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St. Ignatius College Preparatory, San Francisco
  • Rethinking Africa: The staff of the African Advocacy Network includes Joe Sciarrillo, pictured here with Jean Elias Xavier, Director Aboudou Traore, Charles Jackson and Clementine Ntshaykolo outside their office in the Dolores Street Community Services building. They help a growing number of African immigrants to the Bay Area who may number as many as 50,000.
  • Retiring Pillars: SI’s faculty surprised Fr. Sauer in May with applause and flowers after the announcement of his reassignment.
  • The SI boys’ lacrosse team enjoyed what may have been best year since its founding nearly a quarter century ago. The lacrosse press ranked the team among the top 15 in the nation as SI turned in another undefeated season in league play – its fourth undefeated season since it joined the WCAL in 2010.
  • Richard Driscoll ’06, a performance engineer for Oracle Team USA that will defend the America’s Cup in September, is among the few locals hunkering down in Pier 80 off Marin Street, where they work 65-hour weeks to make sure that Ellison’s boat sails twice as fast as the wind and maneuvers with precision and power as it takes on challengers from around the world.
  • Retiring Pillars: Since the 1970s, Mary McCarty made sure Latin was a living language for students in her classes.
  • Rethinking Africa: Ira Shaughnessy ’00 spent two years in Ghana from 2007 to 2009 working with the Bormase helping with the cultivation of the Moringa tree, whose leaves are rich in vitamins.

Features

 

Community Service or Self-Service?

Allyson Abad ’16
Contributing Editor

 

We invite our SI students to engage in service with and for others...as volunteers who walk with those in need,” declares the Office of Community Service and Social Justice. The school maintains that the required 100-hour community service project teaches students to “engage in service...as part of their everyday lives” – but do students actually serve for the betterment of the community, or do they just “go through the motions” to fulfill a graduation requirement?

 

 After finishing their community service, many students go above and beyond the 100-hour minimum requirement, striving to become members of the 200 Hour Club. These hours, however, are not always performed under the auspices of service. Instead, they serve as a bullet-point on college applications.

 

 Of course, there is a sense of satisfaction (not to mention bragging rights) that comes after completing all 100 hours of required service. But what if these service hours were not mandatory? “I would still do service because community service makes me feel accomplished,” explained Rosally Nuñez ’16, but not everyone feels as generous with their time and effort.

 

 Students are required to volunteer at non-profit agencies. Some volunteer at food pantries, homes for the aged, and food banks, where their only rewards are sincere thank yous from those they just served. But others pick agencies that give out free handouts and merchandises with their services. Agencies such as the YMCA offer free shirts, food, and special benefits for their volunteers during National Volunteer Week. “I know some people have volunteered just to get food and other stuff like that,” admitted Joshua Marrald ’15.

 

 Still other students believe their service is “necessary,” thinking that the less fortunate require help from the privileged. Our school emphasizes “walk[ing] with those in need” as students “with...others,” but does our focus on helping the “needy” accidentally reinforce the idea that we are somehow the “heroes,” and others the “victims”? This superior mindset can distort our images of service and charity.

Posted by on Monday February, 24, 2014

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