At St. Michael High School, the Christian Service Program helps students grow as servant-leaders modeled after Jesus Christ. This program is responsible for providing avenues in which the students give back more than 20,000 volunteer hours of service to the community annually.

Serving others is at the very heart of the Christian life, for Jesus came not to be served, but to serve. Jesus teaches us again and again that in encountering and serving people in need, we are meeting and loving God.

Accordingly, the students, faculty, and staff work hard to create a culture of service at St. Michael High School, where Christian service is integrated naturally into everything we do. Students help coordinate service projects through the Student Council, Key Club, Beta Club, Campus Ministry, and many other student organizations.

Faculty and staff encourage Christian service through the visible example of their many volunteer activities in the community, and coaches encourage team service projects to build unity and leadership. Throughout the year, students have countless opportunities for students to serve their school, church and community.

In 2016, students volunteered over 20,000 hours of community service including visiting shut-ins, building homes with Habitat for Humanity, maintaining a pro-life prayer ministry, and adopting a sister Catholic school in New Orleans, in addition to traveling abroad for international mission trips.

Purpose of the Program: To provide for the kinds of powerful interpersonal experiences that can change the hearts of our students and teach them to readily see the dignity of every human person.

Service Hour Forms

Requirements

Service Organizations: To count towards the required minimum number of service hours, service activities must be completed at organizations listed on the SMHS website. To add a non-profit organization to the list, please contact the school administration. Agencies must already be listed on the SMHS website at the time the students do the service.

Year in School Total # of Hours Required Number of A Hours must be at least:
Freshman 0 5*
Sophomore 15 8
Junior 20 10
Senior 25 10

*will complete 5 “A” hrs through theology class

Documentation: Students must provide official documentation from the organization where they completed their hours. Students must complete an “A” hour form and attach it to printed documentation of hours worked. To be accepted, the documentation must be on the letterhead of the non-profit agency or must be a printed copy of an email from a supervisor of the non-profit agency (sent from the agency’s email server).

Special Items: Freshmen Freshmen will complete their “A” hours through activities coordinated in their religion classes. Seniors: During their senior year, students will focus at least half of their required hours with a specific service organization or in a specific area of service (elderly, homeless, disabled). From this experience, students will prepare their Senior Service Project, a research presentation which is intended to draw out and demonstrate the spiritual, social, and academic skills which are the hallmarks of a St. Michael graduate. Please consult the Senior Service Project Manual for details.

Service Categories:

A Hours: “Gospel Mission Hours”
i. Must involve direct human interaction with and service to those who are disabled, poor, elderly, or disadvantaged.
ii. May not include clerical work.
iii. May include advocacy through walks such as the March for Life.
iv. Must relate directly to one of the corporal or spiritual works of mercy.
v. If the agency is not on the “Approved Service Organization” list, although advance approval is not required, it is recommended that you get approval by a Religion Department Service Hour Coordinator or SMHS administration before working the hours.
vi. Must be completed with the organizations listed on the SMHS website.

B Hours: “Building Community Hours”
i. May involve any number of good works where students provide assistance and service to individuals or groups within our community.
ii. Must be completed with the organizations listed in the Christian Service Manual.

Deadlines:

Half of the total hours required are due December 2, 2016. The remainder is due March 31, 2017. (For example, a sophomore must turn in 7 hours by December and the remaining 8 hours in March).

Consequences:

Fall:
• Students who have not met requirements by December 2nd will have their 2nd quarter religion grade permanently lowered by up to one letter grade (1% each day the hours are turned in late, up to 10%.)
• Students may not take the midterm exams of any of their classes until they have met the requirements.

Spring:
• Students who have not met requirements by March 31st will have their 4th quarter religion grade permanently lowered by up to one letter grade (1% each day the hours are turned in late, up to 10%).
• Students may not take the final exams of any of their classes until they have met the requirements.

Awards:

Students who go above and beyond the requirements are recognized with Christian Service Awards each spring at the Christian Service Mass. The categories and requirements for these awards are:

  • Bronze Award: 10 Hours above minimum requirement
  • Silver Award: 25 Hours above the minimum requirement
  • Gold Award: 50 Hours above the minimum requirement