid-March every year, teens can apply to the Claude Moore Community Builders by filing an application and submitting it before the deadline on Apr 30. If they are accepted, the new builders are assigned to give at least 100 hours of community service in ten months, starting from June and ending in March of the next year when applications start again. 

“My personal goal in the CMCB is to be able to give back to the community…while contributing the maximum amount of time that I can,” said Raghav Krishnaswamy, a junior at PFHS and member of the CMCB. Krishnaswamy started with the CMCB just this year, and is working hard to meet the hours requirement.

Then, the builders get to choose where they want to volunteer through the organization, like with establishments such as the YMCA or AART (All Ages Read Together). They must give 50 hours of volunteering time in these “placements,” then adding at least 30 hours of general community service at public events, with the final 20 hours from events promoting civil service and participation. 

These all add up to 100 hours, but builders are definitely welcome to give more. A bonus part, which is optional but encouraged, are the “award hours,” which are the hours given at volunteer opportunities not affiliated with the CMCB, but which still help the community grow. “I would personally try to reach 200 hours for this year, and be able to do it next year to give back more,” said Krishnaswamy. Students who get a certain amount of award hours can be eligible to receive an award, such as a scholarship.

“The Claude Moore Community Builders program is an amazing opportunity for high school students to give back to the community through meaningful volunteer work,” said Sarah Bauer, a sponsor and leader of the CMCB. “My personal mission is to give the [builders] the opportunity to see that the work that they do in their community can make a significant impact.” And a significant impact has been made indeed; so far, the CMCB has given 5,700 hours of community service this year.

The CMCB can bring out the best in teens, who also build upon themselves with new skills to help facilitate greater connections between ourselves and others in our society. “CMCB means a lot to me…it is an opportunity for me to contribute to the community that has given so much to me,” said Krishnaswamy. Their contributions are invaluable to the prosperity of Loudoun County, and help promote an initiative for others to give too; the desire to help others from the generosity of one’s heart.