Community Service Frequently Asked Questions
Do other high schools require students to perform ministry hours?
All five Catholic high schools in the Diocese of Orlando have school-wide service programs. In some public schools, students have the option of enrolling in a community service class. In high schools and colleges across the country, “service learning” is increasingly being recognized as an important component of a well-rounded education.
Will my service hours help me to be accepted into college?
Scholarship committees consider service programs such as this when evaluating applicants. A minimum of 75 service hours is required to qualify for Florida Academic Scholarship funds.
How can I find approved ministry opportunities?
Students will periodically be informed of both one-time and ongoing opportunities through the daily announcements, and events will be e-mailed and posted on the bulletin boards in the education building. Students are encouraged to find other volunteer opportunities through the media, local churches and referrals from friends. Ultimately it is the student’s responsibility to find their places of service. Parents are encouraged to check out the organization prior to the commencement of the service to ensure a safe environment. Many organizations require background checks and fingerprinting.
How do I know if the work I am performing is acceptable community service?
The easiest way to establish if it fits the criteria would be to ask:
- Is the work being done for a non-profit organization or is it a project that will benefit a non-profit agency?
- Does it fit with the corporal works of mercy?
- The Corporal Works of Mercy are the kind of acts by which we help our neighbors with their material and physical needs. They are: feed the hungry; shelter the homeless; clothe the naked; visit the sick and imprisoned; bury the dead; give alms to the poor.
- When in doubt, check with the Director of Mission Effectiveness.
Do transfer students have to do community service?
Students are obligated to complete the grade level requirements for those years that they are a student at Father Lopez Catholic High School. Students coming to FLCHS after December of the school year will be responsible for one-half (1/2) of the required service hours for their grade level. The requirements will not be prorated for students arriving before December. Any community service hours completed at another high school by transfer students may be transferred to FLCHS, provided that proper documentation is available and that these hours follow the guidelines set forth by FLCHS.
What role do parents play in the Catholic ministry program?
Parental involvement is of great importance. Catholic Ministry Verification Forms will not be accepted without a valid parent’s signature confirming that the work was completed in accordance with to the guidelines set forth in this document. Parents are encouraged to assist their children in the process of choosing a ministry site and are also advised to thoroughly investigate the site and/or organization to ensure their child’s safety. Parents who are involved in a service project through their parish or other organization may invite their children to join them and act as the documenting supervisor.
The following guidelines have been established to ensure that community service remains faithful to the mission of Father Lopez Catholic High School:
- All projects must be performed for non-profit organizations such as churches, schools, public service agencies, and environmental groups. The easiest way to establish if it fits the criteria would be:
- Is it non-profit or service agency?
- Does it further the corporal works of mercy? The Corporal Works of Mercy are the kind of acts by which we help our neighbors with their material and physical needs. They are: feed the hungry; shelter the homeless; clothe the naked; visit the sick and imprisoned; bury the dead; give alms to the poor.
- Does it further Catholic Social Teaching? An explanation of these can be found at USCCB.org.
- Is it an organization that exists to profit the owners, such as a family business? If so, it would not fit the criteria.
**Exceptions will be considered at the discretion of the Director of Mission Effectiveness.***
- Each student must be responsible, honest, dependable, and punctual while representing Father Lopez.
- Students can earn hours at any time, including the summer preceding the school year, as long as the minimum yearly requirement is met.
- Hours are cumulative—additional hours will be applied to subsequent yearly requirements.
- It is the responsibility of each student to return accurate documentation as soon as the service is completed.
- Forms can be found online and on the Community Service bulletin board
- If a student does not meet the minimum hours required for the year, they are in danger of being held out of all extra-curricular activities, including teams and clubs. This will remain in effect until the service is complete and documentation is submitted.
- Services performed at Father Lopez will only be accepted towards fulfillment of community service at the discretion of the Director of Mission Effectiveness.
- Community Service hours also serve to qualify students for a Florida Bright Futures Academic Scholarship which requires seventy-five (75) documented hours.