Student Organized Service (SOS) exists to train and encourage student leaders to mobilize their peers by providing vibrant volunteer community service opportunities. Our goal is that all students find connections to use their skills, time, and talents to serve others. SOS members develop meaningful relationships in the community that result in improved lives. Some SOS teams have few volunteers, some have many; the size makes no difference. SOS students are people who further God's Kingdom in their own lives and others.
In 2017-2018, our SOS board and leaders chose "Stereotypes" as their theme with a goal of breaking down racial and mental health stereotypes. In the fall SOS helped host the Defamation Experience - a theatrical courtroom hearing in which the audience plays jury. Student leaders also planned peer-led workshops on stereotypes and hosted mental health support seminars with topics like Essential Oils 101 and Yoga. They even brought in therapy dogs before final exams!
Student leaders hosted 30+ service teams including new groups like 1Mission and Musical Memories. Additionally at a nearby Princeton school (Stewart Elementary) our students added to our list of CHCA-led after school programs by starting a weekly sports program and a theater clinic. Over 150 Stewart Elementary children participate in seven student led after school programs ... programs fully planned and staffed by CHCA high school volunteers! Stewart Elementary hosts a diverse community of children with 17+ languages spoken and many children on the free & reduced lunch program.
Raising money isn’t our #1 goal (relationships are), but sometimes it’s the best way to help causes our students care deeply about. With that in mind, SOS raised over $11,000 this past year including: $3,300 for H20 for Life Schools, $2,100 for the Restavek Freedom Foundation, and $1,600 for Melanoma Research & Melanoma Know More. Students also collected food for L.I.F.E. food pantry, dresses for Kenzie’s closet, household donations for BLOC ministries, and much more.
- What is SOS?
- What does an SOS Student Leader do?
- What does SOS look like?
- Who is qualified to become an SOS Student Leader?
Being a part of SOS is about way more than earning service hours. SOS members and leaders can expect to:
- Find authentic service experiences
- Have their gifts recognized
- Foster relationships with people in need
- Engage in high-level problem solving as they learn about needs in the world and consider how they can make a difference
- Be empowered to lead and get others involved
- Impact the community in a real way
- Attend the summer training and orientation planning. If you work or are in athletics, please make arrangements with your coach/employer to be present for this training.
- Attend monthly SOS leader breakfasts held in the MSL High School cafeteria. New for 2018-2019: 90% attendance is expected (students may miss one) at this brand new high energy, leadership building, informative meeting.
- Choose a service, agency or cause that you are passionate about supporting.
- Serve with the agency/cause at least one time on your own or with a friend.
- Recruit and help provide training for student volunteers.
- Organize transportation and adult supervision (as needed), collect permission slips and medical forms, turn in service hours for team after service, etc.
- Lead your volunteers through service & reflection.
- Meet with Mrs. Hordinski once a month to work on your group and get help as needed.
- Provide photos of your group volunteering to use on SOS web pages (like this one!)
- Provide opportunities to celebrate your team’s service (e.g. ice cream, thank you notes, pizza).
SOS is comprised of a board of five to eight students and a larger group of Student Leaders. The Board sets the direction of SOS and plans school-wide activities with Karen Hordinski (Director of CHCA Outreach). The SOS Student Leaders recruit and organize volunteers for their particular service programs and ministries. All leaders are encouraged to have an adult (teachers, parents, alumni, etc.) partner with them in helping to establish their service programs.
SOS Leaders are social entrepreneurs who see a need in the world and seek to bring positive change by organizing high school volunteers to work toward a goal. Together, they also provide opportunities to learn about issues of social justice for all CHCA Upper9-12 students through awareness and immersions. We have students who lead weekly after school programs, as well as monthly, quarterly or one-time events. Our students earn grants, win awards and develop skills as leaders.
Ideal SOS leaders -
- Care about the needs of the world – including people, but also environment, animals, etc.
- Have good follow through with projects and are willing to work hard
- Come from many different social groups from within the student body