Seniors hasten to meet service requirements
In the school mission statement, it is promised that “sensitivity to others” will be “cultivated” in each student. Part of this cultivation is the requirement of 60 service hours in order to graduate.
JC leads Archdiocesan high schools in service requirements, but it seems like every year seniors are caught scrambling for service hours right before graduation. Outreach Director Tony Martin says otherwise. “Students do meet their service requirements. Some go above and beyond,” Martin said.
“The seniors are on pace with prior classes in recent years,” Martin said. This pace, according to Martin, results in “about 10-15 percent of the graduating class that procrastinates, requiring them to finish up service hours in the fourth quarter.”
To prevent the last minute rush for service hours, the Outreach Department sends out service opportunities to students and parents. “All those communications have been helpful in alerting our students about upcoming service,” Martin said.
Martin explains how to avoid last minute scrambling for hours. “Underclassmen should get involved in service early in order to receive the many benefits gained by serving others. Often direct service opportunities help students experience relationships outside their daily lives,” Martin said.
Senior Alex Reedy took Martin’s advice to heart. “I’ve been done since last year,” Reedy said. Reedy completed most of his service at Anna’s House, a shelter for women and children. Reedy learned about the shelter from his brother, who served there as well. Reedy’s advice to underclassmen on service hours is to “make sure you have fun with it.”
It is a common misconception that it is mandatory to have 20 hours by the end of sophomore year. However, no one gets in trouble until the end of his or her junior year. “Juniors must complete 40 service hours in order to receive their senior schedules,” Martin said.
The myth originated by a recommendation that sophomores have 20 service hours. “Sophomores are encouraged to reach 20 service hours by the beginning of junior year to keep them engaged and on pace,” Martin said.
According to Martin, the most common problems that occur are missing signatures and late forms.
“Currently, service hours are due within 30 days of completing the service if done during the school year. When service is done over the summer, those hours are due by the end of September,” Martin said.
“The ways to serve are limitless, and we want our students to have a spirit of wanting to do service rather than feeling they have to do service,” Martin said.
Chioma Iheoma is an A&E Editor for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.