The Speaking Eagle
Service Hour Requirement Encourages Students to Do Their PartFriday, April 08, 2011 By Shannon Smith
Being a Soaring Eagle means you have to help out. Since the Catholic faith places a strong emphasis on serving others, and Juan Diego Catholic High School teaches morals and virtues, students in every grade have to complete a certain number of service hours yearly. This is to teach students to get in the habit of doing good and that it is a worthwhile thing to help someone out, says JD service coordinator Marci Landis. Freshmen have to complete a total of 10 hours of service for the school year, and some find that requirement easier to believe than others. "I personally don't think it's that hard to take an hour or so out of my day to help out someone that needs it," said freshman Molly Wilets. Others find it hard to fit into an already busy schedule. "I think it's great to help out people who need it, and if I had free time I would help out those who need it in a heartbeat," said Katelin Brown. "But it's hard to find time with sports and all my homework." Sophomores have to serve 15 hours for the year at JD. "I don't mind doing my hours," says JD sophomore Alex Gudac. "I feel good after I do them, but I procrastinate on them so I don't do them until that last minute which is never good." Juniors must complete 25 hours of service for the year. The required number of hours keeps going up by grade because as you get older, you hold more and more responsibilities. "As I get older, I become more and more mature of course, and I realize more about everything around me and I want to help more the older I get," Andrew Cabey said. JD Seniors have less of a service requirement than juniors, with only 20 hours. "I have learned now hours aren't to give us more work," said senior Eric Heinz. "It's to teach us morals. But these years would have been easier if I had more school opportunities." Other Catholic schools in Utah, like Judge Memorial Catholic High School, require students to do more service hours, in general, than Juan Diego. They are also very specific about what types of services qualify. The freshmen class serves 15 hours for family or neighbors. The sophomore class is required to serve 25 hours with a church or place of worship. The junior class is asked to serve 30 hours at three approved non-profit organizations, while Judge's senior class has to complete 45 hours at one approved organization. Coordinators emphasize that service hours are not a punishment or an assignment. They say the school requires them so students can learn and help the ones who need it most.