The Power of Service

November 18, 2017


Photo Courtesy Anna Catherine Henley


“Service is giving up your time and effort to help others. It’s really that simple,” Mallory Evans ‘18 said.  

There are thousands of reasons why someone might begin to engage in community service — it could be to enhance a resume, to build personal character, to pass school requirements or out of the purity of his or her heart. No matter how someone starts, service will leave a lasting impression. Service is a chance to make your community and the world a better place.

“I started service because I have enough blessings and a lot of time, so why not make my life about more than just me?” Will Coburn ‘20 said.  

Service gives many a newfound perspective and better understanding for their community.

“I started doing service to get involved with my community outside of the school. For me, that started with volunteering at the hospital over the summer, and it became one of my favorite activities,” Evans said. “I owe a lot to the people in my community for helping me get where I am today, and I feel a sense of duty to give back.”

The Latin community truly demonstrates the importance of service. With the senior class of 2018 leading the school, they influence everyone with their involvement in serving their peers, school and community. Their class includes eleven Eagle Scouts who exemplify and live by the honorable Scout Law.

Left to Right: Thomas Aucamp ’18, David Cowan ’18, Nick Quartapella ’18, David Bilbrey ’18, Jack Helweg ’18, Michael Quartapella ’18, Riley Davis ’18, Rich Pope ’18, Wyatt Nabatoff ’18, Harrison Flohouse ’18, Thomas Layton ’18.

“It is no secret how grateful we are to the class of 2018 for being remarkably kind, generous and positive people,” Lawrence Wall, the Upper School head, said. “These Eagle Scouts have kept each other accountable and strong until they completed their training, which is emblematic of how they help their class rise to the highest level.”

The young men have learned valuable lessons from their Eagle Scout training that they transfer to their lives at Latin.

“Eagles Scouts has taught me to be a leader by doing a good turn every day and living by the Scout Oath and Law,” Michael Quartapella ‘18 said. “The Latin honor code resembles our morals, so I can translate my Scout life to my school life.”

Many students participate in service with programs through Latin and outside of Latin.  

“Latin taught me how to properly serve others, and I use those skills to help others outside of the school,” Caitlin Ahearn ‘20 said.

Latin students pack their daily eight class schedule with numerous extracurricular activities such as playing an instrument, participating in the theatre or the arts or playing a sport. Over 90% of students are involved in sports at Latin, yet students still manage to fit time in for service.

“It’s really about making the time for service. I am a very busy person but every little bit of time I have open, I fill with doing service,” Austin Fitzgerald ‘18 said.

Will Coburn ‘20 has a different view on the time commitment of service. He argues that students have more time than they think. Much of their time is used doing unproductive things that could be time spent volunteering.

“People our age have more time than we realize. We spend time on our phones, watching Netflix or just sitting around. We have at least a couple extra hours every day we use for unnecessary things that we could be giving to service,” Coburn said.

Photo Courtesy Anna Catherine Henley

Whether your schedule is busy or completely open, finding a service program you are interested in can be the hardest part. With the Latin service program, teachers are eager to help find the service program that best fits your personality:

Charlotte Latin School Service Page

Take on Sports

ACEing Austism

Heartfelt Health

Leigh Boice, the Charlotte Latin School faculty service coordinator, promotes service by supplying students with many service opportunities.

“I feel compelled to advise the service club because it provides an important extracurricular activity for students to help the community,” Boice said. “I am very proud Latin students find rewards in serving and are passionate about giving back to the community.”

True bonds and meaningful experiences are created while serving. Ask almost any Latin students, and they would be able to share a cherished memory they encountered through service.

“I love doing interpersonal service because I am connected with the people that I’m helping,” Coburn said. “A special memory that I will always remember was at a Young Life Capernaum camp for kids with special needs. Victoria, a 22 -year-old with Down syndrome, stood out to me because she was so upbeat and unfailingly happy. When we had a talent show, she wrote and performed a song for me. She demonstrated true happiness and is an inspiration for me to continue giving back.”

Service and making new friends go hand and hand through volunteering. Helping someone out can create a timeless bond that will never be forgotten.

“A specific memory that has stuck with me was from volunteering at Presbyterian Medical Center where I delivered mail and flowers. The job didn’t always seem like the most glamorous or important one, but I cannot emphasize how much the patients appreciate it. One day I brought a letter to an older man who was very sick. He asked me to sit with him and read it. In that moment all the work I had done was worth it because he was on the verge of tears and hearing that letter meant the world to him,” Evans said.

Emma Gatrell, ‘20 had similar experiences with her service.

“At the Nevins Center dance, a sweet girl named Jocelyn immediately welcomed me into her life. After the dance, she invited me to her birthday party,” Gatrell said.

It’s important to do service genuinely (which Latin strives for), which is why the school does not not require a specific number of service hours as a graduation requirement. 

“The customs and procedures of a school make a loud statement about what you believe the kids that go your school are capable of. Not only do we not have a requirement for service, but we do not want one,” Wall said. “Service is such an unquestioned value and viewed as inherently worthwhile.”

“With service not being a requirement, people are doing it out of the purity of their heart and the plans they have for their world,” Coburn said.

Some people use service as a tool to get into college.

“I do not like the idea to do service for college resumes. Rather, service is something you should be passionate about, not just a checklist to get into college,” Quartapella said.

Colleges want to see people’s interests and their hobbies. If someone was interested in community service and it was a driving motivation for them, colleges want to hear about that.

“How service affects college admission is not easily quantifiable. We do however, hear time and time again from our college visitors that they want to know what you are passionate about. Nearly all of our college representatives mention the service opportunities on their campuses, so they realize the spirit of service that exists here at Charlotte Latin,” Sonja Turpin, Charlotte Latin School College Center administrative assistant said.

Even without the pressure of doing service hours, students want to be involved and active members in their communities.

“Latin students are extremely self-motivated with service, and for that reason, I think our school is unique to not have a service requirement, yet we accomplish an astounding number of hours and projects. I’m constantly impressed by the different initiatives on and off campus that are led by students to better the community,” Evans said.

“Our kids truly care about others and have an appreciation that much is expected to the people that have been given much, so they want to help the world be better. Their sense of ownership has been high because the students are the core of the leadership. Adults do not have to convince and round up students to do service, but students choose to complete service,” Wall said. “When service becomes an abstraction, you run into the risk of people forgetting the true meaning and it becomes their defining activity. However, this school has a genuine desire to serve because it grows out of genuine concerns.”

Latin students have clearly grasped the concept that any bit of service is meaningful and can impacts others tremendously.

“I find service incredibly meaningful and fulfilling. The people you help appreciate any shape of help they can get, and it’s a humbling experience,” Evans said.

“You really cannot lose with service. I gain life experiences, interact with people, and it’s a great way to meet people,” Coburn said.

With the fast-growing world, service is needed everywhere, in small and large capacities. Whether service leads you to picking up trash or helping out at a local food shelter, the possibilities are endless.

“I want the student body to know that all service matters. Every little thing that we can do for others makes a difference. It isn’t always the big acts of service that mean the most — sometimes it is the little things that impacts the lives of others,” Evans said.

“Help is always going to be needed, so never feel like you’re not making a change,” Fitzgerald said.

A distinguishing feature of Charlotte Latin students is their desire to serve and help others even when that means giving up your own time. A value that should never be considered insignificant and a value that should never fade away. It’s really that simple.


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