What Does Service Learning Look Like at OLP?

Serving our Dear Neighbor is the heart of the CSJ mission and therefore also the heart of OLP's mission. As members of the OLP community, each student offers Christian service as evidence of her part in the building of Christ’s kingdom of justice, love and peace. We serve with gentleness, peace and joy. Through Service Learning, students at OLP live the CSJ call to be women of heart, women of faith and women of courage.

General Requirements for Service

Each student must complete 85 hours of volunteer service to graduate. This breaks down to 25 hours freshman year, 25 hours sophomore year, 25 hours junior year, and 10 hours senior year. However, students are encouraged to go above and beyond these minimum requirements, and we are proud to say that the majority do.

Because serving our Dear Neighbor is the heart of our mission, at least 70 hours that students serve must be direct hours. Direct hours are defined as working directly with those in need in a personal, helping way. Examples include: tutoring children, serving food in a shelter, visiting elderly in a nursing facility, helping patients in a hospital, coaching a team for person with a disability.

A minimum of 15 indirect hours will also be accepted to fulfill the 85 total graduation requirement. Indirect Hours are defined as work that does not involve direct interaction with the Dear Neighbor. Examples include: clerical/custodial work, fundraisers, marathons and walkathons, animal care, school/parish/ethnic festivals or meals; animal care; beach/neighborhood clean-up.

More Examples:
Helping tutor students at school – Direct
Helping a teacher correct papers/hang a bulletin board – Indirect

Serving lunch at St. Vincent de Paul Villages – Direct
Packaging food at a Food Bank – Indirect

Visiting an elderly person/patient – Direct
Decorating the nursing facility – Indirect

Inappropriate choices for service may include the following: babysitting for free, working for free in any place of business (e.g., restaurant, family business, hotel, private physician or law offices), working for family members, and assisting sports teams in other high schools. Remember, the goal of community service is not to give free labor. The goal is to provide support to people already performing Christian Service who would ordinarily be limited in such service without volunteers.

Grade-Level Service Requirements

Freshman Year

Ninth graders are asked to serve our Dear Neighbors who are children. Students may serve in schools and parishes, coaching teams, tutoring children, etc.

Hour Requirement: 25

  • 20 hours serving children
  • 5 hours may be indirect hours (no category requirements)

Sophomore and Junior Year

Students must choose 2 of the following categories to serve:

  • Serving our Dear Neighbors who are elderly
  • Serving our Dear Neighbors who are impoverished
  • Serving our Dear Neighbors with disabilities
  • Serving our Dear Neighbors who need medical care
  • Serving our Dear Neighbors through education

Hour Requirement: 25 each year

  • Students must serve 20 hours in each of the categories they choose
  • Students may also serve 5 indirect hours each year

Senior Year: Intentional Service

Seniors must complete 10 direct hours of service at one officially-recognized nonprofit organization, to be verified with a school verification form. The purpose of creating a commitment to one organization is to encourage students to fully understand the mission of the organization and establish worthwhile relationships within the organization. Students are encouraged to choose an organization that reflects their career interests in some way. Reflections on their Service Learning experience will take place in their senior level religion courses.

25,813 hours
served in 2015-16

Service Learning Contact:
Katie Wilson
Director of Service Learning & Retreats
kwilson@aolp.org