At the 4th annual CJ service awards assembly, students were honored for volunteering over 9,551 of service hours this past year--a total representing hours over and above those that students are required to fulfill as part of the school's curriculum.
"According to the Independent Sector, the value of an hour of volunteering is $20.85," said Kelli Kinnear, director of ministry and service. "In other words, your service has contributed $199,154 to our local, national and international communities.
"We live in a society that chooses to idolize and award people because of money, power and fame. Today we choose to honor you, our CJ students, because you have chosen to be people of compassion, integrity and service."
Joining Kinnear, and members of the ministry and service department, Brett Chmiel and Marilyn McCrate, in recognizing students for their voluneerism, were community members David Kelly, blood drive coordinator for Community Blood Center, and Melissa Pangaean, manager of volunteer and auxiliary resources for St. Vincent de Paul Hotel Gateway Center.
Kelly presented the school with the Community Blood Center's Life Saving Ambassador Club's gold certificate in recognition for the students' participation in the annual blood drive. He was also grateful to the students who served on the Center's focus groups in 2009 so that their staff would understand how to better reach out to high school students.
"CJ has a long-standing commitment to our Center," he said. "We depend on schools like CJ, so that we can supply area hospitals with blood."
Pangaean took the opportunity to name CJ students who were deeply committed to serving St. Vincent over the past years in various ways. "CJ students come with a 'can do' attitude and willingness to serve others. You come with a servant's heart and nature," she said. "You all have been a special blessing to me.
"Volunteerism changes the lives of those you commit to serve and brings positive input into your own life. I encourage you to make a difference in your community--get involved and volunteer today."
Other honored guests included young students from St. Rita and Ruskin who participated in the Big Brother/Big Sister program. After introducing themselves to the CJ community on stage, the students from St. Rita sang a special thank you song for their "Bigs." (featured photo)
2010 Recognition for Achievement
Throughout the assembly, many students stepped across the stage or were spotlighted for their involvement with ministry and service. Students were honored for their work with FLIGHT (Faith Leaders in God's Hands Today); homeroom representatives; and degrees of service above their requirements.
Students earned the bronze award for 25-49 hours of service; silver award for 50-99 hours of service; and the gold award for over 100 hours served. Senior Beth VanDorpe was recognized for accumulating the most hours of service during her four years at CJ: 628 hours.
Senior Nathan Rosenbauer was recognized as the recipient of this year’s Dayton LaSertoma Youth Service Award for being a leader in service, while seniors Kayla Shelley and Annie Stoddard were recognized as two of four recipients of this year's Womanline scholarships for their work in mobilizing the CJ community through their "Loose Change, Loosen Chains" project.
CJ Service Awards
The assembly ended after the presentation of two scholarships that are awarded annually to underclassmen whose leadership in service make them stand-outs in their junior and sophomore classes.
This year's Sister Ruth Ann Service Award was presented to Cassie Zehenny '11. "Cassie has given many volunteer hours to various community organizations, including the House of Bread, Aullwood Audubon Center, St. Vincent Hotel and more," said Kinnear. "Cassie describes service in her own words, 'Community Service means giving back what’s been given to you. I have been given so many blessings in my life and doing…service is my way of thanking God and letting him know I’m grateful for all that I have…(It) is a way for me to strengthen my relationship with God, feel better about myself, meet new friends, and experience new things.'”
The Sister Ruth Ann Service Award is given each year to recognize a junior who exhibits the commitment and spirit of Sister Ruth Ann Bange, SND, who served the Chaminade Julienne community for 26 years as a teacher, assistant principal, and member of the administrative team. This award is based on cumulative hours in the community service program and the role of service in one's life.
The George Early Scholarship was presented to Maggie Switzer '12. "Maggie has contributed many hours to serving CJ, including helping with the spaghetti dinner, freshman orientation and summer writing camp," said Kinnear. "She has also been very involved with her parish, working at pancake breakfasts, bazaars, and Vacation Bible School. After she attended one of CJ’s mission trips, she described her reaction: 'I felt that I really liked service and I started to do more than I did before the mission trip. I like to see people’s days get better and I like the idea of making a difference, even if it is small. Community Service is not about me, it’s about (helping) people to get what they need.'"
The George Early Scholarship is given to a sophomore student who has distinguished him or herself as a servant leader. It was created to encourage ongoing service and to honor a person who is an example of Christian service for the Chaminade Julienne community. Early retired from CJ in 1986 after devoting 50 years of his life to CJ community. A George Early recipient is a person who responds to the needs of people around them and who has made a commitment to making the world a better place. Recipients exemplify the initiative and community responsibility that we are called to by our faith.
Required Service Hours
Ministry and service is an integral part of the Catholic educational experience at CJ. Each year students are required to perform service work as part of the curriculum. The number of hours required depend on a student's grade level:
- Freshman: 2 hours per year
- Sophomore: 400 minutes per year
- Junior: 25 hours per year
- Senior: active involvement with the senior project (research on missions and the development and promotion of projects to raise community awareness and support of the mission)
Service hours are accumulated and tallied from the first day of summer break through the first days in May. The cumulative total of service hours announced during the annual service awards assembly represent the number of hours served over and above the students' required service hours.