Volunteering is at the heart of CJ students. Freshmen, sophomores, and juniors have to meet service hour requirements through their religion classes, while seniors complete their service requirement through their Senior Capstone Project.
On Friday, September 18, members of the Class of 2017 met with nearly 20 local agencies to discuss potential volunteering opportunities during a Service Fair. During their junior year, a student is required to volunteer at least 25 hours.
"This requirement is to help them connect what they're learning in the classroom to these issues that are going on in our society and in our world," explained Director of Ministry & Service, Kelli Kinnear.
Many students choose to volunteer more than their required service hours. During the 2014-2015 school year, the CJ student body volunteered more than 11,112 hours beyond the religion class requirement, including 24 students who volunteered 100 or more hours beyond the requirement.
"I'm a proponent of required service because I have seen the impact it has," Kinnear said. "If they hadn't had this requirement, they would not have seen or been exposed to some of the people and experiences."
During last year's Service Fair, Tammara Mims '16 reconnected with an organization she was a part of as a child.
"I went to The Clubhouse when I was younger," Mims shared. "I saw them at last year's Service Fair and signed up to complete my service hours there."
As a senior this year, Mims does not have a service hour requirement, but she continues to give her time at The Clubhouse.
"It makes me feel proud," said Emily Cullen, with The Clubhouse. "It's our goal to build leaders and it's powerful to see that happen, just like with Tammara."
While Mims said her Senior Capstone Project does not involve her work with The Clubhouse, some juniors are thinking ahead to how this volunteering opportunity could generate an idea for their Senior Capstone Project.
Nick Osterday '17 said he isn't sure what his Senior Capstone Project will be yet, but he and Alex Kearns '17 signed up to learn more about volunteering with the Boonshoft Museum.
"I have been at the Boonshoft a lot and I volunteered there for my sophomore service hours," Osterday said. "It was fun, so volunteering there again sounds like fun."
"I go to the Boonshoft a lot during the summer and volunteering there seems interesting," agreed Kearns.
"The museum is a static thing," shared Trey Estes, with the Boonshoft Museum. "It's the people who volunteer who make the experience worth it, and that's what we're looking to instill on the students."
McKenzie Camplin '17 said while she has some ideas for her Senior Capstone project, she signed up for potential volunteering at Rebuilding Together Dayton and a Girls Do STEM Program because of her interests.
"I like to paint and I figured it would be fun because I like to be creative," Camplin said. "But I also signed up for the STEM program because hearing how there are so many girls who are interested in STEM but don't choose a career in STEM makes me motivated to make a difference."
Kinnear said it is encouraging to see students take ownership of their volunteering experience and grow from it.
"It excites me when our students experience these things and they become passionate about what they are seeing and experiencing."