A New Service, A New Way To Help

Students are asked to complete service hours each year, this year, juniors are experiencing the adjustments.


Photo of Saint Andre Bessette, the inspiration of the projects.

Service hours are a known requirement for graduation on the Hill. This year, juniors are utilizing a new form of service that will continue through their senior year.

The Class of 2024 is the first grade to be utilizing the project known as the Saint Andre Project, which was created after Saint Andre Bessette. Students are planning their projects and plans during the junior year in their class, Catholic Social Teaching. They are able to carry out their projects throughout their junior and senior year.

Religion teacher Mr. Cole Hepp said, “The Saint Andre project is the service for each junior and senior year. These juniors are the first class, they are very much the pilot class and taking the lead for hopefully forging a new road here at Cathedral.”

Students are asked to use their personal inspiration and interests as the motivation for their projects. Ideas are student based, which allows for variety across the entire junior class. It’s a two year road map. “By the end of the semester (the juniors) will have a project plan ready to implement basically over the course of the next year. When they leave Catholic Social Teaching, they will have the spring semester of junior year, the summer, and the fall semester of their senior year to execute the project. Dec 1 is going to be the deadline for these projects,” he said. 

This idea was a result from Covid and the service opportunities that students were given. It allows them to be more innovative and involved, and possibly create a project that continues to impact in the future. Hepp described this opportunity as “a true service learning (experience)” rather than just the completion of service hours. Students will be able to showcase their projects to others during the senior year, after the completion of them. 

Juniors are able to choose an offsite mentor who will guide them in the planning and execution of their project. They will communicate with organizations throughout the community for guidance and support on their journey. 

These projects and ideas have the abilities to benefit the greater community and create a “ripple effect”. Hepp said, “Keep your eye out for the projects they’re going to be doing. There could be ways (the students) could volunteer that they find cool to follow and see how the projects go.”