The Christian Service Program at Salesianum is designed to challenge students to engage the broader community as Salesian gentlemen through volunteer hours freely given with nothing asked in return. This service-learning requirement emphasizes direct contact with those in need or marginalized due to poverty, discrimination, old age, poor health, or physical and mental disabilities. Students complete a minimum of 25 verified hours of service each school year.
Christian Service Requirements and Opportunities: All Salesianum students from the classes of 2019 and 2020 are required to complete 25 points of Christian service, either performed off campus at Salesianum-approved service agencies, or on campus for pre-approved events that support such agencies (i.e., Tucker Haunted House raising funds for Urban Promise). While all forms of service and volunteerism are valuable, those that are more transformative and engaging will be weighted accordingly. In order to improve the quality and educational value of the service, a point scale has been created to encourage direct service to those in need. The Center for Faith and Justice is responsible for service retreats, trips, and projects, the judgment of what constitutes service and proper documentation, and the final interpretation of all service policies.
All members of the freshmen class will complete their Christian Service requirement at Warner Elementary School or another pre-approved, school-sponsored urban elementary or middle school in Wilmington. The goal is for each student to engage in a common experience as part of a Salesianum-supervised group, including debriefing sessions to maximize educational impact. Each student will be required to make a minimum of five visits. There will be a required orientation during the first month of school and a debriefing during the last month of school. Doing service above and beyond this requirement is highly recommended and should be documented on the x2vol online platform.
The sophomore service program, which will be introduced in the 2017-2018 academic year with the Class of 2020, aims to build upon and deepen students’ lived understanding of the mission and goals of the Christian Service Program, and of the freshman service program at Warner.
Direct service to communities in need must occur at an interpersonal level. Christian service cannot remain an abstraction or allow people to remain dis-connected from real persons and communities in need. It therefore requires face-to-face personal encounter and interaction. This is rooted in Jesus’ call in the Gospel, where to meet and serve another person in love is to encounter that person in a real way and also to encounter God. This encounter builds a sense of solidarity and community. As Salesianum is a school rooted in the local community of Wilmington, it is important that connections be made between students and the people who are our neighbors in Wilmington.
The sophomore service program aims to stretch students’ comfort zones in interacting with others.
Therefore, it will require students to engage in direct personal service with the residents of the Mary Campbell Center, an assisted living home for people with severe mental and physical disabilities. Students will be required to make a minimum of four visits, and attend one social justice panel at Salesianum. Speakers on various social justice issues will present at school at least once per month.
All student service hours will be logged through the online service documentation platform x2vol. Students can reference the Center for Faith and Justice onCampus. Service opportunities and sign-ups will also be updated through this platform.
National Honor Society students willingly accept an additional community service requirement that is fulfilled on campus in support of school events (Open House, alumni events, theater events, on campus tutoring). Members will receive specific instructions on the process for completing their service from the NHS moderator.NHS members must be aware that these are different requirements. All students are obligated to fulfill the Christian service requirement; NHS members have an additional requirement that does not overlap and is different in nature.
Definitions of Service:
The Center for Faith and Justice establishes and posts a list of pre-approved service sites, and considers proposals for service not on the pre-approved list. The Director can allow for adaptations to policies in cases of pastoral necessity. Service may be done as part of an approved service trip or during the summer before an academic year with permission of the CFJ staff. Requests for exceptions to any of the below due to extraordinary circumstances must be provided in email prior to service being performed.
Salesianum Christian Service IS:
- Unpaid, volunteer work on behalf of a non-profit agency.
- A preferential option for the poor or vulnerable, offering work in faith-sponsored agencies.
- Meeting a need that otherwise would go unmet.
- Focused on the poor or marginalized as much as possible.
- Done in the student’s local community outside of school hours.
- Part of a process of engagement with Scripture and the social teaching of the Church.
Salesianum Christian Service is NOT:
- Paid work of any kind.
- Work at a for-profit business or agency (even if done without pay).
- Fulfilling obligations to a club or team (i.e., prepping for a meeting, keeping stats, etc.).
- Working for family members (babysitting, chores, etc.), neighbors, or the student’s community association.
- Ordinary conscientious behavior while at school (i.e., keeping lunchroom clean, running for office, etc.).
All of these requirements and stipulations have been built to create a culture of genuine authentic service that will become habit within each student beyond their years here.