St. Peter writes “Be hospitable to one another without complaining. As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s grace” (1 Peter 4:9-10). Archbishop Williams students are “guided by the values of the Catholic Church” when they use their gifts and talents to serve those in need. The Christian Service Program exposes students to the joy that comes from helping others and puts their faith into action. “The differences among persons belong to God’s plan, who wills that we should need one another. These differences should encourage charity” (CCC 1946). In order to “graduate capable and confident young people who are responsible members of their communities”, students must first participate in their communities. The Christian Service Program through its outreach requirement assures that students will be exposed to different aspects of society.
Goals of Service
The Christian Service Program through service to others:
- seeks to instill a passion for justice and peace in every AWHS student;
- unites and involves each student with their community;
- allows each student to “put their faith into action”
- encourages students to live out Jesus’ message;
- promotes students to reflect on the impact their work has had on both themselves and the rest of the world.
Students in Grades 9-12 are required to complete a minimum number of service hours each year outside of the school day. Underclassmen who fail to complete the required hours will not be permitted to return to Archbishop Williams and may be subject to mandatory summer service in order satisfy the requirement. Seniors who fail to complete their service requirements jeopardize their graduation status.
The number of hours for each year is as follows:
7th & 8th Days of Service Program
- Freshmen 15 hours
- Sophomores 20 hours
- Juniors 20 hours
- Seniors 15 hours
In order to complete the goal hours of each year, students are able to volunteer both through in-house and outreach opportunities. In-house opportunities include activities which take place at the school outside of the regular school day hours (7:45 AM-2:20 PM), such as serving at Open Houses and other such activities that benefit the AWHS community.
Outreach hours include all service done outside of the AWHS community through direct interaction with others. Outreach hours may be done through Campus Ministry, through a student’s church or parish, or on their own. All students must complete a minimum of 30 hours of outreach service in order to graduate as part of the total number of hours to graduate. There is no minimum number of in-house hours. In total, students are required to complete 70 hours of community service in order to graduate. Students who transfer into AWHS after freshman year should see Campus Ministry for requirements.
Five Talents Recognition
In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus tells the story of the man who, going on a journey, entrusts his possessions to his servants. On his return, he found that the servant who was given five talents (Roman money) worked diligently to double the amount. The master said “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” With this in mind, students who complete 140 hours or more will receive the “Five Talents Recognition” at graduation.
Outreach Service If a student decides to complete service independent from the school, they must adhere to the following guidelines:
- Service work must be done at non-profit or not for profit agencies.
- Upperclassmen should focus on serving the poor and vulnerable.
- Service cannot be done at home (i.e. babysitting, snow shoveling, yard work.)
- Service cannot include babysitting, shoveling snow, or yard work for others.
- Service cannot be done for family members. (i.e. parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings.)
- Students cannot receive any type of compensation for service. (i.e. money, free food, awards.)
Students are reminded that they are looking for “service” hours where they are working or performing to help others less fortunate than themselves. Acts of charity and acts of kindness (i.e. raising money for worthy causes, donating to drives, filling out online surveys, giving money to charity, telethons) are not considered to be outreach service.
It is strongly recommended that students seek approval from Campus Ministry and clarify their outreach before committing to an independent community service project.
When a student performs community service outside and independent of AWHS, he or she must submit a Service Form for each service site at which they work. The form must be signed, have contact information, and a reflection of service in order for service to be considered completed. This paperwork must be submitted to Campus Ministry before the relevant deadline.
If students elect to volunteer for service trips, mission trips, summer camps, or other similar opportunities that are more than a day commitment, the service hours counted are for actual work, participation, interacting with those in need, etc. Travel time and rest periods do not count.
Service for Charity Races
Students may choose to take part in various walks/runs in the surrounding communities. It is encouraged that the student take part in these worthy causes through volunteering at water stations, checkpoints, serving food etc. However, if a student chooses to participate by walking or running, the hours credited to the student will be by mileage and not by time (2 miles=1hour).
Honor Society Service
A student who is accepted into any school honor society may not use their AWHS required hours to complete their service work for their respective honor society. In addition, it is an expectation of every honor society member that they perform various service hours and duties, for their respective society, during the course of the year. Since many of these are required, they may not be used to complete their AWHS yearly requirements.
Put another way, the service hours required as a prerequisite for acceptance to any honor society are separate and distinct from the student’s school service hours requirement.
Students in Grades 7 and 8 will have designated Days of Service during the year in which they will participate in service as a class.
IMPORTANT DATES & DEADLINES
Last Day of Final Exams: Enrolled students may begin their service hours for the next school year
July 1st: Incoming freshmen may begin to complete service hours
September 30th: Forms from summer service are due January (Martin Luther King Day): Forms for all service performed during 1st semester are due March 31st: Senior service requirement must be completed. - Seniors who fail to complete their service requirements jeopardize their graduation status.
April 30: Forms for all service performed during 2nd semester are due.
- It is an expectation that all underclassmen service hours are completed.
- Underclassmen who do not complete their required hours may not return to school unless the hours are completed by the start of the next academic school year. Parents will be contacted and so notified if such circumstances arise and mandatory service over the summer may be required.