News & Calendar

Service at Upper School

120, 233, 70, 31, 25,000…

At CHCA Upper School, the numbers tell a story. Lots of stories actually.

Take for example the fact that each student is required to complete 120 service hours for graduation, but most do more—one recent class racked up over 25,000 hours, which averaged 233 per graduate.

Then there’s 31, the number of Student Organized Service (SOS) groups run by over 70 leaders who pursue a need they’re passionate about—tutoring underprivileged children, visiting the elderly, supporting women in Kenya, or homelessness in our city, among others—and find a way to meet that need by educating their peers, finding creative ways to fund-raise, giving their time, and building relationships.

These students have shown that you can make a difference at any age.

It starts with SOS Minis, where students in grades 7-8, who are passionate about discovering needs in the community and serving others, are paired with SOS leaders as they learn about the world through the eyes of Christ, develop relationships with people, and further the Kingdom of God.

In addition to an array of SOS teams and several school-wide service projects, grades 8-12 students have a wide range of service immersion trip options. Local, national, and international travel challenges students to get out of their comfort zone and become immersed in service and culture.

Numbers like 31 and 25,000 are a simple representation of the soul that runs through CHCA, but behind each number are hundreds of hearts eager to change the world. Where will your heart take you?

Service Award Opportunities

Presidential Service Award

The President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation was established in 2003 to recognize the valuable contributions volunteers make in our communities and encourage more people to serve. The Council created the President's Volunteer Service Award (PVSA) program as a way to thank and honor Americans who, by their demonstrated commitment and example, inspire others to engage in volunteer service.

Each year the Upper School Outreach Office recognizes our outstanding Gr 7-12 students who volunteer in their communities. Award levels include:

Hours by AwardBronzeSilverGold
Teens (Age 11-15)50-7475-99100+
Young Adults (Age 16-25)100-174175-249250+


At CHCA, we award the PVSA in April, so tally your volunteer hours using a 04/01 - 03/31 calendar. Award recipients receive:

  • An official President’s Volunteer Service Award lapel pin
  • A personalized certificate of achievement
  • A congratulatory letter from the President of the United States

To be eligible for the PVSA complete the following by 04/03:
Grade 7-8:
  1. Complete the Gr 7-8 Record of Service using hours volunteered from 04/01-03/31 (Make sure you secured all signatures.)
  2. Turn it into the US 7-8 Assistant Principal by 04/03
Grade 9-12:
  1. Submit any remaining hours using the US 9-12 Community Service Contract
  2. Ensure your service hours are updated in the Guidance Office. Contact Dawn.Packer@chca-oh.org if you're not sure
  3. Email Barb.Holthaus@chca-oh.org to inform her what level (bronze, silver, gold) you qualify. She will verify your CHCA service hour record and validate your award level.


Note: We place the order for this year's awards on 04/05 of the current school year so our deadline is firm. Email Barb.Holthaus@chca-oh.org in the SOS/Outreach Office if you have additional questions.

Prudential Spirit of Community Award

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program is the United States' largest youth recognition program based exclusively on volunteer community service. The program was created in 1995 by Prudential in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) to honor middle level and high school students for outstanding service to others at the local, state and national level. The program's goals are to applaud young people who already are making a positive difference in their towns and neighborhoods, and to inspire others to think about how they might contribute to their communities.
State award winners receive a $1,000 award and national award winners receive a $5,000 award along with a trip to Washington D.C.

This award is open to eligible students in grades 5-12. CHCA students should bring a printed copy of their application to their Guidance Counselor or Principal by 11/01.

Senior Service Awards

Though 120 hours of community service are required for graduation, many CHCA students go above and beyond what’s asked of them. Each year, the Outreach Office recognizes seniors who have accrued 200 hours or more over their high school career. Graduates completing over 400 service hours receive honors cords to wear during graduation. These awards acknowledge the time, efforts and talents our students have lent to causes through local, national and international outreach.

Did you know?

  • Each year, around 40% of the graduating class receives this recognition
  • Our seniors graduate with an average of 230 community service hours (191.6% of the requirement!)
  • Our student body serves over 25,000 hours each year
  • Some students have earned as many as 1,800 and 2,000 hours

Colleges, universities and scholarship committees like knowing students volunteer beyond what is required. Contact Dawn.Packer@chca-oh.org regarding your service hour total or start earning service hours now by joining an SOS group.