Community Service

Service is one of the primary ways in which we draw explicit connections between the classroom and the wider world. An excellent lens for understanding equity and injustice, it provides the chance for us to give back to the region that supports us so generously. Service also encourages our students to develop a wider, more complex sense of community through direct action.

Local learning

Although opportunities for service exist in all places, our service program specifically asks students to engage with organizations helping right here in greater Seattle. From the center of our beautiful campus, it can be easy to think that hunger, homelessness, or ecological damage only happen far away, but we want our students to understand otherwise and be part of the solution right here at home.

Hands-on experience

We value and honor all kinds of volunteer work, but for school credit, hours must be completed in direct service to a local organization whose primary purpose or activity is community service.

Inclusive opportunities

We also ask that students choose organizations whose volunteer membership is broadly inclusive. Exceptions put in place by specific organizations do exist, but generally, our students must earn their individual hours through opportunities in which any qualifying student could participate.

A few examples of our diverse service projects:

  • Assist food bank clients at North Helpline and Ballard Food Bank
  • Sort and package thousands of pounds of bulk food with Northwest Harvest
  • Restore public bike trails at Duthie Park with Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance
  • Provide social interaction for homeless women and children at Mary’s Place
  • Sing, dance, and lead movement activities with elders at Sunrise of Northgate
  • Make quilts and chew toys for animals at Seattle Humane Society
  • Repair and restore bicycles for donation to BikeWorks

Logistics

Our program has three primary elements:

  • All-school service days: Three times a year, our students, faculty, and staff spend a full day volunteering around Seattle with partner organizations.
  • Graduation requirement: Upper School students need to complete twenty hours of approved community service each year. They receive three credit hours for each all-school service day they attend, and a tenth hour of credit for attending all three days. Remaining hours are earned independently.
  • Students of Service Club: Members organize frequent service events where students can explore a variety of experiences, have fun with peers, and earn service hours.

Questions? Refer to our FAQ page and/or contact Dana Bettinger, Community Service Program Coordinator (service@universityprep.org).